The reviews are in and the Alpine A110 is one of the most enjoyable, best-handling cars in a generation—ultra-light and ultra-fun. Unless a moose walks out into the road, apparently. Then you might be going backwards into a tree.
The slightly monomaniacal Spanish site KM77 set before the Alpine A110 a slalom mean to to represent a moose in the road, with the mid-engine french sports car doing 77 km/h. (That’s 48 mph, or about country road speed.) Things didn’t go great:
The site explains that this was the very first run of the day and that the driver didn’t exactly know what to expect. That sounds a little weird to me, but anyway the car slid out halfway through the maneuver and the driver couldn’t quite recover.
Things got worse as speed increased, and the only time the A110 made it through within the lines was at 75 mk/h (47 mph), and even then it smoked one of its tires. This was in “normal” mode and the car’s electronic stability controls on.
Now, this video popped up on Reddit, where a couple posters pointed out that the test doesn’t exactly reward cars that are fast or good to drive. The current Volkswagen GTI, a very safe and more conventional car, still struggled much like the Alpine:
While the more extremely stability-controlled Mazda CX-5 handled the test better:
Somehow the heavier, grippier Porsche Cayman worked out alright, too:
I showed the Alpine A110 video around and everyone seemed to think that a better or more prepared driver could have made it through fine. The site sort of agreed in its own assessment, saying that “the Alpine changes trajectory almost instantaneously to any small movement of the steering wheel and, precisely for that reason, its handling requires precision.” Indeed.
I will gladly take this A110 to the grave, and maybe a moose with me, too.