France's answer to the Porsche Cayman is about to spawn its most hardcore derivative to date as Alpine is a day away from unveiling the A110 R. It will retain the turbocharged 1.8-litre petrol engine of the S version, a four-pot mill inherited from the Renault Megane RS hot hatchback. A previous teaser revealed the output won't change as the mid-engined coupe will pack the same 300 bhp and 251 lb-ft (340 Nm).
Even so, it'll be quicker in terms of acceleration while having a higher top speed. Indeed, Alpine has already revealed the A110 R will hit 177 mph (285 km/h) and a new teaser shows getting there will take a few ticks earlier than before. While the S is advertised with a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) sprint in 4.2 seconds, the R will drop below the four-second mark. Published on social media, a short clip shows the spicy coupe on a dyno completing the sprint in 3.9 seconds. It makes it only half a second slower than a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS.
Renault's performance arm Alpine has also said the A110 R will be even lighter, but without disclosing how much fat its engineers have been able to shave off. Keep in mind the A110 is one of the lightest sports cars money can buy, tipping the scales at 1,102 to 1,140 kilograms (2,429 to 2,513 pounds) depending on the level of equipment. It has roughly the same weight as a Mazda MX-5 but with nearly 70 percent more power from an engine mounted behind the seats.
It remains to be seen whether the R will represent the internal combustion engine's epilogue ahead of 2025 when Alpine will morph into a pure EV marque. The A110 has already been electrified as the start of the year brought us a 400-bhp hybrid prototype with all-wheel drive. A few months later, the Megane E-Tech's powertrain was crammed inside for an all-electric prototype dubbed A110 E-ternité. However, both remain one-offs.
An indirect electric successor to the A110 will arrive in 2026 on a platform co-developed with Lotus. Until that happens, rival Porsche Cayman will also go EV-only from 2025 along with its Boxster sibling.