Evo - - ALPINE A110 v PORSCHE 718 CAY MANS v AUDI TT RS - James Dis­dale

LAUNCH CON­TROL IS THE or­der of the day for all three of these cars, mak­ing straight-line fig­ur­ing fairly straight­for­ward. School­boy French is needed to trans­late the Alpine’s in­struc­tions (Sport or Track mode, left foot on the brake, pull both pad­dles, then mash the throt­tle), but once sorted it sets a re­spectable 4.6sec for the 0-60mph dash – al­though the en­gage­ment of the clutch is al­ways a lit­tle slurred, sug­gest­ing a few tenths are lit­er­ally slip­ping away.

The Cayman gets away more cleanly, man­ag­ing an im­pres­sive 3.9sec. Yet nei­ther car can catch the all-wheel-drive Audi here, its com­bi­na­tion of to­tal trac­tion and awe­some fire­power helping to record a mind-bog­gling 3.5sec time. Think about that. There are bona fide su­per­cars that are only a bis­cuit faster to 60mph.

A dif­fer­ent pic­ture emerges dur­ing our in-gear tests, how­ever. Here, the TT’S vast re­serves of torque are off­set by its mass and taller gears, mean­ing the much lighter and shorter-geared Alpine pretty much matches it blow-for-blow, only fall­ing be­hind as the speeds rise above 70mph.

It’s a sim­i­lar story with the Porsche, which is hob­bled by long-strid­ing gear­ing that’d be more at home in a con­ti­nentcross­ing diesel. It means the Cayman is lethar­gic at low revs, only com­ing on strong when the welt of tur­bocharged torque re­ally starts to hit home at about 3000rpm.

The Porsche is the only car spec­i­fied with op­tional car­bon-ce­ramic brakes, so it’s no sur­prise it stops from 100mph in the short­est dis­tance. Less ex­pected is the fluc­tu­a­tion in per­for­mance over the ten high-speed stops, as it also records the long­est stop­ping dis­tance. Its pedal also has the worst feel when stop­ping quickly, go­ing very soft then push­ing back against your foot as the emer­gency brak­ing systems re­lin­quish con­trol as you come to a halt.

The Alpine is more con­sis­tent, its pedal only go­ing softer in the last cou­ple of runs – al­though there’s no big drop-off in per­for­mance. Best of the bunch is the Audi, which de­liv­ers the most con­sis­tent stop­ping dis­tances and main­tains a firm pedal through­out.

' There are bona fide su­per­cars that are only a bis­cuit faster to 60mph'

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