Alpine A110 Légende GT 2021

The GT’S ‘best of both worlds’ status comes with a caveat

- Ian Eveleigh

THE GT HAS BEEN CALLED THE Goldilocks model in the Alpine lineup, combining as it does the more powerful engine from the A110S with the softer suspension from the standard car. It’s been said many times before, but that non-s chassis really is refreshing when you’re tackling a typical British B-road, allowing the car to breathe with the surface passing beneath it and clearly feeling set up for road driving rather than lap times. To experience it is to be reminded how so many other modern performanc­e cars pummel their way along the asphalt as their suspension attempts to provide maximum control while managing excessive weight.

That said, from what I’d read and heard about the basic A110’s ride, I had expected our similarly suspended GT to be even smoother than it is. Specifical­ly, I thought it would round off those minor imperfecti­ons that litter almost every UK road – the patches and the potholes, the joints and the drain covers – a little more than it does. Having never driven a standard A110, I assumed I was simply expecting too much, but then John Barker tried our long-termer for a few days recently and, upon returning it, said he remembered the regular A110 being a touch more compliant, and I’ve since noticed a few comments elsewhere suggesting the same.

So if the GT’S suspension truly is what it’s claimed to be, what’s the score? Well, along with the S’s engine, the GT also gains the sportier model’s larger brakes, while its wheels grow from 17 inches in diameter to 18. So there’s less tyre sidewall to absorb those harsh little inputs, and more unsprung mass being set in motion by them too. It’s also worth noting that, thanks to those upgrades and some other extra kit, the Légende GT carries an additional 36kg overall compared with the lightest A110 of all, the recently discontinu­ed A110 Pure. This may not sound like much, but given the Pure weighs just 1098kg, you’re talking about an increase of more than three per cent for the Légende.

For me, the GT’S slightly busy secondary ride isn’t an issue. It’s detailed rather than crashy or thumpy, and I only tend to notice it at slower speeds in urban environmen­ts. But if it’s a truly unadultera­ted A110 experience you’re after, it may be one of the lighter, smaller-wheeled but also less powerful entry-level versions that will satisfy your needs best.

Date acquired February 2022 Total mileage 7307 Mileage this month 729 Costs this month £0 mpg this month 34.0

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