The Alpine A110, also known as the "Berlinette", was a sports car produced by the French manufacturer Alpine from 1961 to 1977. The Alpine A110 was introduced as an evolution of the A108. The A110 was powered by various Renault engines.
Like other road-going Alpines, the 1961 A110 used many Renault parts - including engines. But while the preceding 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 delivered first with "Berlinetta" bodywork and then as a cabriolet. The main visible difference with the A108 Coupé was a restyling of the rear body to fit the larger engines, which gave the car a more aggressive look. Like the A108, the A110 featured a steel backbone chassis with fiberglass body. The A110 was originally available with 1.1 L R8 Major or R8 Gordini engines. The Gordini engine delivered 95 hp (71 kW) SAE at 6,500 rpm.
Alpine Gordini Race Car
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 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 longer wheelbase 2+2 Alpine GT4, originally considered a version of the A108, was updated with A110 engines and mechanicals, now being marketed as the "A110 GT4".
The car reached international fame during the 1970-1972 seasons when it participated in the newly created International Championship for Manufacturers, winning several events around Europe and being considered one of the strongest rally cars of its time. Notable performances from the car included victory on 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, in which 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.
As well as being built at Alpine's Dieppe factory, A110 models were constructed by various other vehicle manufacturers around the world. The Alpine A110 was produced in Brazil under the name Interlagos (after the eponymous racetrack); a young driver named Emerson Fittipaldi drove one in several races. The Alpine A110 was produced in Mexico under the name Dinalpin, from 1965 to 1974, by Diesel Nacional (DINA), which also produced the Renault vehicles. The Alpine A110 was also produced in Bulgaria under the name Bulgaralpine, from 1967 to 1969, by a cooperative 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 from scratch for rally racing, was operational and homologated. At the same time, it was obvious that the tail-engined A110 had begun reaching the end of its development. Attempts to use fuel injection brought no performance increase. On some cars a DOHC 16-valve head was fitted to the engine but 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 was fitted with various powerplants. Here is a list of the engines used on production cars:
|A110 1100 "70"||1964–1969||1000 VA||R8 Major||type 688||1108 cc||66 hp (49 kW) SAE|
|A110 1100 "100"||1965–1968||1100 VB||R8 Gordini||type 804||1108 cc||95 hp (71 kW) SAE|
|A110 1300 S||1965–1971||1300 VB||tuned R8 Gordini||type 804||1296 cc||120 hp (89 kW) SAE|
|A110 1300 G||1967–1971||1300 VA||stock R8 Gordini 1300||type 812||1255 cc||105 hp (78 kW) SAE|
|A110 1500||1967–1968||stock Lotus Europa engine: R16 block||1470 cc||82 hp (61 kW) SAE|
|A110 1600||1969–1970||1600 VA||stock R16 TS||1565 cc||92 hp (69 kW) SAE|
|A110 1300 V85||1969–1976||1300 VC||R12TS||1289 cc||81 hp (60 kW) SAE (68 hp DIN)|
|A110 1600S||1970–1973||1600 VB||tuned R16 TS||1565 cc||138 hp (103 kW) SAE (125 hp DIN)|
|A110 1600S||1973–1975||1600 VC, SC||R17 TS||type 844-32||1605 cc||140 hp (100 kW) SAE (126 hp DIN)|
|A110 1600S SI||1974–1975||1600 VD||R17 TS with fuel injection||1605 cc||140 hp (100 kW) SAE (127 hp DIN)|
|A110 1600S SX||1976–1978||stock R16 TX||type 843||1647 cc||93 hp (69 kW) DIN|
Specifications A110 Berlinette (1966)
Engine Engine: Renault 1108 cc Straight-4 Power output: 98 hp SAE (73 kW) gross; compression ratio 9.6
Chassis/Body Overall length: 12.633 ft (3.851 m) Overall width: 4.825 ft (1.471 m) Height: 3.708 ft (1.130 m) Turning circle: 30.333 ft (9.246 m) Wheelbase: 6.885 ft (2.099 m) Front track: 4.100 ft (1.250 m) Rear track: 4.000 ft (1.219 m) Empty weight: 1199 lb (544 kg)
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.
Specifications A110 1600S (1970-1973)
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: 1367 lb (620 kg) Length: 159 in (4.039 m) Width: 59.1 in (1.501 m) Wheelbase: 89.4 in (2.271 m) Track (Front/Rear): 48.0 in (1.219 m) / 49.2 in (1.250 m)
Performance Top speed: 210 km/h (130 mph)