Welcome to the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club Thursday December 12, 2019
Home Forums Images WikiNASIOC Products Store Modifications Upgrade Garage
NASIOC
Go Back   NASIOC > NASIOC General > News & Rumors > Non-Subaru News & Rumors

Welcome to NASIOC - The world's largest online community for Subaru enthusiasts!
Welcome to the NASIOC.com Subaru forum.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, free of charge, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.







* As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads. 
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-08-2017, 04:57 PM   #26
torquemada
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 128484
Join Date: Oct 2006
Chapter/Region: International
Location: Germany
Vehicle:
2006 EDM WRX STI
WRB

Default

* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
torquemada is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
Old 12-08-2017, 05:02 PM   #27
Obviously Tyler
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 395955
Join Date: Jul 2014
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Bucks County, PA
Vehicle:
2019 Mazda 3 Premium
1999 Miata 5MT

Default

That thing sounds pretty good. And looks very fast.
Obviously Tyler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2017, 08:10 PM   #28
Dex
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 163775
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Getting schwifty
Vehicle:
2014 Ford Fiester ST
Murica Red

Default

I understand not putting manual options in cars like the M5 (oh, here we go again) but cars like this and the 4C beg to have the option! Such a pitty, it's like seeing a hot chick who smokes: Sure I'd hit it, but... It's a shame. Anyways, besides that, It's a fantastic looking and sounding car, but I'd still take the Cayman, and probably only because of the manual.

Last edited by Dex; 12-08-2017 at 08:33 PM.
Dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2017, 08:24 PM   #29
4S-TURBO
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 67807
Join Date: Aug 2004
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: who the hell makes those
Vehicle:
.... missiles - when
they know wat they can do

Default

Here's Nissan's Z car replacement ready to go! :yes:
4S-TURBO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2017, 03:52 PM   #30
torquemada
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 128484
Join Date: Oct 2006
Chapter/Region: International
Location: Germany
Vehicle:
2006 EDM WRX STI
WRB

Default

torquemada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2017, 01:15 PM   #31
torquemada
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 128484
Join Date: Oct 2006
Chapter/Region: International
Location: Germany
Vehicle:
2006 EDM WRX STI
WRB

Default

torquemada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2018, 03:04 PM   #32
torquemada
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 128484
Join Date: Oct 2006
Chapter/Region: International
Location: Germany
Vehicle:
2006 EDM WRX STI
WRB

Default

torquemada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2018, 04:20 PM   #33
KC
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 442
Join Date: Oct 1999
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: RI/SE Mass
Vehicle:
17 Imp Spurt
00 S2k

Default

It just crossed my mind what this car sort of looks like... a replacement/updated DelSol.

--kC
(And I feel bad for having said it, but ... it does)
KC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2018, 04:45 PM   #34
unclemat
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 114530
Join Date: May 2006
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: MA
Vehicle:
2005 LGT 6MT wagon

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dex View Post
I understand not putting manual options in cars like the M5 (oh, here we go again) but cars like this and the 4C beg to have the option! Such a pitty, it's like seeing a hot chick who smokes: Sure I'd hit it, but... It's a shame. Anyways, besides that, It's a fantastic looking and sounding car, but I'd still take the Cayman, and probably only because of the manual.
Like the comparison, lol.

Agree, no manual, no care. Not that it matters in the U.S.
unclemat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2018, 06:11 PM   #35
Keshav
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 1654
Join Date: Jun 2000
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Vehicle:
2019 GoCycle GX
MV Agusta Brutale S

Default

1080 kilos. Hells yes.

only have to wait 25 years to import one. I'm starting a fund now.
Keshav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2018, 02:29 PM   #36
Masterauto
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 198376
Join Date: Dec 2008
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Delaware
Vehicle:
18 Alfa GiuliaTi S
LOTUS Esprit ES, ML TDI

Default

A nice straight 6cyl T 3.0 would move this car to head of the pack Cayman/Boxter. but 1.8 4 banger puts it against BRZ/FRS
Methinks the Honda Civic Type R would beat it handily. Forget what the reviewers say caused they are paid for opinions.
Masterauto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2018, 04:23 PM   #37
torquemada
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 128484
Join Date: Oct 2006
Chapter/Region: International
Location: Germany
Vehicle:
2006 EDM WRX STI
WRB

Default



https://www.topgear.com/car-news/her...nd-alpine-fire

Quote:
Last week, Top Gear telly was filming on a closed section of the Monte Carlo Rally’s SS17 stage with four rally cars, and a pre-production Alpine sports car.

Unfortunately, an incident during filming meant both Chris Harris and co-driver Eddie Jordan were forced to pull over and exit the vehicle, having been advised that flames were coming from the bottom of the car.

Neither presenter was injured, but unfortunately fire crews were unable to contain the fire, resulting in the loss of the Alpine.

The cause of the fire is currently being investigated.
Chris Harris said: “I first realised I needed to get out when I opened the door and the flames went up my arm.

“Sadly the car was lost and it always makes me sad to see a beautiful car destroyed.”

Eddie Jordan said: “Doing a stage of the Monte Carlo Rally was a dream come true for me. The car was stunning – so light on its toes. It was dancing around the mountain and Chris was driving it beautifully.

