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Propulsion Test Report: Alpine A110


It's not the most powerful nor the most powerful. But the Alpine A110 remains one of the most fun sports of the modern era.

Accounting, history, code of the road, computer science, economics ... these are some of the topics addressed by the collection of textbooks "For Dummies", popular works published since the 1990s, and supposed to inform and answer the questions of 'inexperienced users. In the world of sports cars with rear-wheel drive, it is Alpine who takes on this role.

It teaches us, perfect our reflexes and answers questions like "how to slide out curve?" Because with the A110, everything seems easy, everything looks great. A few laps are enough to assimilate his instructions: flirt with the limit of adhesion and let go of the gases. Better yet: load the front axle by applying the brakes late, when the car is already in support towards the next turn. Every time, it works. The rear axle seems to want to pass in front. Certainly, many sports can boast to do the same.

But the secret of the French is in its ease of handling, and ability to take the bar. Thus, even without completely disconnecting the anti-skid, which could lead "dummies" (which I belong to) to a spin or a runway, the track mode of the A110 can slide generously. But, like the nanny watching you out of the corner of your eye, the Alpine catches up with you just before you commit the mistake: when the rear axle goes too far, it calms its heat and contains the drift, without stopping it. . A real treat, which gives the feeling of being a pilot, a real one.

However, some will blame this sporty extreme mobility, surprising for a modern car. His ability to slide on the winding paths does not serve, indeed, efficiency. But what's the point of being the fastest on a lap, when you have the most fun? For my part, I prefer a pleasure of driving enthusiasm to a cold efficiency.

With "only" 252 hp, the Alpine could be nibbled by sports compact, even by heavy sedans overpowering. But none of them come close to the A110 in terms of fun. To display such a character, the dieppoise relies on a city model (4,18 m), a limited weight (1,100 kg), obtained thanks to its aluminum structure, which also contributes to offer a certain longevity to its narrow tires (235/40 R18 at the rear), even when mistreated. It also uses a suspension (double triangle on each axle) rather flexible, which generates a rare comfort in the world of sports and allows to consider a long weekend without risking the compression of vertebrae.

Behind the seats, it houses a small 1.8-liter four-cylinder turbo which is not prestigious, but which is melodious, not stingy in the backslide, sparkling, full as an egg and always ready to take the altitude, until the 7000 rpm approach. To make it go down again, it is only necessary to put a flick in the (too small) pallet of right, which controls the transmission EDC7, exemplary of softness in normal mode, and generates jolts profitable to the feelings in driving sporty, with
transmission times reduced to 260 milliseconds.

Not really intended for "dummies", but rather for lovers of sensations, the French is not only for rich people either. Offered from € 55,800, it displays one of the best price / feel of the market. So, too bad if some regrettable finishing details come to tarnish a charming cabin, on board which one would be well spent a few years ...

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