We will not mince words in calling the Renault Alpine A110 something very different. On the surface it’s perfectly straightforward, a compact two seat coupe in the mold of the Porsche Cayman and Audi TT. But underneath the new A110 is perhaps the world’s best example of the virtuous circle approach to automotive engineering.
Its designers did the work from the ground up. It has an aluminium body and chassis that makes it ultimately an aluminium suspended sports car that has a modest 1.8-liter turbocharged four cylinder engine developing 249 bhp and 236 lb ft of torque at 2,000 rpm. It rides on the rear wheels via a seven-speed Getrag double clutch gearbox.
This great Alpine thing revs from 0 to 62 mph in a rapid 4.5 seconds before eventually hitting 155 mph. As far as the low weight is concerned Alpine’s chassis technical leader, Thierry Annequin gives an insight.
He says, “We have tried to follow Colin Chapman’s principle, which is still valid, so if we have low mass, we can have moderate power, so we don’t need super wide tires or big, heavy brakes and so on.” He adds, “We have chased all the grams everywhere on each component and each system to achieve this weight.”
Renault has taken chances with this one especially at a time when automakers aren’t sleeping in a bid to beat competition. It is seemingly destined for greatness.
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