“It’s such a shame we didn’t finish the test, but these things happen,” he added.
torquemada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2018, 04:28 PM   #38
Obviously Tyler
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 395955
Join Date: Jul 2014
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Bucks County, PA
Vehicle:
2019 Mazda 3 Premium
1999 Miata 5MT

Default

Ouch. Glad they're okay. That's a shame.
Obviously Tyler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2018, 06:14 PM   #39
Keshav
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 1654
Join Date: Jun 2000
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Vehicle:
2019 GoCycle GX
MV Agusta Brutale S

Default

The new External-Combustion Engine keeps hitting these issues in testing. You have to wonder if it will ever make i to production.
Keshav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2018, 08:10 AM   #40
Sid03SVT
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 183032
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: CT
Vehicle:
1983 HeelToeExpress
changes daily

Default

Interested to hear why it caught fire; glad they got out okay.
Sid03SVT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2018, 09:30 AM   #41
mhoward1
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 9481
Join Date: Aug 2001
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: FFR Challenge #43
Vehicle:
1832 Steam Buggy
Wood

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keshav View Post
The new External-Combustion Engine keeps hitting these issues in testing. You have to wonder if it will ever make i to production.
Its the hottest thing going right now.

In truth though, Ferrari is a few years ahead in this new tech.
mhoward1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2018, 11:53 AM   #42
AVANTI R5
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 73805
Join Date: Nov 2004
Default Alpine A110 Premiere Edition price confirmed as £51,805

Alpine A110 Premiere Edition price confirmed as £51,805
First version of new sports car weighs in at 1080kg and its power-to-weight ratio eclipses that of the Porsche 718 Cayman; it' already sold out

Alpine has confirmed that its A110 Première Édition costs from £51,805, although all 1955 examples of this launch variant have sold out.

That price ranks the new sports car almost directly alongside its main rival, the Porsche 718 Cayman S, which costs just £48 more and has near identical performance figures.

The Première Édition will be followed by two more versions, the lighter Pure and more luxurious Légende. The former will become the entry-level A110, while the Légende will sit above it. Both will be cheaper than the Première Édition.

2018 Alpine A110 review



To kick-start sales for its new sports car in the UK, Alpine will open seven centres here starting from the second quarter of 2018, with sites confirmed for major locations including London, Manchester and Glasgow.

Although some of these will leverage dealers already involved with the reborn French brand's parent, Renault, each site will have Alpine-exclusive representatives. The UK's first customer cars will arrive alongside the opening of these sites, which also include Orpington, Solihull, St Albans and Winchester.



The inspiration for the A110's handling-focused philosophy came from Alpine’s heritage, with the Renault offshoot having cemented its reputation in the 1960s and 70s through giant-killing performances in racing and rallying, most notably with victories in world rallying and at Le Mans.

However, while the new A110 revives the name of the car that Alpine is most famous for historically, its then-head of engineering David Twohig, told Autocar earlier this year: “It’s inspired by our history, especially with that emphasis on light steering and a car that turns around you, but above all it’s a thoroughly modern sports car.”

The A110 is powered by a turbocharged 249bhp 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine producing 236lb ft of torque, transversely mounted and located mid to rear in the rear-drive car. This is inked to a wet-clutch seven-speed paddle shift transmission.

The A110 weighs 1080kg at the kerb and has a power-to-weight ratio of 231bhp/tonne. The entry-level 718 Cayman has 296bhp and weighs 1335kg (a power-to-weight ratio of 222bhp/tonne), while the 718 Cayman S has 345bhp and weighs 1460kg (236bhp/tonne).

To hit the 1080kg target kerb weight, the Alpine development team created a bespoke aluminium chassis after studying the potential for a combined steel and carbon fibre structure. “We did the maths with aluminium and got the answers we wanted,” Twohig said. “The key decisions lay in the structure’s mass, weight and torsional stiffness, and the next consideration was achieving top-notch fit and finish; carbon fibre or steel structures don’t allow the same quality.”




The A110 is unusually compact, at 4.18m long, 1.80m wide and 1.25m height. Weight distribution is 44:56 front to rear, aided significantly by the decision to locate the fuel tank in the front of the car. However, there is space for two 190cm-tall adults and limited luggage space. The car’s compact size does bring compromises - there is no glovebox, for example.

Other weight-saving initiatives include Sabelt-developed seats, which have a fixed back but slide fore and aft. They weigh 13.1kg each, around half that of the seats in the Renault Mégane RS. Twohig says Alpine has achieved this without compromising comfort. The windscreen cleaning system also channels water through the wiper blades, making it significantly more efficient than a traditional system, in turn allowing for a washer bottle less than half the size normally used. And the Brembo-developed electronic parking brake is also a world-first, in using the main brake set rather than an additional one and saving 5kg in doing so.



The A110 can cover 0-62mph in 4.5sec, eclipsing both the 718 Cayman’s 5.1sec and 718 Cayman S’s 4.6sec. However, Twohig said his team - including many Renault Sport staff - were told to focus was on agility over pace, and to that end specified double wishbone suspension at the front and back of the car, developed its own gear ratios for the semi-automatic Getrag gearbox, specified deliberately small tyres and developed an electronic differential for different driving modes and an aerodynamic diffuser to create downforce without compromising the rear-end styling. The steering is power-assisted.

“The all-aluminium forged suspension was a no-compromise decision to get agility and suppleness; we wanted the best,” Twohig said. “The decision to develop our own gear sets was harder - or at least more expensive - but we knew it was the only way to get the car we wanted. Throughout this project we concentrated on doing it right, so that meant custom pinion sets, a wet clutch, a latest seven-speed gearbox, launch control and three proper driving modes - Normal, Sport and Track - that have a distinct character across the engine and pedal maps and the active exhaust, and the option to go beyond Track and switch ESC completely off.

