Alpine A110 E-ternite Is a Slick, Sporty Electric Convertible


The current Alpine A110 is a modern take on a classic French sports car that more than earned its place in motorsport history. In fact, the A110 is celebrating its 60th anniversary, and to help commemorate the occasion, Alpine thought way outside the box and created one seriously cool prototype.

Alpine this week unveiled the A110 E-ternite. This prototype show car isn’t necessarily destined for production; Instead, it stands as a sort of test bed for the future of Alpine as automakers shift toward electrification. It’s more than just a standard A110 with a battery shoehorned under the floor.

The A110 is not the largest car out there, so fitting a battery under the body required some unconventional thinking. The A110 E-ternite’s 12 battery modules are split up, with four at the front of the car and the remaining eight at the rear. A single electric motor at the rear provides 239 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque, and it uses a two-speed dual-clutch transmission that was developed for this vehicle. Range is estimated at 261 miles on the European WLTP cycle.

While the standard A110 is a coupe, the A110 E-ternite is a convertible. Its carbon roof features a removable panel, and engineers tweaked the vehicle to ensure that the new roof didn’t compromise overall rigidity. The addition of a more complex roof and a fully electric powertrain did incur an overall weight gain, with the A110 E-ternite weighing about 570 pounds more than a standard A110.

The interior also picks up some new tricks. Instead of a traditional infotainment system built into the dashboard, the Alpine A110 E-ternite uses the owner’s own tablet for telematics, giving the driver a little extra sense of familiarity. There’s also a new eight-speaker audio system that includes a subwoofer.

Toting around your iPad might get a little annoying, but hey, no infotainment solution is truly perfect.

Alpine

If that wasn’t enough, there’s a little more innovation in a second example of the A110 E-ternite. There, Alpine relied on flax (or linseed, if you prefer) as the primary component for parts of the hood, roof, rear window, grille and seats. Alpine claims the resulting material is as strong as carbon fiber but offers better acoustics.

While there doesn’t appear to be any plans to bring the A110 E-ternite to production, it’s interesting to see what Alpine is cooking up for future versions of its vehicles. If you happen to be one of the lucky souls attending the French Grand Prix this weekend, you can check out this prototype in person, where it will have its world premiere.

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