Alpine A110 Mid-Engine Sportster is France’s coolest police car
All over the world, many police forces have used sports cars for various reasons. Whether it’s the Japanese police who have Nissan GT-Rs, or the Italians who occasionally drive their Lamborghini Huracans. Dubai Police have a pretty remarkable collection, to say the least. Now the French have acquired a few mid-engined sports cars for their police. The French authorities have decided to order a total of 26 units of their own mid-engined Alpine A110 sports cars. They have a pretty interesting plan as to what they want to do with them. The one we approve of.
Alpine A110: what you probably don’t know
The Alpine A110 was originally a mid-engined sports car from the 1960s and 1970s. Alpine is an obscure French automaker few Europeans have heard of. The original A110 dominated the 1973 World Rally Championship, winning six of 13 rounds and winning the title that year.
In the same year, French automobile giant Renault acquired the company. Alpine has since been part of the Renault Sport division as a competition brand. Renault has used the name Alpine to participate in various forms of motorsport events over the years, most notably at Le Mans.
To pay homage to the original A110 which dominated the world rally scene in the past, Renault Sport presented the modern leisure Alpine A110 in 2017. In January 2021, Renault relaunched Alpine as a self-driving car brand and renamed its existing Formula 1 team to the Alpine F1 team to promote it further. The F1 team consists of two cars driven by two-time F1 world champion Fernando Alonso and French national driver Esteban Ocon.
Alpine A110: Tell me more!
The new Alpine A110 pays homage to the original from the 60s / 70s. Like the original, the new is also a mid-engined sports car that was designed to resemble its parent who dominated the rally scene at the time.
For some, the A110 might be an acquired taste. But put the new and the original side by side, and the style starts to make sense. The original featured four round headlights, the same were incorporated into the new one, while circumventing all modern safety regulations. Even in terms of proportions, the new car very clearly resembles the original. Its compact, lean, and most importantly, highly desirable.
The A110 of the 1970s was built primarily from parts borrowed from Renault. As Renault built the new one from scratch, no point in guessing who made the engine in this one. Behind the driver is a small 1.8-liter turbo 4-cylinder that develops a modest 250 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. It may not sound very impressive, but the entire car weighs only 2,432 pounds. It’s a recipe that any French chef would offer on their menu at the racetrack.
Alpine A110: modest but powerful
Being a very light sports car, even such modest engine performance allows the A110 to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds. Alpine electronically limited the top speed to 155 mph. This can be an impressive feat for the small sports car. But what’s amazing is the accolades it has received from the automotive community around the world.
James May of Top Gear and The Grand Tour personally considers the Alpine A110 to be a downsized supercar. May owns a new Alpine A110 himself.
The former F1 car designer and the man behind the glorious McLaren F1 are said to have claimed the new A110 as the best car he has driven in terms of drive and handling. He even considers it better than a Porsche or a Lotus Evora. Murray, who drives one as well as his daily, took his A110 apart to find out why it was during the development of his new T.50 Hypercar project. Praise doesn’t go higher than that!
What the French police want with the Alpine A110
A total of 26 Alpine A110 sports cars have joined the French police. The national gendarmerie will use these vehicles on the ground. For those who do not know the National Gendarmerie, they are responsible for the police of small towns and rural areas mostly with a population of less than 20,000 people.
The French Interior Ministry said authorities would use Alpine A110 cars to carry out interventions on highways or chase high-speed crooks. In addition, it will be part of the road safety mission as well as the judicial police missions.
To add a bit of French flair, the local customization firm, Durisotti will tailor the cars to the needs of the authorities. In France, the base specification A110 sells for around $ 68,000. But the custom details added to meet the needs of the police force would cost a fair share on top of that.
While most of the rest of the police forces in the world use their precious national supercars to look classy. The French authorities plan to use their A110 units in the field. Why not you ? The Alpine A110 is one of the coolest cars you can buy today. It would be a shame if they didn’t! What is a shame is that the Alpine A110 is a forbidden fruit for the USA.
Renault has built some really cool and original cars over the years, but unfortunately they are not available in the United States.
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