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Alpine and Audi get serious

2 years ago

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Dan Prosser | Ti co-founder


4 October 2022

It’s not yet Wednesday and already this has been a memorable week for new mid-engined, track-going sports cars. The Alpine A110 R we’d been expecting, but the Audi R8 GT RWD was more of a surprise.

Both are rear-wheel drive with modest weight savings compared to existing models, but there the similarities seem to end. In terms of power and price, one has and costs more than twice as much as the other.

The A110 R is by some margin the most extreme version of the A110 yet. The wheels, rear deck, bonnet and seats are all carbon fibre, helping to reduce weight compared to the A110 S by 34kg to 1082kg. A more prominent aero kit, incorporating a new front splitter, rear diffuser, side skirts and rear wing, generate a modest but meaningful 29kg of additional downforce compared to the A110 S Aero Kit. The tyres are Michelin Cup 2s.

While there is less weight and more downforce, there’s no more shove from the 1.8-litre turbo engine. But 296bhp and 251lb ft should be more than enough in a car so light. The chassis has been comprehensively retuned with stiffer springs and anti-roll bars, plus dampers that are manually adjustable through 20 clicks. The A110 R is bound to punch well above its weight on track, but has it been compromised for road use? We’ll find out soon.

Reports suggest the Alpine will cost around £70,000, but I’d be amazed if that isn’t more like £80,000. Mind you, even that looks like a steal next to the £200,000 or so we’re expecting Audi to charge for the R8 GT RWD. Just 333 will be built with only 15 coming to the UK. Audi has produced rear-drive R8s before, but never with the same power as the four-wheel drive version.

Audi R8 GT RWD

That ends here, the Audi R8 GT RWD boasting the full 611bhp. The weight cut compared to the previous R8 RWD is 20kg and there are some interesting details, such as the carbon fibre front anti-roll bar. Like the Alpine, the Audi comes with Cup 2 tyres while manually adjustable coilovers are available optionally. The Audi R8 GT RWD bids farewell to the 5.2-litre V10 we know and love – a fine way for such an engine to take its final bow.

Audi R8 GT RWD