“The electronic solutions meant we didn’t need a limited slip diff. It would have added weight and complexity, where the reality is that an e-diff set-up can handle these power levels perfectly well. I’ve tested it and I can promise you that you can get some pretty big angles in Track mode without it feeling like it's about to bite you. This is a car that flatters.”



The Michelin Pilot Sport tyres are wrapped around 18in wheels on the launch car, with 235 section rear tyres and 205 section fronts, but 17s (225 rear and 195 front) will be standard on the later variants. “We could have gone bigger to make it look good, but the tyres look just fine and their performance matches the weight, power and torque we have. We didn’t want loads of mechanical grip; we wanted a car that's mobile and which slides relatively easily under the right circumstances.”

The rear underbody diffuser was developed after the A110's designers resisted pressure to put a rear spoiler on the car. “The rear lines are beautiful, so we looked at solutions,” said Twohig. “We could have done a pop-up spoiler, but that meant adding complexity, weight and cost. So we worked on an aerodynamic solution along the car’s floor, with the eight strakes channelling the air to cut lift. We think it’s the only car on sale that will do 155mph without needing a spoiler.”

The A110 is available in blue, black or white.



AVANTI R5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2018, 01:16 AM   #43
Calamity Jesus
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 44501
Join Date: Oct 2003
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Yeah, well, you know
Vehicle:
that 's, like, your
alternate facts, man.

Default

Calamity Jesus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2018, 01:50 AM   #44
godfather2112
Papi Chulo
Moderator
 
Member#: 53794
Join Date: Jan 2004
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: Boner kill city
Vehicle:
... 2017 BMW M2
2017 F-150

Default

I’d rather pick up a Jaguar F Type. It looks better, sounds better, and performs better.
godfather2112 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2018, 04:44 PM   #45
Hondaslayer
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 4562
Join Date: Feb 2001
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Auburn, WA
Vehicle:
2014 Electric Datsun
2005 Adventure van

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by godfather2112 View Post
I’d rather pick up a Jaguar F Type. It looks better, sounds better, and performs better.
Depends on needs.

It's like comparing a Miata and a Mustang.

Can't really go wrong with either.
Hondaslayer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 08:12 AM   #46
AVANTI R5
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 73805
Join Date: Nov 2004
Default Rally legends tested: Alpine A110 vs Abarth 124 Spider vs Ford Focus RS



Quote:


Rally legends tested: Alpine A110 vs Abarth 124 Spider vs Ford Focus RS


We've driven the modern-day equivalents of cars that topped rallying’s world championship 45 years ago

It was January 1973. Sideburns were big, shirts were tight, cigarettes were sexy and motorsport was ballsier than a team-sports convention in a soft play area.

Sure, the UK was still suffering from the extreme trauma of having Little Jimmy Osmond’s Long Haired Lover from Liverpool at number one for almost a month, but we had things to look forward to. David Bowie would release Life on Mars as a single, Jackie Stewart would win his third Formula 1 championship and rallying’s pinnacle series would become known as the WRC for the first time.

The inaugural FIA World Rally Championship was the making of Alpine-Renault and its strikingly beautiful A110. Of the top 10 cars in the first WRC rally – set in Monte Carlo, naturally – six were Alpine-Renault A110s.

The only other protagonists that punctuated Alpine’s domination over that year included the BMW 2002 Tii, Saab 96 V4 and Datsun 240Z, but there were only two other cars that could really worry the Alpine: the Fiat 124 Abarth Rallye and Ford Escort RS1600.

Our Verdict

France’s revered sports car brand is back and chasing some heavyweight scalps

Day 1: Great Orme

It’s the Ford I’m dwelling on most as I stand looking down the snaking coastal wall of Marine Drive on the Great Orme peninsul which will host one stage of this year’s Rally GB.

The DNA in the modern, road- going successors to those three 1973 WRC cars is easily traceable to that fabled era of motorsport, but none has undergone the dramatic morphosis that the Ford Focus, née Escort, has had. It sits here in limited Heritage Edition – huge, orange and brutalist next to the slimline silhouettes of the Alpine A110 and Abarth 124 GT.

Put a 1973 Escort next to the 2018 Focus RS and Marvel Comics would be impressed at the transformation. It was, in fact, the Escort RS1600 that proved untouchable even to Alpine in the British WRC round in 1973. And having experienced the way today’s Focus RS Heritage Edition charges down Marine Drive as if the next corner has personally offended it, I’d put money on it being the fastest of our three rally-derived stooges today too – certainly over most real-world terrain – despite the Alpine’s identical 0-62mph time of 4.5sec.

Although we’ve grouped our three modern rally-bred heroes together for their shared history, it’s their future that’s pertinent, and that of today’s WRC and – more specifically – the Wales Rally GB.



There’s an increasing sense of showmanship to the WRC that suits our vehicular show-offs. For the first time in the rally’s history, it will run on closed public roads right into the centre of Llandudno, a cheerful, bunting and candyfloss kind of place that’ll form a uniquely British contrast to the fire and brimstone spectacle of a WRC car in proper use.

The Focus RS feels like a fire and brimstone kind of car if you want it to, especially with the Mountune tweaks and Quaife limited-slip diff of the Heritage Edition. In fact, the Focus is the only car here that really does drive like a rally car as we know it, with its super-aggressive yet mobile four-wheel-drive handling.

The Alpine feels much, much closer to its historic roots. Perhaps a few decades of dormancy will do that to a brand. I’d already done more than four hours and 250 miles of gritty-eyed dawn-watching in the Alpine, but notably it had left me only wanting to spend even more time with it, and I couldn’t have hoped for a better place to do so The Great Orme peninsular is so stunning that it actually looks like a James Bond car chase backdrop, with its long-sighted, wall-lined road ribboning off into an ocean horizon.

