Re : The Alpine A110 (finally) cometh | PH Fleet

Re : The Alpine A110 (finally) cometh | PH Fleet

Tuesday 31st December 2019

The Alpine A110 (finally) cometh | PH Fleet

At long last, Dan P gets to properly stretch the legs of his new A110. Was it worth the wait?



It was the biggest decision I had to make in 2019. A real toughie. The roads in South Wales are far more familiar to me, but Exmoor's are much quieter. So where to go for the first proper drive in my Alpine A110? The promise of space and solitude swung it and so off to north Devon I went.

We can debate the merits of running a car in all we like (lots of people think it's a total waste of time), but until there's irrefutable proof either way I'll choose to err on the side of caution, particularly with my own car. The 1,000th mile ticked by somewhere on the M5 south of Bristol so that by the time I arrived on Exmoor, I could let it rip.

What a gratifying moment that was: to finally drive my car the way its makers had intended, many months after I made a reservation through the Alpine app. I can see how easy it would be to just drive this car in town or on the motorway, stealing quick blasts on open B-roads only when one happens to lie between me and my destination. But I don't want my A110 to become merely a transportation device. I'll make a conscious effort to get out in it and head somewhere really worthwhile as often as I can. Otherwise, I'll have this gorgeous machine outside going almost entirely to waste.

This video documents that first really meaningful drive. I feel very lucky to have such a beautifully shot record of that moment (hat tip to videographer Harry) to keep for posterity. But before I give my car death on the rollicking moorland roads, I take a few minutes to explain exactly why I bought it, why I specced it the way I did and then detail the process from reservation to delivery.

I wonder who else among us has intentionally made a beeline for a favourite road for that very first blast in a new car. I bet there are some cracking stories waiting to be told...


Β 

Earlier reports:

Dan picks up his A110

The Alpine wait game


Search for an Alpine

Author
Discussion

Sharon-coizu

Original Poster:

48 posts

7 months

Sunday 29th December 2019
quotequote all
Hi Dan. Nice video. I know those roads very well, especially the A39 from Lynmouth to Minehead and the cut through to Exford. Great roads except for the odd suicidal sheep!

As regards the Alpine....well...I'm still not convinced. It's a £50k car but it doesn't really do anything that much better than an MX5 - at vaguely legal speeds on the road - and you can't have the top down! Yes, it's appreciably quicker than the Mazda but the engine isn't remotely exotic and you are denied the joy of a good manual change. Is it really twice as good as a driver's car?!

I genuinely want to love this car (as I did the Alfa 4C) because I like the idea of lightweight sports cars beating over powered German flat track bullies but I can't help thinking this is just too much money. Find a way to make it for £39999, slip under the VED threshold and I'm there but at £50k I'm sticking with the Japanese and heading to BBR if I need more power.


only1ian

588 posts

143 months

Sunday 29th December 2019
quotequote all
I understand the appeal and cachet of the Alpine, cheaper options for driving satisfaction may exist in the form
of an mx5, but then nobody ever got someone into bed by telling them “I drive a Mazda!”

Great road choice for a first proper drive and I hope it continues to bring you multiple edifying experiences ;-)

Sandpit Steve

377 posts

23 months

Sunday 29th December 2019
quotequote all
Sharon-coizu said:
Hi Dan. Nice video. I know those roads very well, especially the A39 from Lynmouth to Minehead and the cut through to Exford. Great roads except for the odd suicidal sheep!

As regards the Alpine....well...I'm still not convinced. It's a £50k car but it doesn't really do anything that much better than an MX5 - at vaguely legal speeds on the road - and you can't have the top down! Yes, it's appreciably quicker than the Mazda but the engine isn't remotely exotic and you are denied the joy of a good manual change. Is it really twice as good as a driver's car?!

I genuinely want to love this car (as I did the Alfa 4C) because I like the idea of lightweight sports cars beating over powered German flat track bullies but I can't help thinking this is just too much money. Find a way to make it for £39999, slip under the VED threshold and I'm there but at £50k I'm sticking with the Japanese and heading to BBR if I need more power.
Interesting comparison with the MX5, which I hadn’t thought about until now. Alpine is a great car, but I think Renault have lucked out that Porsche dropped the flat six from the current Cayman and Boxster - which lessens their appeal vs their predecessors.

