Opinion: who is the Alpine A110 R Fernando Alonso edition really built for? | Top Gear
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Opinion: who is the Alpine A110 R Fernando Alonso edition really built for?

The rather awkward Alonso special edition of the A110 R has left TG a little confused

Published: 23 Feb 2023

Recently, Alpine unveiled the A110 R Fernando Alonso, a limited edition of its new track-focused sports car celebrating the team’s Spanish F1 hot shoe. Just 32 examples will be built, each with a unique plaque marking one of ’Nando’s 32 career GP wins.

Beyond that, things get baffling. For starters, the A110 R Fernando Alonso was revealed shortly after Fernando Alonso’s shock announcement he was defecting from Alpine to Aston Martin, which lent the special edition’s unveil some strong ‘sarcastic divorce settlement’ vibes. In fact, so frosty were relations Alonso didn’t attend the launch of his own car, leaving duties to fellow driver Esteban Ocon. (“What’s that, Esteban? The A110 Ocon Edition? Win a few more races and then we’ll see, big lad...”)

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But more baffling than that is... who’s it for? I know they only need to shift 32 of them, but even so... to who? Are there really 32 humans on this planet harbouring both a) a desperate yearning for a small, expensive, lightweight French sports car and b) a borderline stalker-grade obsession with Fernando Alonso?

Put it this way. I very much like the sound of the A110 R. If I was in the market for a two-seat sports car, it’d be right at the top of my list. And I like Fernando Alonso. As thick-necked 40-something Spaniards go, he’s in my top three, no question.

But as an adult human with a reasonably well-developed sense of shame, I don’t think I could be seen driving a car scrawled with several examples of the signature of said thick-necked 40-something Spaniard, Alonso’s ‘signature colours’, and a sun visor laser-etched with the slogan: “There is more than one path to the top of the mountain.” (Fernando’s motto, just not one he seems to have mentioned to anyone beforehand.)

That’s a level of celebrity devotion not healthy in anyone old enough to drive, right? Even at the same £80k as the regular A110 R, it’d be a tough sell. Alpine’s asking £130k+ grand. A full body Alonso tattoo conveys the same message for a lot less cash.

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Alpine isn’t the only offender here. A couple of years back, Hyundai released an Iron Man edition of its Kona. Giant Marvel logo on the roof, daytime running lights that “mimic the glowing eyes of Iron Man’s metal mask”, Stark Industry graphics, Tony Stark signature on the dash, £28,000 asking price. Seriously, who’s going to buy it? Do 12-year-olds now have the disposable income to buy South Korean SUVs?

Apparently they do. Because I’ve just checked the estimable howmanyleft.co.uk, and it turns out Hyundai’s shifted pretty much all of its UK allocation of 300 Iron Man Konas (all, I’d guess, to people who own mugs declaring, “You don’t have to be mad to work here, but it helps!”). Which no doubt means the A110 R Fernando Alonso Editions will sell like laser-etched hot cakes, too. Just not, presumably, to Fernando himself, who’s already lining up his V12 Vantage company car...

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