Home » The Alpine A110 San Remo 73 Is A 300-Horsepower Love Letter To Rally Domination

The Alpine A110 San Remo 73 Is A 300-Horsepower Love Letter To Rally Domination

Alpine A110 San Remo 73 Topshot

It’s a dire time for go-fast stripes in the automotive industry. From hot hatches to half-ton trucks, we’re facing a stripe shortage, but one valiant manufacturer is pumping a little bit of life into the graphics nice. French sports car company Alpine is digging deep into its rally heritage for the A110 San Remo 73, a very quick, very blue, very stripey, and very French take on a lightweight coupe.

Alpine A110 San Remo 73 Profile

The San Remo 73 edition is built to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Jean-Luc Thérier and Jacques Jaubert’s victory at the 1973 San Remo rally, along with Alpine’s general domination of the 1973 World Rally Championship. See, the first WRC Championship was exclusively for manufacturers, and Alpine cleaned up with 63 points more than the second-place Fiat marque. Despite being a decade old, the original Alpine A110 mashed the competition into a viscous soup, a fabulous advertisement for the benefits of lightness.

Alpine A110 San Remo 73 New And Old

Since the original A110 raced in French racing blue, the Alpine A110 San Remo 73 is also bluer than Papa Smurf. Contrasting the traditional racing color is a black-and-red roof and a set of black-and-white graphics reminiscent of that winning car from 1973. Oh, and the wheels are bright white which looks fantastic but could be an utter bastard to keep clean. The high-contrast megaphone-loud color scheme works perfectly, so long as you don’t hate fun. Then again, if you’re far too serious to drive a car in an actual color, the Alpine A110 probably isn’t for you. On the inside, single-piece Sabelt buckets come embroidered with commemorative crests, and each San Remo 73 gets an engraved plaque like you’d see on a very expensive instrument.

Alpine A110 San Remo 73 Rear

We love the Alpine A110 because it’s lovely. Slung just ahead of the rear wheels may be a mere 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine from a Renault Espace people carrier, but it’s been boosted to the moon to produce 300 horsepower. That’s an awful lot of shove for a car that weighs several hundred pounds less than a Subaru BRZ. The only gearbox on offer is a dual-clutch automatic, but the Alfa Romeo 4C committed the same sin and looked like a kit car compared to this thing. Expect a zero-to-62 time of 4.2 seconds, plenty quick for a sports car.

new and old

Alpine is only making 200 examples of the A110 San Remo 73 and the price tag isn’t cheap. In France, the car carries a retail of €89,000 including VAT. That’s several hundred Euros more than the base price of a Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 in France and a whopping €14,500 more than what an Alpine A110S costs. However, it does look damn good and should be brilliant to drive. Unfortunately, as with every other modern Alpine A110, the San Remo 73 isn’t coming to America. What a shame. I guess we’ll just have to wait until 2048 for this lovely little French backroad blaster to be legal for U.S. importation, and maybe pick up one of those nifty new Lotus Emiras in the meantime.

(Photo credits: Alpine)

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14 Responses

  1. It needs the proper shadem of red on the roof, the proper wheels (which are available on the catalogue, don’t know why they didn’t use them) in orange. And yellow fogs.

  2. I truly love the look of this car. But robins egg blue not a sports car color. And i do like stripes but so many people may be okay with them in principal but on the final product one option on a set of stripes isnt going to be to everyones taste. I would love British Racing Green, a front to back stripe, with an authentic racing number on the hood and doors. But many people would not buy a car with that set up. They are better off offering many different stripe patterns as an option.that are included in the sale but attached at the buyers expense.

    1. This is a special edition commemorating a specific car and event. The aesthetics are inspired by that specific car, so it wouldn’t make sense to diverge from the original too much (I’d argue the white wheels and the wrong shade of red for the roof are enough of a departure from the original). This isn’t meant to appeal to many people, they’re planning to make just 200 of them.

      But I do agree that non-special edition A110s could have a range of optional racing stripes and I think they would be popular amongst buyers.

  3. I wish this were available in the states. I want an electric one.

    My main gripe with the current gen is just how large it is compared to the original. The original A110 weighed 1,800 lbs, while the current iteration is about 2,380 lbs. The original’s drag coefficient was not as good as the current, but its low frontal area more than made up for the difference. The original had a Cd of around 0.4, but a frontal area around 1.4 m^2, whereas the current iteration has a Cd value of 0.32, and a frontal area of roughly 1.9 m^2. The one from the 1960s is about 10% more aerodynamically slippery.

    Considering this, the current one is a step backwards in many ways.

    But the current gen A110 is still almost as slippery as the cybaroque Prius(the previous gen of Prius), and it shows in its fuel economy, the current A110 getting roughly 45 mpg. Take the same 249 horsepower engine and put it in an OLD A110 from the 1960s/70s, and you’d have something that is much faster than the current gen, and would probably get close to 60 mpg. 200 mph would also be in reach. THAT is the kind of car that is possible, that we aren’t getting.

    That said, I’d gladly take the new A110 over a Miata. Similar mass, more powerful, more aerodynamically efficient, AND the engine is in the right place. If it were available in the U.S., it would be the best car available for my preferences.

    1. I’ve been in an old one. It’s light for a reason. You can bend the roof with no effort, your legs are the front crash structure and noise insulation is non existent.

      I know you advocate for light and small cars, but being a passenger in a A110 was sort of scary, and not in a good way (even if it was awesome in other ways)

      1. For me, that’s all part of its charm! I want to ride in one sooo badly.

        That being said, the addition of a roll cage would only add about 150 lbs, but would go a very long way toward making a crash survivable, as well as increasing chassis rigidity.

  4. Absolutely LOVE this color. I am reading this article and see only 200 will be made and then read the price tag won’t be cheap…. I was expecting to see a 200,000$ price tag, and then only see 90,000 Euro?

    Just goes to show how Fucked prices are on cars, no one can say what is cheap or expensive now. Some say a 60,000$ Hyundai is a great price, but a 90,000$ french sports car isn’t cheap.

    1. Conveniently we have a review from Jason and David which tells you how “cheap” the A110 San Remo is.

      It costs less than the Wagoneer.
      No. I’m not joking.

  5. I know that SUVs and CUVs are the current darlings of American car buyers, but I think it keeps other buyers from getting vehicles like this Alpine. Oh, if only Stellantis could find a way to make these available here. Gorgeous car and less than a C8 Corvette.

    1. Isn’t Alpine a Renault owned company (not Stellantis)? I worked on Nissan/Infiniti here in Canada and there were rumours that the Alpine would show up in NA as an Infiniti.

      1. Societe des Automobiles Alpine SAS was bought by Renault in 1973. However, in 2012, Caterham Cars (yes, them,) bought a 50% stake in Alpine including the Dieppe plant. Renault bought that stake back in 2014. Renault then transferred Renault Sport to Alpine in 2021, saying it would become a new Alpine business unit.
        However, that hasn’t happened yet. Alpine continues to operate as an entirely independent subsidiary. Alpines are made at their own exclusive plant in Dieppe, and finances are handled completely separate from Renault, and CEO Laurent Rossi reports only to Renault CEO Luca de Meo.

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