Alpine A110

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Alpine A110
Renault Alpine A 110 (Sp).JPG
Overview
Manufacturer Alpine
Production 1961–1977
Designer Giovanni Michelotti[1][2]
Body and chassis
Class Sports car
Body style 2-door Berlinette
Layout RR layout
Powertrain
Engine 1.1 L, 1.2 L, and 1.3 L R8 Major/Gordini I4
1.5 L Lotus Europa I4
1.3 L and 1.6 L Renault I4
Transmission 5-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,271 mm (89.4 in)
Length 4,050 mm (159 in)
Width 1,500 mm (59 in)
Curb weight 706 kg (1,556 lb)
Chronology
Predecessor Alpine A108
Successor Alpine A310

The Alpine A110 was a sports car produced by the French manufacturer Alpine from 1961 to 1977. The car was styled as a "Berlinette", which in the post-WWII era refers to a small enclosed two-door Berline, better-known as a coupe.[3] The Alpine A110 succeeded the earlier A108. The car was powered by a succession of Renault engines.

History[edit]

Launched in 1961 the A110, like previous road-going Alpines, used many Renault parts, including engines. While its predecessor the A108 was designed around Dauphine components, the A110 was updated to use R8 parts. Unlike the A108, which was available first as a cabriolet and only later as a coupé, the A110 was available first as a Berlinette and then as a cabriolet. The most obvious external difference with the A108 coupé was restyled rear bodywork. Done to accommodate the A110's larger engine, this change gave the car a more aggressive look. Like the A108, the A110 featured a steel backbone chassis and a fiberglass body. The A110 was originally offered with 1.1 L R8 Major or R8 Gordini engines. The Gordini engine delivered 95 hp (71 kW) SAE at 6,500 rpm.

A110 GT4

The A110 achieved most of its fame in the early 1970s as a successful rally car. After winning several rallies in France in the late 1960s with cast-iron R8 Gordini Cléon-Fonte engines the car was fitted with the aluminium-block Cléon-Alu from the Renault 16 TS. With two two-venturi Weber 45 carburetors, the TS engine delivered 125 hp (93 kW) DIN at 6,000 rpm. This allowed the production 1600S to reach a top speed of 210 km/h (130 mph). The long-wheelbase Alpine A108 2+2 Coupé ended its run and was replaced with a new, restyled 2+2 based on A110 engines and mechanicals called the A110 GT4.

The car achieved international fame during the 1970–1972 seasons competing in the newly created International Championship for Manufacturers, winning several events around Europe, earning a reputation as one of the strongest rally cars of its time. Notable performances from the car included a victory in the 1971 Monte Carlo Rally with Swedish driver Ove Andersson.

With the buy-out of Alpine by Renault complete, the International Championship was replaced by the World Rally Championship for 1973, at which time Renault elected to compete with the A110. With a team featuring Bernard Darniche, Jean-Pierre Nicolas and Jean-Luc Thérier as permanent drivers and "guest stars" like Jean-Claude Andruet (who won the 1973 Monte Carlo Rally) the A110 won most races where the works team was entered, making Alpine the first World Rally Champion. Later competition-spec A110s received engines of up to 1.8 litres.

Alpine A110 1600SX

As well as being built at Alpine's own Dieppe factory, versions of the A110 were built under license by various other vehicle manufacturers around the world. From 1965 to 1974 the car was produced in Mexico under the name "Dinalpin" by Diesel Nacional (DINA), who also produced Renault vehicles. From 1967 to 1969 the A110 was also produced in Bulgaria under the name "Bulgaralpine" by a partnership formed between SPC Metalhim and ETO Bulet, whose collaboration also resulted in the production of the Bulgarrenault.

In 1974 the mid-engined Lancia Stratos, the first car designed specifically for rally racing, was operational and homologated. At the same time it was obvious that the rear-engined A110 was nearing the limits of its development potential. The adoption of fuel injection brought no performance increase. On some cars, a DOHC 16-valve head was fitted to the engine, but it proved unreliable. Chassis modification, like the use of an A310 double wishbone rear suspension, homologated with the A110 1600SC, also failed to increase performance. On the international stage the Stratos proved to be the "ultimate weapon", making the A110, as well as many other rally cars, soon obsolete. The A110 is still seen in events such as Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique.

In 2012, to mark the 50th anniversary of the A110, Renault produced a concept car called the A110-50.

