Testing, testing… Alpine’s 500bhp A110 Pikes Peak contender shaken down in France
“Wildest” Alpine ever exposed to gnarly weather in testing; looks the bees knees
Just us, or is there more hype than usual around Pikes Peak this year? This month alone we’ve heard Tanner Foust talk up the controversial paving of the famous hillclimb and learned that Radford is entering this year’s meet in a 700bhp monster.
As is Alpine, though its monster is only 500bhp. And a couple of weeks on from seeing its Pikes Peak special in digital render form, we’ve now been given a glimpse of the real thing. Looks a bit good, doesn’t it?
The pics you see above have been snapped from the car’s first shakedowns in the Alps (had to be really, didn’t it), specifically in Drôme and the ski resort of Val Thorens.
According to driver Raphael Astier - who holds the record in the Alpine’s Time Attack 1 category, an impressive 9:23.721s - overall victory isn’t the target, but he’s convinced the A110 “will perform well” against the Porsche GT2 RS Clubsport, KTM X Bow GT4 Evo, Dodge Viper and others it’s lined up against.
"The first runs went very well,” said Astier. “We tested for three days in France, and the results were extremely positive. The car is very agile and easy to drive. The chassis sticks to the ground, the engine looks promising, and the weight loss makes the Alpine even more dynamic than it already is naturally.
“It feels very light and responsive, with very direct steering and no delays in shifting. We now need to confirm this good feeling on other roads and heights, but our debut has been more than positive, and I am confident."
Remember Alpine has used an A110 GT4 Evo as a base for this project, with many, many aero bits borrowed from the A110 R for maximum downforce.
“The A110 Pikes Peak brings out the wildest side of this iconic car,” said chief designer Raphael Linari. “It is already agile and light by design, but with its specific aero and extreme proportions, it becomes a genuine racing beast. This legendary event was an endless source of inspiration to push our creativity and transcend the A110 while integrating performance constraints.”
Yes, constraints. Imagine what it’d look like with no rulebook to follow…
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