But for all the road’s magnificence, the Alpine humbles it. There’s an instantaneous lightness of touch here that I haven’t experienced in any modern car other than a Lotus. The A110 seems to levitate down the road with barely any conscious thought or effort, yet you feel totally keyed into it. Absorbed. As if you’ve plugged in a shared cerebral ECU.



By contrast, the Abarth is quite old-school. Or perhaps straightforward is a more appropriate word, I ponder, as I chuck it through the downhill curves of Great Orme, back along the Brighton-esque seafront and past the roundabout where the WRC cars will no doubt be flaming and sideways.

After all, the Alpine is mid-engined (unlike its rear-engined ancestor), with an all-aluminium construction, built in the most modern fashion, with the most modern materials in order to save every last ounce from its frame. The Focus, while about to be tucked into the history archives, has a fancy four-wheel-drive system and even fancier electronics that give it a chameleon-like ability to change its face for any occasion. It’s modern by any standard.

The 124 GT, however, is a simple monocoque chassis, 168bhp 1.4-litre turbocharged engine up front, two seats set rearward, and a manual, fabric roof beneath the removable carbonfibre hard-top. That roof is what makes this a 124 GT rather than a Spider and is really the only very modern thing about it materially.

Yet the simplicity is what makes the Abarth so appealing. Who the hell doesn’t want a small, zingy, affordable rear-wheel-drive convertible? I certainly do.




There’s a real bullishness to the Abarth that’s as evident in the muddle of Llandudno’s busy roads as it was on Great Orme. It’s the devil on your shoulder, always urging you to blip the throttle and make more noise (not hard, given the rudely brilliant, standard Record Monza exhaust). There’s nothing of the Mazda MX-5’s gentle Sunday stroll sort of fun in the 124 GT, and everything of Abarth’s trademark flamboyant naughtiness.

All of which makes you think that the Abarth would be perfect for our next stop-off: basically a horse-based Nascar circuit.

Tir Prince Raceway:

Tir Prince Raceway is the opening stage for the 11th round of the 2018 WRC – the Wales Rally GB. It’s an opportunity for rally fans to go and watch WRC cars and their star drivers doing big jumps and even bigger drifts, with fireworks and fairground rides thrown in. It’s Rally GB’s version of the Olympics opening ceremony, only with more bumper cars and fewer tedious national anthems.

Even without all the fanfare of the rally, driving these cars on this loose-surfaced oval – usually reserved for the endearingly mad equine sport of harness racing – is about the most ludicrously entertaining evening ‘at work’ I’m ever likely to have.



Somehow, the Alpine maintains its sense of other-worldly poise, feeling perfectly balanced even when traction is at a premium. You will feel how little this car weighs before you’ve left your driveway, frankly, and here again the shortage of massis evident in the graceful way it moves about and responds to your inputs in low-traction conditions. The steering is just right, the throttle response is precise, the dual-clutch automatic gearbox responds snappily... It just feels so right, the A110. Whether you’re in a Starbucks drive-thru or on a dust bowl, it is an absolute joy.

By contrast, the Abarth’s power delivery is a bit spikier than the others and that makes it feel a touch snappy on this easy-drift surface in a way that it doesn’t on normal road surfaces. Meanwhile, the Focus is as burly and unflappable as ever. Stick it in Drift mode, throw it at the end of the bowl in second gear and keep the throttle pinned. It just muscles through, making you feel like an absolute hero despite the gorilla finesse involved.

We leave the floodlights of Tir Prince dusty, abundantly happy and desperate for a curry.


Day 2: The B4501

Following the Focus RS down the B4501, the Alpine’s sloping nose underlining the Ford’s high-vis backside as we head down a road that joins the Brenig and Alwen stages of this year’s Rally GB, is not something I’m likely to forget.

The Alpine feels faster than you might imagine, given its fairly modest power output of 249bhp. Perhaps it’s best to illustrate how quick it really is, on any sort of worthwhile road, by saying that it will keep upwith a properly driven Focus RS Mountune. As we all know, the Focus RS has the sort of giant-slaying performance that would make David and his sling look weedy, but the Alpine delivers such uncanny, textural feedback as I harry the Focus along that I have total confidence in using all of the performance from its ravenous 1.8-litre turbocharged four-pot.

Meanwhile, the plucky Abarth also feels utterly at home razzing down Welsh B-roads with its comical yet addictive exhaust note thrapping off the moors. Although there are plenty of niggles – a footrest that’s too upright, a tiny cabin that will make anyone over 6ft feel origamied, questionable refinement even with the hard-top in place, and an even more questionable price – you just can’t help but love it. It might be the slowest and coarsest of our three cars – although arguably the Focus’s tightly sprung ride is just as wearisome as the Abarth’s relentless background drone – but its performance is absolutely perfect for a typical British B-road. Enough, but not too much. I defy you to not enjoy life while you’re driving it.



Slate mountain:

So to our finale. Another new fixture on the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, to give it its full sponsorship title. And what a fixture.

There’s something achingly romantic and emotive about rallying that’s often missing in the celebrity focus of modern F1. Looking at the scenery and cars before us as I stand at the highest point of some 2000 acres of Welsh hillside, above a quarry and atop a mine, Slate Mountain makes it even more blindingly obvious than ever that the landscape is actually the heart of this sport.

Before I get so misty-eyed as to lose focus altogether, the point here is that Slate Mountain is now a brand-new, two-mile WRC special stage.

You can stand right on top of it and look down on tight hairpins and winding tracks that spear through a carpet of black slate scree.

