The new Alpine A110 Legende GT adds a touch of luxury to this pint-sized sports car.
The Alpine A110 is a great sports car that has proved its credentials by taking our Coupe of the Year award for two years running. The A110 is all about lightness, agility and performance, but this new Legende GT trim level aims to add more luxury and refinement into the mix, making the Alpine even more usable.
The special-edition model is limited to 400 units globally and gets more kit and creature comforts than other versions.
For a start, from the outside, the Legende GT is more subtle. Our car’s Mercury Silver paint is new, as are the fresh, pale gold Alpine badges and 18-inch alloys with the same finish. There are also some new translucent white tail-lights, but it’s inside where the changes are more obvious.
Swing the long coupé door open and it reveals some lovely brown leather that gives the cabin a more mature look and feel. The Sabelt bucket seats still support you as well as ever, while the driving position is also familiar, because the same slight niggles with the relationship between the seat and steering wheel are present.
No matter, because there’s enough kit to draw your attention away from this. Parking sensors, a reversing camera and a seven-inch touchscreen with nav are fitted, while some glossy carbon-fibre trim elements with a copper weave and a plaque on the centre console denote Legende GT status.
It feels the most upmarket and expensive Alpine yet, and with items such as bespoke leather-trimmed fitted luggage available to boost the practicality on offer (the front and rear boots only have 96 and 100 litres of load space respectively), the Legende GT is a slightly more usable car than its siblings. But the driving experience is little different.
That is, of course, no bad thing at all, because the A110’s lightweight aluminium structure means the car doesn’t have to be too firmly sprung or heavily damped. As a result, the ride quality is better than you might have imagined from a low-slung mid-engined two-seater. It floats over scars in the road that would send a juddering thunk through the structure of an Audi TT, for example. Yet the Alpine doesn’t lack control over crests and in sharp compressions either, with the suspension tying down and supporting the French model’s elegant body well.
The A110’s softer side does also mean there’s some roll in corners – more than drivers of stiff sports cars like the Porsche 718 Cayman or the Audi TTS might be accustomed to, but that’s no bad thing either in the context of the Legende GT, because this roll also gives the car a good degree of ability to absorb bumps when the chassis is loaded up in a corner. Crucially, it doesn’t detract from the experience dynamically.
We wouldn’t go as far as to say the steering is inert, but it’s mute, even if it’s still one of the better set-ups on a sports car at this price. It’s relatively light and reflects the car’s nature, though; the A110 changes direction eagerly.
The motor is where the air of refinement takes a slight hit. The 1.8-litre turbocharged unit’s output is modest, at 186kW, but the Alpine weighs just over 1,000kg, so it doesn’t have much mass to move.
It’ll sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds, helped by the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, but while the boosty hisses from the turbo are characterful, it’s not the most tuneful engine, and it’s quite loud (there’s also some road noise to contend with, too).
The ever-present soundtrack from the engine is great for a mid-engined two-seater, but it can be more wearing on a longer journey, given this is the intended aim of this Legende GT trim.
But despite this, the A110 is a sports car through and through. You can’t change that, and we wouldn’t want to.
The upholstery enhancements, trim tweaks and more elegant look of the Legende GT have boosted what the A110 offers; in some ways it’s definitely a more luxurious car, with a subtly different feel to, say, the more hardcore A110 S. Yet you still can’t get away from the fact that it’s a thoroughbred sports car, and a brilliant one at that, even if in Legende GT form it’s pricier.