French automaker and Renault’s performance sub-brand Alpine have revealed a more focused performance-oriented version of the already excellent mid-engine A110 coupe. Called simply the A110S, the uprated car swings even more squarely at the Porsche 718 Cayman.
From its exterior, Alpine have not elected to make the A110S’ pretensions overt. In fact, telling it apart from the standard car is quite challenging if you don’t know what specifically to look for. However, when it comes to capability, the French automaker have gone to lengths to ensure it definite sets itself apart.
First of all, mounted amidship is a reworked version of the 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine. Still quite related to the one found in the Megane R.S 280 hot hatch, the Alpine version now spools more boost to produce 215kW at peak, an increase of 30kW. Torque, however, remains at 320Nm at 2,000rpm, but is now sustained up to 6,400rpm instead of 5,000rpm.
Drive is sent rearward through the same 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, but the extra grunt enables it to reach 100km/h from rest in 4.4 seconds, or 0.1s quicker than previously. Note that’s still a couple of tenths away from the 718 Cayman S with a PDK gearbox.
Alpine, instead, is more keen to combat Zuffenhausen in terms of handling and sharpness. To this end, new suspension components have been fitted such as firmer anti-roll bars and springs as well as retuned dampers to align with the new geometry set by the 4mm lowered ride height, new lightweight alloys and a bespoke compound of Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres.
The bi-material Brembo brake package with 320mm rotors that was optional in the A110 is now standard in the A110S. Interestingly though, the additions have actually had a small impact on the car’s weight, which is now 1,114kg or an increase of 11kg. Alpine did not want to recoup this by removing trim or sound deadening material, insisting it remain just as comfortable and daily drivable as before.
If you’re obsessed with saving every last gram, Alpine will still allow you to configure your A110S with a carbon fibre roof. Though this option only shaves about 2kg from the usual aluminium standard.