Alpine goes back to its roots with the new Alpine A110 Rally
The original Alpine A110 is stuff of rally legend, with a slew of European wins to its name. Now there’s a new one. This is the all-new Alpine A110 Rally.
After dominating French rallying in the late-‘60s, the diminutive sports car emerged on to the world stage in 1970, competing in the newly created International Championship for Manufacturers. Thanks to many commendable performances, such as Ove Andersson’s 1971 Monte Carlo win, the 1,600 S Group 4 guise earned a reputation as one of the strongest rally cars of its time.
As successful as the A110 was, it was beautiful. While other manufacturers of the era had moved towards the boxier look – see the runner-up Porsche 914/6, Lancia’s Fulvia 1.6 Coupé HF and the BMW 2002 Ti – the Alpine retained its elegant curves and chrome bumpers.
And so when Renault announced the revival of the A110 back in 2017, we were secretly hoping that a rally variant would follow. Finally, the French manufacturer has delivered and revealed the A110 Rally.
Unfortunately for the mere mortals among us, this is no road-going replica. Instead, the two-wheel-drive model is designated for privateer rally teams, to whom it will go on sale at the end of the year for a not-insignificant €150,000 (excluding VAT and options).
The A110 Rally will share the Signatech lightweight aluminium chassis of the GT4 and Cup variants, and features modifications to meet required rallying specificities, including three-way hydraulic suspension, new Brembo brakes, a FIA homologated roll cage and Sabelt bucket seat and six-point harness system.
An upgraded version of the A110’s four-cylinder, turbocharged 1.8-litre engine is paired to a six-speed sequential gearbox (plus reverse gear) and a limited slip differential, and puts out 300 horsepower.
Following a productive shakedown at the Lurcy-Lévis circuit, now begins an intense development process for the A110 in the hands of French Rally Champion Emmanuel Guigou and 2015 French Junior Champion Laurent Pellier. The manufacturer, meanwhile, is chasing FIA R-GT homologation, with delivery of the first units expected in early 2020.
Of the new model, Régis Fricotté, Alpine Commercial and Competition Director commented: “This return to rallying is highly anticipated as Alpine made history when it won the first-ever World Rally Championship in 1973. To ensure the success of this new adventure, we have entrusted the research and development, production and commercialization of the Alpine A110 Rally to Signatech, our partner as well in the FIA World Endurance Championship and around the Cup and GT4 programmes. The Alpine A110 Rally looks set to be a very fine car to drive and amazingly efficient.”