I’d love to say that I blitzed the stage, taking on the perilously steep turns, executed some dramatic Scandinavian flicks and did my Ari Vatanen Climb Dance (if you haven’t seen it, do so immediately) impression. Sadly, of course, these cars aren’t actually rally cars. They’re on road tyres, don’t have a huge amount of ground clearance and must go back to the manufacturers in one piece and without needing a respray. Reality bites.



From just a moderate blat around this spectacularly fast and twisty course, on top of all our other time with them, it’s clear that rallying has bred three genuinely excellent, characterful and yet disparate cars.

The Abarth 124 GT manages to be simple and aggressive yet oddly whimsical. It does, in fact, have a rally version in the FIA’s R-GT class, but driving it to all these spectacular places doesn’t bring to mind a rally car so much as the old British roadsters and coupés. The Lotus Elan, the MG B. That whole culture of lovable sports roadsters that you could relish life with. The Focus, meanwhile, still feels like a huge milestone in the performance hatchback landscape. Brutal yet playful, rampant yet usable. Sure, it departed entirely from the mechanical recipe of its Escort ancestor, but in doing so it’s channelling a 21st-century WRC car in a way that the other two simply aren’t. And the Alpine. Oh, the Alpine. Is it worth so much more than the others? Hell, yes. The Ford and the Abarth are exceptional but this journey in the Alpine, along motorway, coast, town, dust bowl, B-road epic and mountain rally stage, has only proven how bone-deep remarkable this car is.

The fact that on the right road it drives like a stripped-out club racer is all the more remarkable given that it’s closer to a Porsche 718 Cayman in finish, refinement and usability. I would only change the tiny,shallow cupholder, and I’d drop the seat a fraction. That’s it.

Stupid cupholder or not, something about the A110 feels cosmically aligned. I can’t shake the feeling that a series of extremely unlikely events – the right people, the right ideas, the right engineering, the right money, the right market, the right brand – came together to create it. My fear is that the planets might not align again any time soon. Here’s hoping that I’m wrong, and here’s to rallying. To all the heroes – human, vehicular and geographic – that it has given us, and will continue to give us. Not least, the Alpine A110.



Meanwhile, back in 1973…

Alpine-Renault had already made a name for itself in the 1970 and 1971 International Championship for Manufacturers (the forerunner to the WRC) but it was the 1973 WRC where it really dominated, with Jean-Claude Andruet, Ove Andersson and Jean- Pierre Nicolas taking the podium places, all in A110s, at the opening round in Monte Carlo.



The rally was structured so that the cars started in a variety of cities with the objective of reaching Monaco before proceeding to special stages set in the mountains of Monte Carlo and southern France. Only the Ford Escort of Hannu Mikkola, which posted fourth place, managed to split up what would otherwise have been a top five made up entirely of A110s. A Fiat Abarth 124 Rallye took seventh. We grouped these modern cars together because their ancestors took the podium places in the overall championship of the 1973 WRC – first, second and third for Alpine, Fiat and Ford respectively. Had we thrown in some of the other modern ancestors derived from cars that showed a good turn in the 1973 WRC, we could have been looking at a Porsche 911, a BMW M2, a Nissan 370Z – even a Toyota Auris, a Peugeot 508 and a DS 5. How about that for variety?
AVANTI R5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 12:55 PM   #47
Dex
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 163775
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Getting schwifty
Vehicle:
2014 Ford Fiester ST
Murica Red

Default

Those cars look great together, that would be a sweet stable to have, sweet ass sweet.
Dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2018, 07:53 AM   #48
AVANTI R5
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 73805
Join Date: Nov 2004
Default Litchfield Alpine A110 Premiere Edition

Quote:
As it rolls out of the factory in Dieppe in the north of France, the Alpine A110 Premiere Edition is as close a rival to Porsche’s 718 Cayman S as we will ever see. The similarities in mechanical layout, performance and price are so apparent they hardly need spelling out. What isn’t so immediately obvious, however, is that a 50bhp uplift in power is all that is needed to give the A110 not Cayman S levels of straight-line performance, but 911 Carrera S pace.

With its power output boosted to 300bhp, the flyweight Alpine has the same 273bhp/tonne power to weight ratio as a mid-range 911. From behind the wheel the car feels rampantly accelerative; forceful in the way of a junior supercar, not a lightweight sports car.

Where does this extra power come from in the Litchfield Alpine A110?

A simple engine remap. That’s all. It’s the work of tuning specialists Litchfield Motors, the Gloucestershire company that made its name modifying Nissan GT-Rs and now offers upgrade packages for numerous performance cars.

An increase in turbo boost pressure from 1.1 to a peak of 1.45 bar lifts power from 249bhp to 300bhp, while torque jumps further still from 236lb ft to 298lb ft. Useful gains, certainly, but factor in the A110’s skinny 1100kg kerb weight and and they become more significant still.

Not particularly. One of the joys of the standard car, in fact, is that you can use all of its performance on the highway without fearing too much for your licence. But the way this uprated A110 shunts you along the road, walloping you in the back with its big whump of turbocharged torque, really is quite exciting. That newfound performance is still exploitable on the road, too.

What’s important, though, is that the chassis - untouched here, at least for the time being - isn’t at all troubled by the extra power and torque. Traction is still very good, even on a greasy surface, and this particular A110 is in no more need of a limited-slip differential than the standard model. Away from a sweeping second gear corner the car will still slide a little before it ignites the unloaded inside tyre.

What else do I need to know?