Engines[edit]

The A110 was fitted with a variety of powerplants over its life. Engines used on production cars included the following:

Name Year Model Engine description Type Displacement Power
A110 956 1963-1965 R8 Cléon-Fonte R8 956 cc 55 hp SAE
A110 1100 «70» 1964-1969 1100 VA R8 Major Cléon-Fonte 688[4] 1108 cc 66 hp SAE
A110 1100 «100» 1965-1968 1100 VB R8 Gordini Cléon-Fonte 804[4] 1108 cc 95 hp SAE
A110 1300 «Super»[5] / S 1966-1971 1300 VB Tuned R8 Gordini Cléon-Fonte 804[4] 1296 cc 120 hp SAE
A110 1300 / 1300 G 1967-1971 1300 VA Stock R8 Gordini 1300 Cléon-Fonte 812[4] 1255 cc 105 hp SAE
A110 1500 1967-1968 1500 VA R16 Cléon-Alu from Lotus Europa A1K 1470 cc 82 hp SAE
A110 1600 1969-1970 1600 VA Stock R16 TS Cléon-Alu 807-24[4] 1565 cc 102 hp SAE
A110 V85 / 1300 1970-1976 1300 VC R12 TS Cléon-Fonte 810-30[4] 1289 cc 81 hp SAE (68 hp DIN)
A110 1600 S 1970-1971 1600 VB Tuned R16 TS Cléon-Alu 807-24[4] 1565 cc 138 hp SAE (125 hp DIN)
A110 1600 S / SC 1972-1975 1600 VD R16 TS[4] Cléon-Alu 844–32[4] 1605 cc 140 hp SAE (127 hp DIN)
A110 1600 SI 1973-1975 1600 VD R17 TS Cléon-Alu with injection. 844-34 1605 cc 140 hp SAE (127 hp DIN)
A110 1600 SX 1976-1977 1600 VH Stock R16 TX Cléon-Alu 843[4] 1647 cc 93 hp DIN

Specifications A110 Berlinette (1966)[edit]

Engine
Engine: Renault 1108 cc Straight-4
Power output: 98 hp SAE (73 kW) gross; compression ratio 9.6

Chassis/Body
Overall length: 3,851 mm (151.6 in)
Overall width: 1,471 mm (57.9 in)
Height: 1,130 mm (44 in)
Turning circle: 9,246 mm (364.0 in)
Wheelbase: 2,099 mm (82.6 in)
Front track: 1,250 mm (49 in)
Rear track: 1,219 mm (48.0 in)
Empty weight: 544 kg (1,199 lb)

Performance Top speed: 219 km/h (136 mph)

Unique characteristics: due to the rear-mounted engine there was no air-intake grille on the front of the body. Cooling air was scooped from below the chassis and exhausted through near-horizontal openings on the rear fenders above and aft of the rear wheels.[6]

Specifications A110 1600S (1970–73)[edit]

Engine
Engine: Renault 1565 cc Straight-4
Power Output: 138 hp SAE (103 kW) gross (125 PS DIN (93 kW))

Transmission
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual

Chassis/Body
Chassis: Steel backbone
Body Panels: Fiberglass
Weight: 620 kg (1,370 lb)
Length: 4,039 mm (159.0 in)
Width: 1,501 mm (59.1 in)
Wheelbase: 2,271 mm (89.4 in)
Track (Front/Rear): 1,219 mm (48.0 in) / 1,250 mm (49 in)

Performance
Top speed: 210 km/h (130 mph)

WRC Victories[edit]

No. Event Season Driver Co-driver
1 Monaco 42ème Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo 1973 France Jean-Claude Andruet France Michèle 'Biche' Petit
2 Portugal 7º TAP Rallye de Portugal 1973 France Jean-Luc Thérier France Jacques Jaubert
3 Morocco 16ème Rallye du Maroc 1973 France Bernard Darniche France Alain Mahé
4 Greece 21st Acropolis Rally 1973 France Jean-Luc Thérier France Christian Delferrier
5 Italy 15º Rallye Sanremo 1973 France Jean-Luc Thérier France Jacques Jaubert
6 France 17ème Tour de Corse 1973 France Jean-Pierre Nicolas France Michel Vial

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Designer". ajovalo.net. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  2. ^ Cumberford, Robert (August 2016). "The Cumberford Perspective". Sports Car Market. 28 (8): 68. 
  3. ^ Haajanen, Lennart (October 1, 2007). Illustrated Dictionary of Automobile Body Styles. Mcfarland & Co Inc. p. 20. ISBN 978-0786437375. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Christian Descombes, Alpine, Label bleu, série et compétition, édition E.P.A.
  5. ^ Auto-Rétro n°32, avril 1983.
  6. ^ A. L. Manwaring, The Observer's Book of Automobiles (12th ed., 1966), Library of Congress catalog card #62-9807, p. 35

External links[edit]