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Electric A110? Count me in

3 months ago

Writer:

Dan Prosser | Ti co-founder

Date:

21 July 2022

We have known for some time that the Alpine A110’s replacement would be all-electric. Following today’s unveiling of the E-ternité (I’m inclined to forgive Alpine the terrible pun for the time being…) we have a better idea of how the future model might turn out.

Based on the current A110, the E-ternité has been unveiled on the 60th birthday of the original A110 and on the eve of the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard.

There are minor styling tweaks here and there like the slimmer headlights, plus a removable roof section that makes this the first open-top A110. But the interesting stuff goes on underneath. A single electric motor, rated at 239bhp and 221lb ft, powers the rear axle via a two-speed dual-clutch gearbox, which is said to ‘get away from’ the acceleration versus top speed trade-off that’s inherent with a single-speed electric drivetrain. 

The motor itself is an in-house Groupe Renault item, while the batteries are borrowed from the electric Mégane E-Tech production car. There are 12 battery modules located around the car to optimise weight distribution. Alpine says the E-ternité will hit 62mph in 4.5 seconds and run on to 155mph, making it almost an exact match for the petrol-powered A110 as far as straight-line performance is concerned. 

There is plenty to feel optimistic about here. Alpine’s hand may have been forced by the configuration of the standard car, but by not utilising the skateboard-type platform favoured by most EVs, the occupants will be able to sit close to the road in true sports car style. Meanwhile, the big worry with the new generation of electric sports cars is that they will be terribly heavy – the E-ternité weighs 1378kg, around 270kg more than an A110. 

Alpine says its weight target is 1320kg, so there is work still to be done. The quoted range of 261 miles is plenty for a car like this, but it’s interesting that rear spring rates are up by almost half – I can’t see how that won’t upset the A110’s delicate poise. But the electric motor concerns me not one bit. The A110 is nothing short of a joy to drive but, for me, very little of that joy comes from the four-cylinder turbo engine. 

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