Alpine A110R Packs 300 HP And Weighs Less Than A Miata

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Anyone want to make a petition to lift the 25-year import ban?

After a few weeks of teasers, Alpine is finally ready to unveil its new Cayman-fighting A110R.

The small sports car is something we won't ever touch as Americans, but a commitment to a lightweight, simple sports car anywhere on the planet must be celebrated. This is not just some Lotus ideals tossed at a French car no one has ever heard of.

This car is intended to distill everything the Alpine brand represents, namely, outright performance, from its F1 efforts to the full A110 range. But we've left out the best part, aside from the matte blue paint right off Alonso's Alpine. This tiny featherweight makes 300 horsepower and weighs a hilariously light 2,385 pounds. That's lighter than a Miata RF, with nearly twice the power.

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Alpine says some of the parts on the A110R are a first for the whole A110 range, redesigned specifically for this track day special. That includes the hood, rear window, and diffuser. Together, those changes and many other lightweight and carbon fiber components bring the curb weight down by nearly 75 lbs over the standard A110.

Other lightweight-related changes include the carbon bucket seats and the removal of noise insulation from the engine bay. We said earlier that the 110R didn't sound very "motorsport" from the outside, but it'll undoubtedly sound that way from the inside.

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The panel surrounding the rear glass has been swapped with aluminum, and the hood is now made entirely of carbon fiber. If you hadn't noticed already, the wheels are carbon fiber, which Porsche doesn't even offer on the Cayman. The rear wing is supposed to be as light as possible on top of that, with weight removed wherever possible.

Alpine also focused on agility, working with its F1 engineers to push the new aero elements to their max while wholly overhauling the chassis for better response and rigidity. If you ask Alpine, it worked.

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In addition to riding 0.4 inches lower on custom Sachs dampers, the new package, which includes the wing, rear diffuser, flat underbody, wheels, and side skirts., boost downforce and reduce drag. It's an aerodynamicist's wet dream, pushing 63 lbs. more downforce at top speed than the A110S. It's also 5% more slippery in Track mode.

Larger 12.4-inch rotors and new calipers now handle braking. To return to the dampers, those are now 10% stiffer overall, with new roll bars stiffer by 10 and 25% at the front and rear, respectively. The tires are new Michelin PS Cup 2s, which provide a claimed 15% uptick in cornering Gs.

The result is a 0-60 sprint of just 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 177 mph. With any luck, we'll live to see one manage that on US soil. For now, all we can do is a dream.

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