Alpine cranks the A110 up to 11

Alpine told us less is more. It lied

We fell for it. Throughout the Alpine A110’s entire gestation period – and it was protracted – the message from the minds behind the French renaissance sports car was consistent: light is right and less is more.

Alpine A110S

2019 Alpine A110S

Modest tyres, brakes and anti-roll bars, relatively soft dampers and springs, no manual gearbox option – they all helped make the Alpine lighter and more accessible at real-world speeds. ‘Yesssss!’ the world screamed in joyous unison. ‘This is what we’ve been waiting for!’

And it was – the A110 finished third in our 2018 Sports Car Giant Test, behind a Porsche costing a quarter of a million quid and a Ferrari costing a quarter of a million quid. But, inevitably, Alpine’s now decided that while less may well be more, a little more is surely a good thing.

The A110S is the range’s new flagship, sitting comfortably above both the Légende and the entry-level Pure. UK pricing isn’t confirmed but, at €66,500, don’t expect much change from £57k (the Legende costs €59,700 in France and £50,810 in the UK).

You get more power from the car’s four-cylinder turbo motor – 288bhp at 6400rpm compared to 248bhp at 6000rpm for all previous A110s, dropping the 0-62mph time by 0.1sec.

On the chassis side the ride height’s 4mm lower, the spring rates 50 per cent meatier, the dampers re-tuned accordingly and the anti-roll bars are twice as stiff as before.

In a word, Alpine’s chief engineer describes the A110S as ‘focused’ and the other versions as ‘playful’. We loved it playful.

Reflecting the car’s more serious nature are optional matt grey paint and carbon cabin detailing. A carbonfibre roof is also optional, chipping another 1.8kg from the S’s 1114kg.

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