Is Alpine getting ready to power up the A110 with a leaner, meaner special?
These spy photos would certainly say so. With racy-looking wheels, big brakes, and new detailing at both ends, the A110 S might be getting ready to go Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 hunting.
It’s also possible Alpine is preparing a minor update for the A110.
It’s tough to make out too many changes to the A110, which already features the same low-set air intake and simple detailing as the prototype pictured here.
It’s a similar story at the rear, where the understated diffuser and central exhaust don’t do much to differentiate the A110 mule from the standard car.
So, what’s Alpine testing? One possibility is that it’s gearing up to send off the A110 with a harder-core, race-inspired model.
That would be out of keeping with the current car’s remit, which is more focused on agility and compliance on the road.
Alpine does have a racing model to lean on for inspiration – and no, it’s not Fernando Alonso’s weekender.
The A110 GT4 racer was revealed in 2019, but what looked like an A110 GT4 road car was snapped testing before the racer’s reveal.
Alpine has already made the original A110 harder and faster, turning it into the A110 S, but there’s still scope for a hardcore special to take on the Porsche Cayman GT4.
Unfortunately, the reborn Alpine A110 is dead in Australia.
The retro, mid-engine coupe rival to the Porsche 718 Cayman doesn’t meet side-impact crash rules coming into force Down Under on November 1, 2021.
It launched in 2018, since which point just 83 have been sold according to VFACTS sales data.
That pales in comparison to the Porsche Cayman, which has racked up more than five times that sales figure since the A110 launched.
Like the Nissan GT-R, the A110 has fallen victim to Australian Design Rules for side-impact collisions.
ADR 85 side-impact regulations came into force for new vehicles introduced to Australia in 2017, but will apply to all passenger cars from later in 2021.
“ADR 85 reflects a regulation that is not being adopted globally at this point in time,” an Alpine spokesperson said.
“This adds further complexity to production for a country that represents approximately 1 per cent of the global market and already has unique design regulations required for the market.
“In short, it adds expense to cars that must be engineered specifically for the Australian market and rules out a number of models that should be here.
“Alpine will be dropped from the line up as a direct result of the regulation.”
MORE: Everything Alpine A110