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Alpine A110 Pikes Peak challenger revealed

Alpine has unveiled its contender for the annual hill climb event

Alpine has revealed a very special version of the A110, designed specifically to take on one of the most fearsome motorsport events on the planet. That’s because the wild-looking coupe will be heading to the United States for 25 June to take on the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. 

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‘Hill’ is slightly underplaying the severity of the task at hand; the course winds its way up the Pikes Peak mountain in Colorado via a 12.42-mile, 156-turn climb to the summit finish line at 14,115 feet above sea level. 

The Alpine A110 Pikes Peak, which has already completed its first shakedown in France on 25/26 April, will compete in the Time Attack 1 category; a class which, though fundamentally for production-based cars, allows the potential for plenty of aerodynamic add-ons to help the cars stick to the road at an event where maximum downforce is vital. 

The shakedown was completed by Raphaël Astier; the 2022 FIA R-GT Cup champion will also take to the wheel in the main event. Frenchman Astier also currently holds the Time Attack 1 class record up Pikes Peak, when he set a time of nine minutes, 23.721 seconds at the wheel of a turbocharged Porsche 993 GT3 Cup car in 2019. The overall record is held by his countryman Roman Dumas, who hurled the all-electric VW I.D. R up the course in 7:57.148.

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Among the Alpine’s most striking additions for the ‘Race to the Clouds’ is a Le Mans Prototype-style shark fin which runs from the rear window backwards, splitting a huge two-piece rear wing. A wild front splitter, low side skirts and a deep rear diffuser will also press the A110 Pikes Peak against the asphalt, and flat wheel covers further contribute to the tweaks. True to the Alpine factory livery, the car wears the French colours of red, white and blue, but also makes a nod to the American event with 50 stars on the roof. 

With oxygen much more scarce at the summit of the climb, a ram-air induction scoop sits on the roof to feed as much air into the mid-mounted engine as possible. To counteract the inevitable losses in output at high altitude, the 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine has been boosted from the road-going car’s 296bhp up to a thumping 500bhp. 

At 1,082kg, the A110 R is hardly a heavyweight even in road-going form, but Alpine engineers have managed to trim the Pikes Peak’s kerb weight down to 950kg. The changes made to trim what little mass there was include ditching the standard headlights for slim laser-cut bars that sit in their place. In another nod to Le Mans, the rear lights have been moved onto the vertical sections of the rear spoiler and that central fin.

Alpine’s development work for the Pikes Peak has been carried out alongside the Signatech squad. The French racing team has had long-standing success with Alpine already, having taken two LMP2 titles in the World Endurance Championship and producing another motorsport spec A110 for the GT4 category.

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Chief reviewer

Alex joined Auto Express as staff writer in early 2018, helping out with news, drives, features, and the occasional sports report. His current role of Chief reviewer sees him head up our road test team, which gives readers the full lowdown on our comparison tests.

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