It’s the eternal dilemma: what type of transmission gives the most driving pleasure? To (re) get an idea, we took front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive on the track.
Fromthen its release in winter 2017, we never stop praising it. And rightly so. Because this Alpine is devilishly born, in Dieppe, on the Normandy coast. Easy, skillful and docile, this rear mid-engine propulsion is, by far, among the three competing models, the one with which we have the most fun behind the wheel. To the point of having asked Arthur and Laurent to agree to lend me their Japanese and Germanic mount to allow me to touch the ground again. In exchange for which I gave them the Alpine, the time of a few laps on the very technical layout of the Circuit de Mornay …
But why on earth does this Alpine appeal to driving enthusiasts so much? It all starts with reduced weight. With only 1,123 kg on the scale, 25 more than the
Pure version, this A110 Légende does not need large displacement or multiple turbos to make the powder speak. The 252 hp and 320 Nm of the 1.8 turbo 4-cylinder installed in the rear central position allow the dieppoise to post very flattering times., with a 0 to 100 km / h shot in 4 ”5 and a 1000 m standing start in 23” 2. All in a relatively angry sound, which contributes to the racing atmosphere.
But this is nothing compared to the ease and pleasure of driving it provides. With it, the days of hard-to-drive propulsions at a fast pace on winding roads or circuits are definitely over. At the wheel of the Dieppoise, the driver-pilot feels himself growing wings, experiencing intense pleasure in increasing the pace. With a front-to-rear weight distribution set at 44% -56%, the Alpine reveals a very good balance, reinforced by rear-wheel drive, guaranteeing the best mode of transmission for a sports car. In addition to offering traction that is difficult to fault, the propulsion indeed allows some less obvious figures of style to be achieved at the controls of a traction or an all-wheel drive.. Healthy, even at high speed in tight sequences, the small tricolor coupe becomes the king of drift once all the driving aids have been disconnected. Certainly, a minimum of attention is needed. But it is undoubtedly the only model, alongside the Ford Mustang 5.0 V8, for which a modest level of driving is enough to catch a smile on the driver, with slips of the rear axle. We have fun without ever going overboard, nor without damaging the car too much thanks to consumables (brake pads, discs, tires, etc.) which will wear out less quickly than on a heavier car.
We like less
… That the pleasure cannot be shared by more than two. In our wildest dreams, we would like Alpine to develop a four-seater version, or 2 + 2 like a Porsche 911, in order to leave with the family. A wish called to remain pious, unfortunately. “Essential” sportswoman, the Alpine does not spare the wallet. The range starts at € 58,000 in the Pure version, reaching € 62,100 in this elegant Légende version, dressed in chocolate leather. Even € 69,100 in the S version (292 hp), certainly more efficient, but less playful, because more firmly suspended. Finally, some fussy enthusiasts will rail against orders from the large Renault series and a multimedia system with slow operation and dated graphics.
Using the most suitable propulsion mode for driving pleasure, the Alpine is a must for everyday use, thanks to very reasonable comfort. But only two, and with
a relatively salty addition.
“At the limit” with Pierre Petit, racing driver
Lap time A110 1:08
“The rear comes by itself! In placement, it is extraordinary, even in the event of slight understeer, it suffices to release slightly for it to resume guidance. On moderately fast corners, on the other hand, the damping is too flexible and it picks up a bit. But that’s also what allows it to be extra in slow corners. The box is correct, responds present, and quite easily accepts downshifts. We feel that it is light. She is very playful and has kept her original spirit« .
Alpine A110 Legend: the technique
Engine: central rear, 4-cylinder, turbo, petrol, direct injection, 16 valves.
Transmission: AR, robotized double clutch 7 speeds.
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 252 to 6,000
Torque (Nm at rpm): 320 to 2,000
Weight (kg): 1,123
Max speed (km / h): 250
0 to 100 km / h / 1,000 m DA (s): 4.5 / 23.2
CO2 (g/km)/malus: 152-158/740-1 276 €
Avg. const / AM (l / 100 km): 7 / 8.1
Tires AV-AR: 205/40 ZR18-235 / 40 ZR 18
Test tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4
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