Read Caroline’s Alpine A110 review for everything you need to know about what it is like to drive a legendary Alpine sports car on Irish roads!

Alpine made a spectacular return in 2017 when it took the covers off the new A110 sports car. Inspired by the original lightweight A110 sports car of the 1960s and 1970s, the new A110 has since spawned a number of more hardcore variants including the A110 S and the A110 R. None of which are officially on sale in Ireland. Though it’s likely that the Alpine brand will begin to establish a presence here soon.

That’s because within the Renault Group, Alpine is set to take off where Renault Sport left off and become the French carmaker’s performance brand with a range of sporty, electric models planned. Yes, that’s right – the future of Alpine is electric!

But for now, Renault Ireland lent me their 2019 Alpine A110 to discover a little more about what Alpine has to offer and what the future might hold for this iconic brand.

The Alpine A110
The Alpine A110


The Alpine A110 is just gorgeous whatever way you look at it. Low and sleek, the design is very much inspired by the original A110 Berlinette with lots of nostalgic nods to its predecessor – the twin front headlights, bonnet spine, and wraparound rear screen. The silhouette is classic A110 and finished in Alpine Blue, this car commands attention wherever it goes. The French tricolour badges on each side are a neat touch. The A110 Légende GT sits on 18-inch alloy wheels with blue brake calipers. If you’re bored of the Porsche Cayman or Audi TT S, then the A110 is a refreshing alternative.


Inside, the cabin of the A110 is snug and sporty There are a set of gorgeous sports seats, which have been designed to be lightweight. There’s lots of nice quilting in the door panels and Alcantara that lends a luxury feel. The overall quality is no match for rivals like the Cayman or TT, but the sight of the sporty silver paddles behind the new Alpine steering wheel, big red sport button and aluminium pedals are enough to build the atmosphere before you’ve hit the start button. There’s also a bespoke digital instrument cluster that changes the view depending on which driving mode you’re in. There are also comfort features like heated seats, reversing camera and climate control. The 7-inch infotainment screen is far from impressive for a sports car like the A110, but newer versions at least come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The cabin of the A110
The cabin of the A110


There’s not much storage space in the cabin of the Alpine. The boot offers a very shallow 96 litres. There’s an extra 100 litres under the bonnet. But overall you might struggle to pack the A110 for a weekend away!


For now, the A110 uses good, old-fashioned petrol power. The mid-engined sports car uses the same 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine as the mighty Renault Mégane RS. It’s been tweaked for the Alpine and puts out 252hp and 320Nm of torque. Power goes to the rear wheels via a seven speed dual clutch transmission. There are paddles behind the steering wheel so you can shift gears manually if you wish.


The Alpine has been designed to save as much weight as possible. It’s made from aluminium and weighs just 1,100kg, which is about 300kg lighter than the Porsche Cayman. On the road, it’s simple and fun to drive with a tactile feeling to the controls and the way it takes on corners. The lightness is truly breath-taking and the little Alpine cuts through corners with real grace and elegance. The steering responds quickly with no artificial heaviness numbing the sensations reaching the rim. Driving the Alpine is pure joy! It’s quick when you do give it full throttle, sprinting to 100km/h in just 4.5 seconds. In Sport mode the engine gets a bit more vocal, with more pops and bangs to accompany your sporty driving. The A110 will cruise effortlessly on bigger roads though the suspension is quite firm over bumps and ruts in the road surface. It’s quite light on fuel for a sports car too with over 40mpg possible.

The A110 uses a mid-engined, 1.8 litre petrol engine
The A110 uses a mid-engined, 1.8 litre petrol engine


The A110 tested would retail from about €85,000 if it was officially on sale in Ireland.


Alpine has committed to an electric future with more sporty electric models planned including an electric replacement for the epic A110. Modern-day Alpine has found an exciting niche in the Renault fold and it feels like this is a brand very much in ascent again.  The Alpine A110 is a brilliant sports car that captures all the fun of a lightweight, mid-engined sports car. Alpine’s impeccable racing heritage shines through in this car’s emotive good looks, raspy engine note and playful handling. I can’t wait to see what comes next from this brand!


Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year

The Alpine A110 is a brilliant sports car
The Alpine A110 is a brilliant sports car