The career of Alpine Formula One driver Fernando Alonso will be marked with a new special-edition A110 road car, as the two-time champion departs the Alpine team for Aston Martin in next year’s F1 championship.
Renault’s sports car brand Alpine is celebrating the tenure of its Formula One driver Fernando Alonso with a special-edition 2023 Alpine A110 R Fernando Alonso sports car – just months before the two-time World Champion leaves the Alpine team for Aston Martin.
Revealed ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, the A110 R Fernando Alonso edition builds on the ‘regular’ A110 R track special revealed this week with unique styling touches reportedly designed with “input” from the Spanish driver.
It’s limited to just 32 examples, one for each of Alonso’s F1 race wins – but none will come to Australia, as the entire Alpine A110 range was axed locally last year because it does not meet stringent new safety regulations (click here for more details).
First deliveries are slated to begin in Europe from early 2023 – which will by chance coincide with Alonso’s race debut with Aston Martin in Formula One, after signing a three-year deal with the British team in August that caught Alpine off-guard.
Unverified reports suggest the special-edition A110 road car was conceived by Alpine with the expectation Alonso would re-sign with the team for the 2023 season – and was reportedly pitched as a “special gift” to coincide with the new contract.
Differences between the ‘standard’ A110 R and new A110 R Fernando Alonso edition – said to have been developed with Alonso’s input – are limited to visual tweaks and mild suspension changes, rather than significant engine or chassis upgrades.
Prices in France reportedly start from €148,000 ($AU226,000) – 40 per cent more than the regular A110 R (€105,000/$AU160,000), or nearly two and a half times dearer than an entry-level A110 (€60,500/$AU92,400).
Upgrades include Racing Matte Blue body paint inspired by Alpine’s 2022 F1 car, the same blue colour for the front ‘bonnet’ (rather than exposed carbon fibre), a black finish on the rear fascia and carbon-fibre decklid, black wing supports, and grey edging around the wheels.
The orange brake calipers “are a nod to Fernando Alonso’s historic colours”, according to Alpine, while blue-orange-yellow flags (Alonso’s signature colours) behind the front doors replace the French blue-white-red flags on the regular A110.
The Spanish champion’s signature features on the car’s front end and seat headrests, and the sun visors have been laser cut with a “quote that represents the driver’s philosophy”, according to Alpine: “There is more than one path to the top of the mountain”.
Other interior tweaks include orange door straps, an orange steering wheel centre marker, microfibre upholstery, blue-orange-yellow flags on the doors, and engraved build plates on the centre console.
Chassis upgrades are limited to a “unique adjustment system” for the suspension, allowing drivers to manually set the car in a ‘track-only’ configuration, with a 10mm lower ride height and five per cent increase in stiffness.
“An Alpine-patented innovation, it will give enthusiasts ready access to track settings approved by Fernando Alonso himself on Barcelona’s F1 circuit,” Alpine says in its media release.
There are no changes to the engine, which remains a mid-mounted 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with 221kW and 340Nm, powering the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Alpine claims a 3.9-second dash from zero to 100km/h, towards a top speed of 285km/h.
Highlights carried over from the standard A110 R include 18-inch carbon-fibre wheels, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 track tyres, the lighter carbon-fibre bonnet, a larger rear wing, new front and rear aerodynamic aids, carbon-fibre bucket seats, and racing harnesses.
Deliveries of the 2023 Alpine A110 R Fernando Alonso are slated to begin at some point after the standard A110 R, in early 2023.
All buyers will receive “a Fernando Alonso replica racing helmet, signed by the two-time world champion himself,” according to Alpine.