The A110 was a true departure for the company as styling was largely revised and the Dieppe-based firm began building one of their more respected models that would remain in limited production for over a decade.
Like other road-going Alpines the A110 made heavy use of mass-produced Renault parts. But while the A108 was designed around Dauphine components, the A110 was updated to use R8 parts. Unlike the A108 available first as a cabriolet and later as a Coupé, the A110 was delivered only with "Berlinetta" bodyworks. The main visible difference with the A108 Coupé was a restyling of the rear body that gave the car a more aggressive look. Like the A108, the A110 featured a steel backbone chassis with fiberglass body. This design was influenced by the Lotus Elan, Colin Chapman being a major source of inspiration for Alpine designers at that time.
Jean Redele, the founder of Alpine, was originally a Dieppe garage proprietor who began to achieve considerable competition success in one of the few French cars produced just after World War 2. Using Renault 4CVs, he gained class wins in a number of major events, including the Mille Miglia and Coupe des Alpes. As his experience with the little 4CV built up, he incorporated many modifications, including for example, special 5 speed gear boxes replacing the original 3 speed unit. To provide a lighter car he built a number of special versions with lightweight aluminium bodies: he drove in these at Le Mans and Sebring with some success in the early 50s.
The A110 achieved most of its fame in the early 1970s as a victorious rally car. After winning several rallies in France in the late 1960s with iron-cast R8 Gordini engines the car was fitted with the aluminium block Renault 16 TS engine. With two dual chamber Weber Weber 45 carburetors the new engine was able to deliver 125 hp DIN at 6000 rpm. This allowed the production 1600S to reach a top speed of 210 km/h.
Top speed: 132mph
Configuration: in-line four
Fuel delivery: carburettor
Suspension Front: Independent, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Suspension Rear: Independent, coil springs, telescopic dampers
Drivetrain: rear-engine RWD
Steering: rack and pinion
Bodyframe: chassis and glassfibre body
Transmission: Five-speed manual