French sports-car maker Alpine has announced a number of updates for 2022 on its much-loved A110 coupé.
The model line-up has been revamped meaning that although it consists of one core car, all three versions offer their own unique driving experience. What was formerly the A110 Pure has simply become the A110, the mid-range Légende is now the GT and the more hard-edged S model remains as is.
Addressing one of the few criticisms of the A110, Alpine has updated the infotainment system across the whole range. Still using a 7.0-inch touchscreen, it now features better functionality, enhanced voice recognition and improved Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity for ease of operation while driving.
An uprated audio system is an option as is Alpine Telematics (though it's standard on the S) which includes real-time information on performance aspects such as turbo pressure, gearbox temperature, torque, power, steering wheel angle and acceleration as well as lap times for circuit driving.
The basic A110 is still a featherweight, pairing its light 1,102kg with the turbocharged 1.8-litre engine from the Renault Mégane RS producing 252hp. In a car that light, that's enough for a 4.5-second 0-100km/h time and a top speed of 274km/h.
Further up the range, the GT model is geared more towards comfort and, as the name suggests, longer-distance touring. Power is now up to 300hp meaning that the 0-100km/h time is down to 4.2 seconds and the same is true of the S model. Though both use the same 1.8-litre engine as the A110, the calibration has been changed so that the engine develops more power at higher engine speeds and the seven-speed automatic gearbox has been tweaked too.
Underscoring the track-focus of the S is the optional carbon-fibre aero package which includes a bigger rear wing and a flat floor to improve the flow of air going to the rear diffuser. As for the rest of the Alpine's adept handling, the S gets recalibrated anti-roll bars and springs, specially engineered axle geometry, 50 per cent stiffer coil springs, hollow anti-roll bars to reduce weight, a 4mm lower ride height and hydraulic steering-wheel stops for better body control. On the S model only, buyers can choose a bespoke two-tone orange and black paint scheme. Racing seats are another option as are Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 semi-slick tyres.
Is Alpine coming to Ireland?
Barely a day goes by where we don't lament the fact that Alpine doesn't have an Irish presence. But that could change in the next few years.
Alpine is currently collaborating with Lotus on a pure-electric replacement for the A110 scheduled for launch in 2024. Other models are rumoured to include a hot version of the upcoming Renault 5 as well as, inevitably, a compact SUV. As such, it won't be long before Alpine is an all-electric brand, and parent-company Renault has said that, when that's the case, Alpine will be coming to Ireland.
Although we won't get the A110 then, excitingly, we may very well get its electric replacement.