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A favourite made even better

At the end of 2020, we had the chance to drive the highly anticipated Alpine A110. Since then, we always hoped for another opportunity with the lightweight Frenchie. Luckily for us, Alpine offered us to drive their new limited edition of the already rare A110, the all-new Alpine A110 Légende GT 2021.

Here are some details. This special edition is limited to only 300 units worldwide. So exceptionally rare and they were only built for the 2021 model year. Alpine now offers three model iterations of the A110. The normal A110, A110S, and A110 GT. But in the meantime, Alpine is launching many special editions of the A110. The Légende GT might not be the latest one, but it might be the most attractive.

So, what are the things that make the Légende GT so memorable? In the middle of the Légende GT lies the punchy 1.8l turbocharged four-cylinder producing 300 horsepower and 340nm of torque. This is the same engine used in the sporty A110S. But then, it's just a fancier A110S? No. The suspension is carried over from the regular A110, a softer and more comfortable setup. This is a good thing because the harsher suspension of the A110S was quite uncomfortable. Thus the Légende GT lies in a sweet spot. We are still glad to report that the softer suspension doesn't make the Légende GT worse to drive than the A110S. It's still just as focussed and flat as the top-shot. Arguably the best driving sports car you can buy at the moment. Which iteration of the A110 you drive does not matter, each one is a blast to drive. It's the closest thing to a mini Ferrari F8-Tributo we've ever driven. As far as the acceleration goes, the little 1.8l likes to be revved out to its redline. This doesn't mean that it's slow, it's ballistic. Alpine claimed the 0 - 100 km/h sprint to be completed in 4.4 seconds, we tested it at 3.9 seconds. The little engine is working constantly and makes all the right noises while at work. It's not that impressive from the outside, typical four-cylinder soundtrack with some cracks and pops. But on the inside, you hear that turbo spooling like in a Bugatti Veyron.

Let's continue with some other exclusive things on the Légende GT. The interior is bespoke. You'll be welcomed by two Sabelt bucket seats wrapped in amber-dyed leather. All around the cabin are amber-dyed leather accents like on the door panels and the steering wheel. A focal sound system comes as standard. Under the center console sits an aluminum plaque to commemorate that the Légende GT was manufactured in Dieppe, France. It also tells you the model number of your specific car. Our car was number 114 of 300 worldwide. Other little things include two french flags on the doors, carbon fiber accents, and diamond-quilted leather. The cockpit is very driver-oriented, with two column-mounted aluminum shift paddles, a red sport-mode button on the steering wheel, and customizable digital gauges.

Sadly, the interior quality can not keep up with the likes of the Porsche Cayman or Audi TT. Most infotainment-related buttons are carried straight over from Renault, Alpine's parent company. Or in other words, they are from the Renault Megane. This means that the buttons are plastic and thus don't feel great. Also, a lot of components aren't very well manufactured, the center console wobbles and the carbon fiber surrounds for the air vents feel cheap. The main things are good, like the seats, steering wheel, and pedals; but they could work on throwing out those old flimsy buttons from Renault. We have heard that some interior changes are being done on a new A110S coming later this year, the biggest one being Apple CarPlay. So, while the interior looks great, it doesn't feel premium in terms of quality.

Another area that has received controversy since the A110 was revealed back in 2017 is the looks. Aesthetically, little has changed. It's still a retro 60s design styled to fit the modern 21st-century regulations. The rear is a definite highlight; single central exhaust, large diffusor, and sharp lines. But the front suffers the most from the 60s influence, it's just those secondary lights that make the A110 look a little bit off. It doesn't look bad but they could've incorporated those lights better. The A110 Légende GT does get some exclusive "Légende" 18-inch wheels, mercury silver matte paint, and vibrant gold accents. Alpine calls it vibrant gold, but it's more of a faded bronze of copper tone. Looks phenomenal! These accents can most clearly be seen on the Alpine lettering and brakes. From the side, the A110 looks like a mid-engine sports car. And it's hard to see in pictures, but the A110 is tiny.

While some irritations do exist, it wouldn't chase us away from actually buying an A110. In fact, it might be our car of the year in 2022. You have to drive one to understand how good the A110 is. Another thing that makes the A110 different is its exclusivity. There aren't a lot of them around. A Porsche Cayman or Audi TT might be a more "safe" option, but why not get something new? Although the A110 has been around since the 60s, the new A110 design philosophy and brand are only five years old. The A110 is something fresh to take on the big guns of Porsche, Audi, Toyota, and Lotus. All of these companies make excellent small sports cars, but they've been doing it for decades. The fact that the A110 is lesser-known would be our main selling point. People come up to you and ask questions, show interest, and want to know more about the car. It makes you feel special and that's what you want when you have a small, french sports car harking back to the 60s. We love the Légende GT even more, due to its exclusivity, softer suspension, and well-thought-out details. If nothing else comes up that will blow our minds like the A110, this will be our car of the year 2022.


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