Throttle response remains good for a turbocharged engine, though it isn’t razor sharp by any means, while the boost threshold is still very low in the rev range, which gives you a usefully wide power band. At 4500rpm the engine seems to dig deeper for the final dash to the redline a little shy of 7000rpm.

Alpine A110 review: we test the Litchfield upgrade

Litchfield will eventually offer an uprated suspension package for the A110, as well as a freer flowing exhaust system and perhaps an LSD, too. It’s currently in the process of assessing the chassis in its standard specification, both on British roads and at the Nurburgring (see above).

Verdict

The remap costs £995 (before VAT) and Litchfield is so confident the engine isn’t overstressed at 300bhp the upgrade includes a warranty. It isn’t always the case that more power makes a car more fun, but in this instance it is unquestionably true.
The new Alpine A110 sports car is on sale now and right-hand drive production begins shortly. Should you consider one instead of the default German choices? Would you really sacrifice a 718 Cayman order at the altar of French style?

We've now driven the A110 in Europe and on UK roads - and it's passed through numerous members of the CAR magazine team. Read on for our updated Alpine A110 review, as we pass judgment on one of the hottest sports cars on sale today.

From the moment you first clap eyes on the coupe, you'll realise the Alpine does things differently. From those pert dimensions to the pared-back interior and delicious detailing, there's a certain Gallic cool to the A110. But the best bit is that it delivers in spades, on every level.

It's a great drive, it looks a treat and it has a depth of purity to its engineering and packaging that has got us drooling. Sports cars might be in decline globally, as buyers flock slavishly to the SUVs and crossovers flooding the marketplace, but here is a strong reason to check out the A110 configurator right now.

The A110 is one of the most eagerly awaited production cars of the moment. It marks the return of the Renault-owned Alpine brand for the first time since production ended in 1995. But it’s the earlier A110, produced between 1962 and 1971, that’s the brand’s most iconic model, and inspiration for the new car.

The new-look equivalent wears the same badge and has been developed by a dedicated team at Renaultsport in Dieppe. What, they wondered, would an A110 look and feel like if it had never left production, but instead evolved over generations? They didn’t mention a 911, but you get the idea.

The spec sounds as promising as those evocative new Alpine looks: a mid-engined aluminium sports car that’s a little over four metres long, produces 249bhp and weighs just 1100kg.

Its most obvious rivals include the Porsche 718 Cayman, Alfa 4C, Lotus Elise/Exige and the four-cylinder Jaguar F-type. But Alpine has also taken a look at the Toyota GT86 and toppy Audi TTs during development.

The name sounds familiar, but remind me again…

Alpine was founded by Jean Rédélé in 1955. He’d raced a Renault 4 CV and scored class wins on the Mille Miglia and Critérium des Alpes. It’s the latter that inspired the company name, and the philosophy behind his cars: cars that weren’t necessarily the most powerful, but punched above their weight because they were so light and agile.

In a way, it’s the Mini recipe applied to a mid-engined sports car. No coincidence, then, that both won the Monte Carlo rally. In fact, Alpine won the WRC title in 1973, and went on to win Le Mans in 1978. This car has provenance, alright.

And that bantamweight mass pays dividends on a cross-country road. We've now tested the Alpine on UK B-roads (see above) and can vouch that the lightweight approach makes it a whole lot of fun.

The Alpine gets an all-new, bonded and riveted aluminium platform, a mid-mounted 1.8-litre turbocharged engine shared with the latest Renaultsport Megane and a seven-speed Getrag dual-clutch gearbox too. The latter is a wet-clutch unit with – unusually – bespoke ratios, and it’s different to both the disappointing dry-clutch unit in the Clio, and the wet clutch unit in that new Megane RS hot hatch.

If you’re thinking that a manual gearbox would be lighter, chief engineer David Twohig argues that isn’t necessarily the case – having no clutch pedal and being able to engineer a floating centre console that didn’t need to house a manual transmission clawed back the kilos. It means this A110 will never be offered with a manual gearbox.

Once you've driven it, you'll realise the DCT (dual-clutch transmission) suits this lithe two-seater well. The changes are quick and near-instant, never leaving you waiting for the cogs to mesh. And the ability to relax and drive it in Auto about town only adds to the breadth of talents.

A mechanical limited-slip differential isn’t included. Instead, the ESC-based braking helps to juggle torque between the rear wheels. Four-piston Brembo calipers take care of stopping duties

The suspension is by aluminium double wishbones all round, which keeps the Michelin Pilot Sport 4s in better contact with the road – in fact, Renault says the harder you go, the better the grip. This is why the springs can be relatively soft, and the anti-roll bars not particularly chunky – there’s no need to resist the roll of the car in the same way you do with a heavier car using strut-type front suspension.

The space required by double wishbones at the rear also means that only a four-cylinder engine will fit. Dreaming of a Clio V6 style multi-cylinder A110? Dream on...

There are no adaptive dampers, but you do have Normal, Sport and Track modes. These adjust the weight of the – electrically assisted – steering, throttle response, stability control settings, engine sound and gear shifts. You can turn the stability control all the way off and the instrument pack changes colour and design as you crank through the different modes.

A flat underfloor and rear diffuser removes the need for a rear spoiler, and even the cooling vents at the rear are neatly hidden away next to the rear side windows and at the bottom of the rear screen.

Weight has been chased away wherever possible. Sabelt seats weigh 13kg each – half those of the outgoing Megane RS – clips for the ABS sensor cables are made from aluminium, and the parking brake element of the rear brake caliper has been integrated into the main calliper. We applaud the anal attention to detail of the diet.

