Alpine A110 GT vs Honda Civic Type R: mix of genres

Reasons to choose (once again) the A110 GT …

I have a doubt. At Auto Moto, have you ever been told about the Alpine A110? Yes, of course, a thousand times. Even a little more. Faithful reader, you already know everything about your recent GT proposal. And if, on the contrary, you had missed the last episode of a soap opera that obsesses us, this version becomes the third available in the catalog after a redesign of the range earlier this year 2022. In particular, launched by the limited series Legend GT 2021, its concept is simple but ultra effective: the “flexible” chassis of the basic A110 fits the “big” engine of the S.

The upgrade is accompanied by a maximum power increased to 300 hp compared to the previous 292. An evolution of only 8 hp, which, however, seems quite obvious. Even without whipping. In fluid behavior, precisely, the motor gains in roundness, not to mention in muscle, and facilitates reminders. As if the 1.8 TCe had become a big fat … 2.0.

Enough sarcasm, the Civic offers no more lateral displacement. This feeling is easily explained. After the reinforcement of the robotic transmission, now the 4-cylinder turbo can offer an additional 20 Nm. A modest progression once again, but frankly palpable with respect to the mass to be launched, always contained around 1,100 kg.

The EDC, Normal and Sport automatic gearbox modes, which show as an bonus an additional forecast to always select the right gear at the right time, the original Renault block never runs out of breath. It is further cut by its availability compared to its Honda counterpart, with a much more marked turbo effect, especially at the bottom of the tachometer.

True to automation, but for the better, the Alpine impresses more than ever with its daily driving comfort, while the Civic especially requires shaking your left leg and right arm in traffic.

That said, the Track program, It can also be accessed via the small red button on the steering wheel, which requires you to shift gears yourself and lower the ESP intervention threshold, it is still favored to fully enjoy the Dieppe coupe.

It is true that the A110 S, with its stiffer undercarriage and optional mesh Michelin semi-slips, will make the sensitive rope of the trackers vibrate more. But without finding yourself helpless on the circuit, the GT makes a difference on the road due to its recreational nature, especially against a harder Civic Type R.

The flexibility of its damping allows load transfers. Although it means accentuating the natural imbalance of this propulsion with the rear central mechanics. It’s all a matter of time. A small turn, a touch on the brake pedal … The A110 turns on itself.

The engine, which has never been so powerful, then expands the range of possibilities. The turns are negotiated using both the steering wheel and the gas pedal. It is up to each one to choose one or the other according to their ease, knowing that unlike a Civic with building a bus, the Alpine takes up very little space on the road for its ease of use. It is no longer piloting, but choreography. Let the poor dancers be quiet, the berlinetta is the best teacher there is.

… or prefer a (good) old Civic Type R

With the A110, whenever we hear your ears, we regularly state in our columns that there is nothing better than propulsion. And like any good certainty, it borders on stupidity. The Honda is currently one of the best sports cars on our planet. Yes, it’s a throw. And what ? Clearly the sensations are there, no matter the speed. A signal that does not deceive.

The driving position, particularly conferred by the perfectly surrounding seats, is one of the immediate pleasures experienced at the wheel of the Type R. With, of course, the handling of manual transmission control, a must All categories. Its short routes, its precise guidance, the contact of its aluminum-cut knob in the palm of your hand … It’s already a whole program.

More generally, the ergonomics and consistency of the controls are an ode to the symbiosis between man and machine. Here, without aesthetic or technological flourishes, that’s the least we can say! But it would be a shame to stop here, without exploring the scope of the talents of an unusual engine.

The VTEC is really endearingly endearing because guarantees an inexhaustible surprise effect. As long as your right foot gets heavy with the accelerator pedal, even imperceptibly, this large 320 hp rubber band catapults you into the bend of a revival, with a strong breath as the turbo turns.

This does not prevent it from rushing towards 7000 rpm with almost contained violence. The additional torque compared to that of the Renault block is obvious. The mechanical transmission naturally emphasizes all this character. Especially because the gear ratio is still relatively short by the standards of our time governed by anti-pollution standards.

But the chassis doesn’t count. Especially the front axle. The quasi-magic of the limited-slip mechanical device works almost seamlessly thanks to the use of independent pivots. Do you need to tighten the trajectory while maintaining momentum? No problem, just turn the steering wheel. In no case does it occur to me to leave a few horses in the stable.

In addition, even more than for its performance and efficiency, the Type R, gives a smile for the feeling of robustness that inspires. From the first to the last bend of a passing road, of a day of circuit (cut the useless mention), the Japanese is surprised by the consistency of its reactions as well as its consumables (tires, brakes, etc.). Like a race car. Hard to formulate a nicer compliment when it comes to a sports car despite its 5 seats and its very practical large trunk.

Speaking of solidity, in the impossibility of finding the latest evolution of an FK8 as its fans call it, the copy here in the image, dedicated to the press, shows with insolent freshness more than 40,000 km of relentless tests on the clock. Which is ten times the scale of “normal” use by anyone other than a journalist. Something to reassure those who would be tempted by a second-hand model while waiting for the next generation, which, it should not be 100% electric, unlike the A110 …

Our verdict

It is not always necessary to look for propulsion to allow for emotion. Provided, however, that you choose the best traction.

Alpine A110 GT data sheet

  • Engine: rear center, 4-cylinder turbo, direct injection, 16 valves, stop & start, 1,798 cc3.
  • Transmission: propulsion, 7-speed robotic double clutch
  • Power (hp to rpm): 300 to 6,300
  • Torque (Nm to rpm): 340 to 2,400
  • Weight (kg): from 1,119 empty
  • Length.xamplada.xalt. (m): 4.18 × 1.80 × 1.25
  • Wheelbase (m): 2.42
  • Deposit (l): 45
  • Trunk volume (liters): 96 + 100
  • Maximum speed (km / h): 250
  • 0 to 100 km / h: 4 ”2
  • Standard tires: 205/40 R18; 235/40 R18
  • Test tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4
  • Price: € 70,500

Honda Civic Type R data sheet

  • Engine: transverse front, 4-cylinder turbo, direct injection, 16 valves, variable chain, 1,996 cc3.
  • Transmission: traction, 6-speed mechanics
  • Power (cv @ rpm): 320 @ 6,500
  • Torque (Nm to rpm): 400 to 2,500
  • Weight (kg): 1,405 empty
  • Length.xamplada.xalt. (m): 4.56 × 1.88 × 1.43
  • Wheelbase (m): 2.70
  • Deposit (l): 46
  • Trunk volume (liters): 420
  • Maximum speed (km / h): 272
  • 0 to 100 km / h: 5 ”8
  • Standard tires: 245/30 R20
  • Test tires: Continental SportContact6
  • Price: € 44,920 (2021)

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