Alpine A110 R is lighter than an MX-5


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Track-ready Alpine A110 R ‘Radical’ revealed with a performance boost and light-weight focus.

Alpine has crowned the Alpine A110 line-up with a stripped-back, hardcore variant with weight and performance figures that would usually be the preserve of lightweight, open-wheel track-day cars.

Called the A110 R – for ‘radical’ – it has been devised as a no-compromise, circuit-oriented plaything heavily inspired by Alpine’s involvement in motorsport.

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Sitting above the entry-level A110, mid-rung GT and stiffened S (and thus likely to be priced above £70,000/AUD$125,000), the R will complete the core A110 family when it goes on sale later this month. However, the Alpine A110 was removed from sale in Australia 12 months ago due to updated ADR rules regarding side-impact crash ratings.

With hot laps at the top of its agenda, it weighs just 1082kg – down 34kg on the “already very light” A110 S and lighter, even, than the latest iteration of the 2.0-litre Mazda MX-5.

Mass has been shed chiefly by the fitment of lighter bucket seats, the removal of noise insulation from the engine bay, the swapping of the glass rear panel for an aluminium item and the use of carbon fibre for the bonnet, wheels and new-shape rear ‘window’ panel.

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But it’s the enhanced focus on dynamic agility that marks the R out most obviously from its stablemates. In consultation with Alpine’s Formula 1 engineers at Enstone, the team at Les Ulis has created a much more purposeful aero package, while overhauling the chassis for maximum stiffness and response.

The new swan-neck spoiler, rear diffuser, flat undercarriage, flat front wheel-face designs and reshaped side skirts combine to boost downforce (by up to 29kg at top speed over the A110 S) and reduce drag (by 5 per cent in Track mode) for both a higher top speed and greater stability in corners.

It’s also 10mm lower than the A110 S as standard, and the hydraulically adjustable Sachs dampers give a further 10mm drop for the “ultimate on-track experience”. Alpine has also increased the spring stiffness at each end by 10 per cent, the front anti-roll bar by 10 per cent and the rear one by 25 per cent, as well as fitting semi-slick Michelin PS Cup 2 rubber claimed to boost cornering grip by 15 per cent while improving on-track durability.

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Stopping power comes from beefier, 320mm composite discs from Brembo on each corner, for which Alpine designed bespoke cooling scoops behind the front bumper to ensure consistent performance under load.

Drivetrain changes are comparatively subtle. The R uses the same 221kW turbo 1.8-litre four-pot engine and seven-speed wet-clutch automatic gearbox as the S, although the exhaust has been tweaked to give “a roar that is readily recognisable as a sound signature worthy of the Alpine name”.

The aero and weight modifications add up to tangible performance gains. Alpine claims a 0-100km/h time of 3.9sec – 0.3sec quicker than the S – and a 285km/h top speed.

The package is rounded off by a new bespoke matt blue paint option that matches the Alpine F1 car’s colour, while the carbon fibre roof panel is left exposed. Inside, liberal use of microfibre, six-point racing harnesses and pull straps instead of door handles mark this out as a track-focused car.

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