Which specs are available, and how much does the Alpine A110 cost in the UK?

It’s a little fuzzy at the moment. The first 1955 cars are all Première Editions, which get a high spec, including 18-inch wheels, 320mm discs all round (unusually), part-leather seats, sat-nav and a sports exhaust. The launch cars cost £51,805 and all sold out in five days.

A Premiere Edition weighs 1103kg, providing quite a clue to what makes the A110 tick.

The Pure model is the base A110, and comes on 17-inch alloys with smaller discs but the same four-piston calipers. It gets no nav, no sports exhaust, and will cost ‘mid- to late £40k’. That’s the headline 1080kg figure.

Finally, the Legende is a slightly more comfort-focussed spec with full leather, fully adjustable seats (the others have a choice of three seat heights, that are spannered into place), but are still not quite as well equipped as a Première Edition. They’ll be a little under £50k, and weigh a little more than a Première Edition.

What's the A110 like to drive?

In a word, fantastic. This is an unintimidating yet thrilling sports car to chuck down a sinuous road, and the best possible advertisement for reducing weight instead of increasing power. You sit very low down in bucket seats with high levels of both comfort and support; those well over six-feet tall have both ample legroom, and headroom, even when wearing a helmet.

Early on, you notice how eagerly and precisely the nose responds to steering inputs, much like a Toyota GT86. The brake pedal is firm and easy to modulate, the steering quick-witted and nicely weighted with decent feel, throttle response is keen, and there’s a fruity burble from the exhaust that in itself suggests a certain playfulness. So straight away there’s an energy to the way the A110 goes about its business.

It also rides nicely, its body staying spookily flat on even rougher surfaces as it soaks up bumps with a great deal of sophistication. This isn’t a complete magic carpet ride experience, but the overwhelming feeling is one of calm composure, of a car that doesn’t tug around on cambers – like the Alfa 4C – nor threaten to bounce you off a bumpy road when you press on. And yet it feels intimately connected to the surface all the same.

You could drive everywhere at quite modest speed in the A110 and still get a lot of enjoyment out of what is a very tactile sports car. It's like a more grown-up, more serious MX-5 in that respect.

Please tell me you drove it quickly…

We did, at Circuit du Grand Sambuc. Up the pace and the A110 really starts to shine. It’s perhaps not as fast as you might expect given its fairly healthy 249bhp and very modest 1100kg, but it’s plenty quick enough, flexible from low revs, and feels willing to rev out beyond 6000rpm.

In Sport and Track modes, the gearshifts are also impressively snappy, and add to the frisky soundtrack with a lovely little slap of engagement. It’s a positive, mechanical kind of feeling - and the soundtrack is mega, with a well tuned exhaust note.

We drove in slippery conditions, but that gave us a great chance to play with the A110’s balance. This is where it gets really good, and the 44/56 weight distribution comes into its own. On a steady throttle, the A110 will gradually push into understeer, while very clearly communicating what’s going on to the driver. But it’s also extremely throttle adjustable, so if you snap shut the throttle mid-bend the nose will tuck into the apex and the Alpine will adopt a bit of sideways attitude. At this point, if you’ve got everything switched off, you can blip the responsive throttle and have the A110 hanging at all sorts of daft angles.

A proper limited-slip diff would make it even more precise but, in the wet at least, it still felt nicely controllable. Most impressive is what a progressive, communicative and benign machine this is, so that neither edging up to its limits nor going beyond them feels particularly scary.

The brakes too feel strong on track, with a nicely judged progression as the feedback builds under your foot.

Any negatives?

A minimum of mid-£40k is pretty steep, and you’ll get a Cayman with 50bhp more for a chunk less cash – though Alpine will argue you get a higher spec on the A110.

Then there’s the interior, which probably won’t wash with anyone cross-shopping a car from Stuttgart. The overall look and feel is sporty and purposeful, but there’s regular Renault switchgear, pretty average infotainment, and some cheap plastics placed prominently on display.

Verdict

There’s been a huge amount of pressure on the Alpine team to get the A110 right, and they’ve absolutely delivered.

It looks as desirable as any TT, Cayman, 4C or F-type, and in terms of dynamics and driving enjoyment there’s no doubt this is a five-star car. But it is expensive and some might find parts of the interior a little underwhelming. If CAR did half stars, I’d drop it to a 4.5 for that. But the fact is we don’t, and the A110 is just too much fun for a 4. Smashed it, Alpine. Absolutely smashed it.

Talk about a tease. Ok, so the resurrection of a defunct marque isn’t the work of a moment, but the wait to get our hands on Alpine’s gorgeous, aluminium-intensive re-interpretation of the classic A110 has been a painfully long one.

Finally unveiled in production form at the Geneva motor show earlier in 2017, the new A110 is set to be launched late in 2017, with the 1955 Premier Edition cars (€58,500) now all but spoken for.

We travelled to Renault’s research and development centre between Paris and Alpine’s base in Dieppe for a ride in the new A110. Here’s what we learned.

1) This is dreamy, Chapman-esque engineering

If, like us, you’ve been wandering around for the past 20 years telling anyone who’ll listen that cars have grown too big, too complicated and too heavy, the new A110 is the sports car you’ve been waiting for. Its dedication to Colin Chapman’s ‘light is right’ mantra is laudably thorough, with an absence of complexity, compromise and unnecessary mass or bulk informing every aspect of its engineering.

The tub is a bonded and riveted aluminium affair not unlike the one that’s underpinned every Lotus since the first Elise. Behind you sits a four-cylinder turbo with Alpine-specific intake, exhaust and control systems. Despite the packaging compromises, suspension is by double wishbones all round, though the car’s featherweight mass means the springs and anti-roll bars are ludicrously slight, like chief engineer David Twohig has made a terrible miscalculation.

