Light, lithe, agile and athletic, the Alpine A110 can easily twirl and dance its way into a petrolhead’s heart.
AT this moment, the Alpine A110 is, in all likelihood, the best little sports car you can acquire in Singapore.
Yes, you read that right. And no, I am not exaggerating.
Before we continue, here’s a quick Alpine (pronounced “al-peen”) history lesson.
Alpine is a French carmaker that specialises in manufacturing sports cars and racecars.
Throughout their history, they had a close association with Renault, which acquired them more than 40 years ago.
History lesson over. Back to the present-day.
Now, what makes a sports car awesome?
This is a question that causes arguments (and perhaps the end of a few friendships) among petrolheads.
All will opine that the car must evoke strong emotions.
Some will say that it must have a powerful engine, manual gearbox and rear-wheel-drive.
Others will shout about the car needing to be lightweight and responsive.
You will hear purists insisting that the motor must be naturally aspirated.
Then the powerplant argument will ensue, with people fighting over the “best” engine. Flat-6, V8, V6, inline-6, V12, V10… the debate will go on forever.
There is merit to all of these answers and opinions.
So what makes the A110 a fantastic drive?
Short answer: It has almost all the traits that one would desire in a sports car.
It has a mid-engine, rearwheel-drive layout.
It has road presence despite its diminutive size (overall length is just 4.18 metres).
The A110’s cockpit is an enthusiast’s dream space.
It features a pair of Sabelt bucket seats (which weigh 14kg each), a wonderful driving position and a small diameter steering wheel.
I love the toggle switches (despite being plastic) that switch on/off the stop-start function and unlock the doors.
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July - August 2019