Great video by the way, PH video team doing a great job with these recently!

Elatino1

569 posts

10 months

Sunday 29th December 2019
quotequote all
Good vid but the car looks very plain and boring in that colour. Poorly specced.

samoht

1,098 posts

95 months

Sunday 29th December 2019
quotequote all

Thanks for that Dan, really good to see you enjoying the car and talking about the buying process. I think that video updates from staff on your own cars, like this one, could be a good thing to have more of on PH - I always find e.g. Jay Leno's videos about his own cars the most enthralling, I think it's the insight you get from long term use that makes a video most interesting.

For those of us who don't need the dubious support of a brand name to mate (and really, I doubt most people have heard of Alpine outside of us car nerds), I think the engineering value over an MX-5 is firstly in the significantly more rigid aluminium structure, the mid-engined balance, the torquey punch Dan mentions, and for some people the paddle-shift.

Having said that, there are clearly similarities in the small size and light weight, and Mazda has long espoused the chassis philosophy Dan describes in the video, namely that if you get the basics right (light weight to limit roll inertia, low c.g. to limit weight transfer and double wishbones to keep the wheels at optimal angles regardless of body lean), then you can afford to let a sports car breathe with the road, giving more tactility and better coping with bumpy roads. It's great that we have this sort of car available at both £25k and £50k - both cars sound like great buys at their respective price points.

Venisonpie

487 posts

31 months

Sunday 29th December 2019
quotequote all
Such great cars and well specced in that colour with no fripperies, looks terrific. Way more desirable to me than the 718T in the other article.

Weekendrebuild

736 posts

12 months

Sunday 29th December 2019
quotequote all
Judging by all the praise I presume it’s an excellent car but from the front I just see a mk3 mr2 with some ugly fog lights laugh

Miserablegit

1,113 posts

58 months

Sunday 29th December 2019
quotequote all
Sandpit Steve said:
Interesting comparison with the MX5, which I hadn’t thought about until now. Alpine is a great car, but I think Renault have lucked out that Porsche dropped the flat six from the current Cayman and Boxster - which lessens their appeal vs their predecessors.

Great video by the way, PH video team doing a great job with these recently!
I’ve always viewed the A110 as a more useable lotus Elise and on that basis it is unique. Many owners moved from
6 pot Porsche to Alpine so I’m not sure that the move to 4 cylinders by Porsche is a big issue. What is odd is the 4 cylinder cayman gts is quicker than the cayman gt4 which has the 6 pot.


Like a lot of things people either get this car or they don’t.
It’s great we have the choice.

chelme

719 posts

119 months

Sunday 29th December 2019
quotequote all
This is a man after my own heart! Great car, expertly presented too!

swanny71

1,868 posts

158 months

Sunday 29th December 2019
quotequote all
Great video, especially useful since it’s from an owners point of view, rather than a journalists test drive.

Want one of these, in this spec but with the exhaust.

Enjoy it Dan, with plenty of updates please.

Prestonese

483 posts

54 months

Sunday 29th December 2019
quotequote all
Sharon-coizu said:
Hi Dan. Nice video. I know those roads very well, especially the A39 from Lynmouth to Minehead and the cut through to Exford. Great roads except for the odd suicidal sheep!

As regards the Alpine....well...I'm still not convinced. It's a £50k car but it doesn't really do anything that much better than an MX5 - at vaguely legal speeds on the road - and you can't have the top down! Yes, it's appreciably quicker than the Mazda but the engine isn't remotely exotic and you are denied the joy of a good manual change. Is it really twice as good as a driver's car?!

I genuinely want to love this car (as I did the Alfa 4C) because I like the idea of lightweight sports cars beating over powered German flat track bullies but I can't help thinking this is just too much money. Find a way to make it for £39999, slip under the VED threshold and I'm there but at £50k I'm sticking with the Japanese and heading to BBR if I need more power.
I've owned a MX5 ND2 as well as an Alpine. They are not really comparable but I really enjoyed both. The MX5 engine and gearbox are fantastic but the steering, suspension and tyres lets it down. On a sunny day though, it is unbeatable.