‘Look at the springs – they’re like a motorcycle’s,’ says Twohig. ‘The anti-roll bar at the front is 17mm, with a 2mm wall thickness – in modern terms that’s nothing. But if you’ve no weight, you don’t need firm springs and you don’t need thick anti-roll bars. So, the car is lighter again, and it rides better. We could have gone for wider tyres – guys love the look of the fat rear boots – but we calculated the optimum width for traction off the line and stopped there. This is the ideal.’

Get moving and you sense the lack of resistance in every moment, every change of direction, and the lunge of acceleration that accompanies every twitch of the throttle. For a car with 249bhp and 236lb ft of torque – not even decent hot hatch figures these days – the new Alpine A110 launches with breakfast-heaving alacrity (Alpine reckons 4.5sec to 62mph). More impressive still is the braking. The brakes are, according to Twohig, ‘nothing special’ – the front discs are shared with the Clio RS Trophy, with A110-specific Brembo calipers – but the way the Alpine slows is proof that the weight obsession has paid off – 1103kg (Premier Edition) doesn’t take much stopping.

2) The chassis looks to be as sweet as a nut

On Michelin Pilot Sport 4s (235/40 R18 rear, 205/40 R18 front) and with Laurent Hurgon at the helm, the man who tamed blizzards of lift-off oversteer to punt a Megane RS Trophy-R around the ’Ring in 7:54.36sec, the A110 serenely laps Renault’s outrageously good test circuit like a natural track car.

Laurent is silver of hair, tanned of skin and alive with that lean natural energy that all really talented drivers seem to share. Sure, so he’s lapped this place more times than a lab rat running the extremities of his matchbox cage, but still the A110’s composure, agility and playfulness are hugely impressive. Through one tight right, which transitions from one surface to another, we slide through at outrageous speed with such precision that the outside front tyre pushes the same daisy’s head aside lap after lap.

The A110’s cake-and-eat-it balance puts itself up in lights through an endless third or fourth gear (the turbo four is generous with torque and gear options). Laurent turns in with no modest amount of corner speed and – he claims – very little trailed brake.

The Alpine faithfully follows his single Button-esque input at the wheel, no scrub. Once in, he holds a fast, tight line, the Alpine’s sheer grip and mild roll – enough for your inner ear to understand and not a degree more – in full effect. Then he calmly eases back the throttle, adds a little more lock and, as the rear end breaks free with mesmeric grace, loses the extra lock immediately and takes up a tune on the throttle, working the loud pedal to keep our modest, Fangio-esque angle of attack going. Fabulous.

3) The new Alpine A110 is surprisingly pliant

Alpine’s engineers love to talk of the original A110’s relatively soft, forgiving set-up – it was first and foremost a rally car in competition, after all. The new car stays true to this philosophy. Back on the test track, a long section of rough undulations leave the two of us in the car unshaken and barely stirred. Then, as the rough stuff comes to an end, a giant ridge in the road marks the entry to a corkscrewing downhill right-hander.

We’re doing 85mph. I fear the ridge will knock us off course and into the deciduous foliage. Instead the A110 rides it like it’s barely there and arrows into the bend like a bird wheeling in flight.

I
AVANTI R5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2018, 07:59 AM   #49
AVANTI R5
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 73805
Join Date: Nov 2004
Default

Quote:
^^^^^^^^^^^^

4) The powertrain doesn’t let the side down

The engine is what it is: a turbocharged four-cylinder 1.8 that’s keen rather than killer. It sounds fine, with a burbling idle, an angry four-cylinder bwarp through the mid-range, overlaid with a little turbo whoosh and whistle. But as you’d expect of a blown four, there’s an undeniable sense of anti-climax at the redline (7000rpm – peak power is at 6000rpm, and peak torque between 2000 and 5250rpm).

In the cockpit it’s loud in the more committed drive modes, almost intrusively so, but the engine’s compact size and decent torque suit the A110’s giant-killer vibe. The gearbox is good too. No, you can’t have a manual: Alpine reckon it’d have added weight and complexity for little real benefit, since DCT, or PDK in Porsche-speak, is most people’s preferred option. The seven-speed twin-clutcher shifts quickly and cleanly and won’t force upshifts through if you nudge the limiter in Track mode.

Alpine A110 sports car: mid-engined, two seater

5) The A110 is no Porsche Cayman

Comparisons with the similar-on-paper (ish) Porsche Cayman are inevitable but a little wide of the mark. While we rode in pre-production cars, noise and vibration levels were higher than you’d experience in the Porsche and the interior quality from a grade below.

While the Alpine’s gossamer-light Sabelt seats are very comfortable and its access ergonomics nothing like as testing as those of a Lotus, the A110 feels more like a weekend car, whereas the Cayman is a viable everyday conveyance, not least because of its bigger and more practical front and rear stowage bays.

But the Alpine is significantly lighter than the Porsche and feels just as special, just in a different way. The A110 is alive, lithe, elegant and likeably focussed. It feels like a real work of passion, and a knowing, very French alternative to a Stuttgart two-seater. We’ll know just how good it really is by the end of the year.












AVANTI R5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2019, 01:41 PM   #50
torquemada
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 128484
Join Date: Oct 2006
Chapter/Region: International
Location: Germany
Vehicle:
2006 EDM WRX STI
WRB

Default

torquemada is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2019 Axivo Inc.
Copyright ©1999 - 2019, North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club, Inc.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.