Generally, I like to try and live my life according to a few simple maxims pulled from the questionable wisdom of my favorite podcast, Roderick on the Line. The foremost of those is, "You get what you get and don't be upset."
As a car enthusiast, it's easy to look at some of the fantastic vehicles that get sold in places like Europe and Japan that will never make it to the US and get all angry or annoyed about it, but in the end, what can you do about it other than wait 25 years and pay too much for an imported one?
Where that logic breaks down for me is with the exquisite-looking Alpine A110. That lightweight, midengined beauty is just a bridge too far, and now things are getting worse because Alpine announced on Wednesday that it would be releasing a higher-performing S version. I'm salty as hell.
What makes the A110S different from the standard unit? To start, the 1.8-liter engine gets tweaked to make a bit more horsepower -- 40 to be exact -- but torque remains unchanged. The suspension is the next thing to get massaged. Alpine dropped the car by an almost imperceptible 4 millimeters, increased the spring rate by 50% and doubled the stiffness of the anti-roll bars.
Those adjustments should take a car that was already game to dance with you on a mountain road and turn it into a real weapon. Next up are larger wheels and tires that can take advantage of all the increased body control and power on tap. Formerly optional Brembo brakes are now standard on the S.
What is optional on the S model: a carbon fiber roof and featherweight Fuchs wheels. If Fuchs sounds familiar, that's because it made the most iconic wheels for air-cooled
The only saving grace of this whole A110S situation is that Alpine has still not seen fit to bless the car with a manual transmission. The standard car's seven-speed dual-clutch transmission remains the only box available.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to be looking up ways to secure a French visa with only a limited skill set of questionable use to society.
Vive la Berlinette! Alpine revives the A110 sports coupe