Many would think that to go faster, one would add more power. Alpine has done exactly the opposite with its A110 R and yet improves on performance drastically.
The ‘R’ in its name stands for ‘radical’ and that it is, becoming Alpine’s fastest ever road car.
Lightweight parts, a more streamlined design and other motorsport-derived additions also add up to what will be the final car in the A110 range.
Less weight means more speed
Contributing to its new-found performance is a 34kg reduction in weight, adding up to 1082kg overall thanks to the extensive use of carbon fibre both inside and out.
The bonnet has been redesigned with the lightweight material, shedding 2.9kg, and now features two air intakes. Its wheels are also made entirely of carbon fibre which lose 12.5kg over those found on the A110 S, while the rear window has been replaced with a carbon fibre cover.
Inside the A110 R, single-shell Sabelt seats also add to the list of carbon fibre components which save a further 5kg. Both the driver and passenger are provided with six-point safety harnesses too.
Much of the exterior has taken a leaf out of the world of motorsport with the car being redesigned in a wind tunnel with higher downforce parts, providing an extra 29kg at top speed. Drag has also been reduced by 5 per cent.
Among the new components is a carbon fibre lip at the front, new sideskirts that reduce air turbulence along the car, an optimised diffuser at the rear that reduces undercarriage pressure, and a swan-neck rear spoiler that pushes the back of the car to the road.
Powerplant, chassis and performance
Under the bonnet, the A110 R makes use of the same 223kW and 340Nm 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder as found in the A110 S, while the engine is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission.
With the reduction in weight and drag, the A110 R is said to get from 0 to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds while the S model does it in around 4.8. It can also reach a top speed of 285km/h.
Chassis improvements like adjustable shock absorbers that lower the car by 10mm and stiffer springs also contribute to better handling.
Grip is handled by Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 semi-slicks which are wrapped around the A110 R’s 18-inch carbon fibre wheels.
To stop the car, 320mm diameter composite brake discs at both the front and rear are clamped by Brembo calipers. There’s also a 20 per cent improvement in brake cooling thanks to the new wheels and ducting.
Three adjustable driving modes are available as with the rest of the A110 range including Normal, Sport and Track.
What else is new?
The interior of the A110 R is made entirely of microfibre fabric while red straps replace the traditional door grab handles. The steering wheel is also upholstered in microfibre.
A unique plaque featuring the car’s silhouette has been mounted to the centre console just to remind you what you’re driving.
The A110 R will also come in a Racing Mat Blue colour which is the same as the one found on Alpine’s A522 Formula 1 car.
Launch and pricing
There’s no specific indication on where the car will be sold but we can assume New Zealand won’t likely see it.
Pricing for the A110 R has yet to be released but it’s likely to cost significantly more than the S which already costs around $NZD119,874. Orders will be available later this month.