Lighter variant and also a higher-spec version of French sports car are at Geneva show; pricing puts entry-level car within £3500 of the Porsche Cayman
Alpine has launched its lightest version of the A110 sports car, the ‘Pure’, following its debut at the Geneva motor show alongside a more luxurious, higher-specced variant, named ‘Légende’. The former starts from £46,905.
The higher-spec Légende costs £50,805, meaning that both specs of the A110 sit directly in the price gap between the 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre Porsche 718 Cayman variants, which top out at £45,467 and start at £52,738 respectively.
The new A110 Pure (pictured white below), as the lighter version is called, weights just 1080kg thanks to a pared-back specifications list that does away with unnecessary luxuries. Alpine said the Pure retains the “minimalist approach” of the Premiere Edition – the trim offered with the car at launch – but that it is more “driver focused”.
For Pure spec, Alpine has ditched heavier cabin materials and use the lightest wheel option to minimise its unsprung mass. The car’s lightweight seats also form part of its diet; Pure spec will become the new entry-level version of the A110.
Drive comes from the same turbocharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine producing 249bhp and 236lb ft of torque as the Premiere Edition, so power-to-weight will be the car’s headline 231bhp/tonne – 9bhp more than arch-rival Porsche 718 Cayman.
Alongside the Pure is a new range-topping model called the Légende (painted grey here), which will be a more refined A110 better suited to everyday driving. This variant receives leather seats in black or brown, as well as a premium sound system and a more forgiving chassis set-up than the Pure. Like the Pure, the Légende will retain the launch A110’s 249bhp engine. It’s described by Alpine as more of a grand-tourer version of the lightweight sports car.
The two new variants signal the start of a line-up expansion for the A110. A probable next addition will come with more power because while the A110’s engine is shared with the Mégane RS, it falls short of the hot hatch’s power output by 33bhp. This emphasises how understressed the A110’s current motor is and suggests a more potent version of the Alpine is in the pipeline.
Further evidence for this comes with the Mégane RS, which will almost certainly be launched with more power to create a closer rival to the Honda Civic Type R, which has 316bhp. If this RS powerplant were to be offered in the future A110 variant with around 300bhp, the sports car could produce in excess of 277bhp/tonne.
Following the variants’ Geneva motor show appearances, Alpine, which is owned by Renault and based in Dieppe, will open its first UK dealers in the middle of this year. The Premiere edition of the car – the first on sale – sold out in five days as order books opened. First deliveries of the Pure and Légende models start next summer, while first Alpine customers will get there Premiere edition cars in summer 2018.