What is it?
The Pure is the entry-level Alpine A110 – not that this should put you off in the slightest. In the world of thoroughbred performance cars, the simplest variation is so often the sweetest. Just think of the Porsche 911.
And that could well be the case here. Alpine’s first new car since the A610 of 1991 needs no introduction, suffice to say that when the all-aluminium, mid-engined, double-wishboned A110 arrived last year, it did so like a grenade lobbed into the temptingly affordable sports car segment.
In fact, the little French coupé succeeded where the BMW M2 and Porsche 718 Cayman GTS couldn't when we gave it the full five road test stars. A year later, first impressions suggest not even the all-new Toyota GR Supra, reborn with plenty of BMW hardware, can topple it, although only a direct comparison – due soon – will tell us for sure.
The changes for the Pure are subtle. For a start, it’s only a trim level, because Alpine needs to hold something in reserve for more hardcore versions of the A110 further down the line. There is, however, enough to distance this car from the more luxurious, grand touring-focused Légende at the top of the range.
The most significant among them is the move to 17in wheels, which are inch smaller in diameter and lighter than on a typical A110. Ride quality isn't normally a problem, but if the reduction in unsprung mass gives the Pure even better body control, it would improve the recipe. An even more pliant ride on higher-profile tyres wouldn't hurt, either.
Then there are the one-piece Sabelt sports seats, which with quilted leather and deep bolsters look heavier than they are – just 13.1kg apiece. You might recognise them from the Premiére Edition, but unlike that model, the Pure does without Brembo brakes and an active sports exhaust. Both can be added, however, for £936 and £1380 respectively.