Get in the fast lane with this two-seater sport coupe

The next time you spot a sleek yet unfamiliar sports car on the road, it's likely an Alpine A110 zipping through our streets. There are only a handful of the French coupe in our city-state as discerning car enthusiasts strive to get their hands on a model, and it's no secret why with its promise of a thrilling drive and retro-style design—sure to turn heads of curious onlookers and motorheads alike. 

First founded in 1955, the French car maker comes tagged with a storied history. It first wowed the racing crowds during the Monte Carlo Rally of 1971 with its A110 Berlinette before the same model went on to win the World Rally Championships in 1973. Following that was the glorious victory of the A442B at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1978. Together, they contribute to the brand's prestige in the automotive world, producing sports and race cars best known for their agility, compactness and dynamic performance on the roads. 

Today, it has transformed into a full-fledged brand with an anticipated line-up of sports SUVs, sports hatches and electric cars yet to unveil. In our city-state alone, fans of the brand can look forward to the newly rebranded Alpine F1 Team slated to participate in this year's Formula One World Championship (helmed by ace racing drivers Fernando Alonso and Estaban Ocon) and an A480 hypercar entry at the upcoming 89th Le Mans races. 

First impressions matter, and although the Alpine Légende A110 seems compact—almost pocket-sized upon first look—don't let its stature fool you. Measuring almost 4-metres long, it is small yet mighty, with a top-notch performance to match: armed with a four-cylinder 1.8L turbocharged mid engine, it only takes a mere 4.5s to get from 0 to 100km/h and can reach a top speed of 250km/h effortlessly. The seven-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox also delivers power instantly to the real wheels where gearshifts become almost instantaneous offering drivers a thrilling experience on the roads. 

Motorheads will also be thrilled to find the orange "sport" button located on the bottom right of the steering wheel, a fun activation that activates the sport exhaust system for the engine to bubble louder as you rev the car and accelerate on the highway. 

A quick spin in the A110 Légende and one will come to the conclusion that it's a electrifying drive to say that least. Of the three A110 models, the Légende is designed to embody all that a grand tourer has to offer that's suited for everyday use as well. For manual drivers who wish for a more engaging experience, fret not, as the aluminium paddles on the steering column gives you manual control over the seven-speed gearbox. 

Arguably the A110 Légende's most impressive feature is its lightweight construction. Made of an aluminium body and chassis, its kerb weight stands at just 1100kg, rendering it extremely light and thus enables better vehicle maneuverability. But how does it withstand bumps and uneven surfaces on the roads? The double wishbone suspension layout absorbs them effectively and provides for great grip while driving (even in wet conditions). Together with its durable brakes, sharp corners and turns don't keep the A110 Légende from excelling in its performance, keeping drivers feeling confident behind the wheel. 

With regards to its exterior, the modern-day A110 models also take styling cues from the iconic A110 Berlinette—its predecessor that scored Alpine one of its many notable accolades in the 70s. The exterior lines are clean and sleek, flowing from the front of the vehicle to its wide rear wheel. Drivers will also notice the A110 Légende's four headlamp design, a distinctive feature of Alpine's that was inspired by the classic sports cars of the sixties and seventies that gives it a retro character. Coupled with its two-tone 18-inch wheels, the coupe's exterior is designed in a nod to cars of the retro era too. 

Available in seven colours from iridescent white to the blue abyss, those who appreciate a sportier and striking outlook will appreciate the various colour offerings by the French carmaker.

Those in the driver's seat will realise that despite its size, there's still ample leg room for comfort. The seats are also ergonomically designed to provide a snug fit with excellent lateral support as well as the option of adjusting them six ways for longer journeys. Those interested will have the option of customising them in black or brown leather, both of which elevate the sophistication of the cabin that comes with a glossy carbon fibre finish. 

On the passenger side, an exposed aluminium footrest pays homage to the car's grand touring character, while two storage spaces located at the hood and back of the car give a reasonable amount of space for your next shopping spree. 

The dashboard is kept simple and streamlined, changing only when different modes are selected. Other impressive details include the seven-inch touch screen multimedia system that houses various gauges, a bar graph, and even a stopwatch to track the car's performance among other features. Its smart connectivity also enables drivers to connect to the infotainment system with ease via bluetooth, while the transmission operates on a push-button system that's kept streamlined and and functional.

For more information, please visit the Alpine Centre Singapore at 45 Leng Kee Road, Singapore 159103 | +65 6430 4918 | www.alpinecars.com