The Alpine is great fun and also a significantly better long range cruiser. You can also drive the Alpine in a supercar convoy (if that is your thing), not look out of place and be able to keep up - it may even be the quickest of the group on certain roads.

It seems like the public are with you on this even though like me, many consider them to be grear cars. Alpine have sold less than 300 A110s in the UK. At least they will be a relatively rare sight.

DoubleSix

9,672 posts

125 months

Sunday 29th December 2019
quotequote all
I just can’t see past those bizarre lights, what designer in their right mind...

wab172uk

1,511 posts

176 months

Sunday 29th December 2019
quotequote all
Enjoyed that

wab172uk

1,511 posts

176 months

Sunday 29th December 2019
quotequote all
Elatino1 said:
Good vid but the car looks very plain and boring in that colour. Poorly specced.
Not everyone like to shout "Look at me"

chelme

719 posts

119 months

Sunday 29th December 2019
quotequote all
DoubleSix said:
I just can’t see past those bizarre lights, what designer in their right mind...
I understand your view of the front lights. I think these could have been resolved better, however in the metal, the car looks better, and I'd forgive it, as it is by all accounts, such a good car to drive.

egor110

12,211 posts

152 months

Sunday 29th December 2019
quotequote all
@ 1.53 is that the road from lynmouth to watersmeet then onto the moor ?

Great sized car for Exmoor .

Sharon-coizu

Original Poster:

48 posts

7 months

Sunday 29th December 2019
quotequote all
Prestonese said:
Sharon-coizu said:
I've owned a MX5 ND2 as well as an Alpine. They are not really comparable but I really enjoyed both. The MX5 engine and gearbox are fantastic but the steering, suspension and tyres lets it down. On a sunny day though, it is unbeatable.

The Alpine is great fun and also a significantly better long range cruiser. You can also drive the Alpine in a supercar convoy (if that is your thing), not look out of place and be able to keep up - it may even be the quickest of the group on certain roads.

It seems like the public are with you on this even though like me, many consider them to be grear cars. Alpine have sold less than 300 A110s in the UK. At least they will be a relatively rare sight.
Just 300, that's a desperate shame. As I said, I really want to like this car and was very excited when I heard about it first. Loved the looks and ethos. I was disappointed it wasn't manual - as, for me, gear changes are satisfying - and gutted when I realised it was going to be just out of my price range.

I'm on my second Mx5 ND now. Everything I liked about the first - looks, lightness, wind in the hair - remains and Mazda have improved on all the areas that needed it. I picked up an Anniversary Edition for £24k - the dealer even lowered it for free! Judging by the classifieds Mazda are struggling to sell the 30th Anniversary - the orange is putting people off I guess - so there are deals to be had!

I hope the Alpine finds buyers, we need cars like this. Shame they can't sneak a really basic version under £40k... Dacia version? Hehe!

Elatino1

569 posts

10 months

Sunday 29th December 2019
quotequote all
wab172uk said:
Elatino1 said:
Good vid but the car looks very plain and boring in that colour. Poorly specced.
Not everyone like to shout "Look at me"
It's not about shouting anything. It's about a car looking very ordinary against looking very nice. It's not about shouting anything to anyone.

Sharon-coizu

Original Poster:

48 posts

7 months

Sunday 29th December 2019
quotequote all
Elatino1 said:
wab172uk said:
Elatino1 said:
Good vid but the car looks very plain and boring in that colour. Poorly specced.
Not everyone like to shout "Look at me"
It's not about shouting anything. It's about a car looking very ordinary against looking very nice. It's not about shouting anything to anyone.
Have to agree. Saw one of these in white with blue brakes and it looked so so right

nickfrog

10,785 posts

166 months

Sunday 29th December 2019
quotequote all
Elatino1 said:
It's not about shouting anything. It's about a car looking very ordinary against looking very nice. It's not about shouting anything to anyone.
Or perhaps, and I appreciate that this may sound like a daring concept, looks/design are subjective? Perhaps one person's subtle is another person's vulgar or "nice" ? I don't find the A110 looks ordinary at all. Quite the opposite in fact.