The Alpine A110 and the Alfa Romeo 4C, two similar cars that utilize a similar philosophy. Obviously, that philosophy is of the “light is right” variety. Who does it better though? Today, we're going to find that out and much more. For context, I'm using CAR Magazine's numbers.
The Alpine: 2,431 pounds or 1,103 kilograms.
The Alfa: 1,973 pounds or 895 kilograms.
The winner, in this case, is the Alfa Romeo. Perhaps that isn't surprising, considering Alfa Romeo focused more on lightness than on creature comforts. By comparison, the Alpine is much more practical. It has more creature comforts, power-steering (yes the Alfa doesn't have this), and it has both a trunk and frunk. The Alfa Romeo makes do with only having a trunk.
The Alpine: 164.5 inches or 4,180 millimeters long.
The Alfa: 157 inches or 3,989 millimeters long.
I didn't expect that either. Honest to god, I thought they'd be far closer in length than that. I won't deny that I thought the Alfa Romeo would be smaller (it looks like it'd be smaller by about 3 inches), but not by 7.5 inches! In this instance, the two cars are less similar than I originally thought.
The Alpine: 70.7 inches or 1,798 millimeters wide.
The Alfa: 73.3 inches or 1,864 millimeters wide.
I don't think anyone is really surprised by this one. Visually, the Alfa doesn't look like it's that much wider than the Alpine, but I think we all sort of expected this to be true.
The Alpine: 49.2 inches or 1,252 millimeters tall.
The 4C: 46.5 inches or 1,183 millimeters tall.
Not that this matters much, but if you want a low (overall) sports car then the Alfa is the way to go. Enough of that though, let's get onto some specs people will actually care about: Power, 0-60, Top Speed, Price, and MPG.
… OK, maybe not that last one.
The Alpine: 300 horsepower and 298 lb-ft.
The Alfa: 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft.
Keep in mind that these numbers (all of them) come from CAR Magazine. They say the Alpine has 300 horsepower, so that's the number we're going with. However, if we Car and Driver's numbers of 249 horsepower and 236 lb-ft, that puts the Alfa on nearly an even playing field with the Alpine.
The Alpine: 4.5 seconds.
The Alfa: 4.5 seconds.
It's a little odd that they seem to be identical in this aspect. No matter, both are darn fast and that's all I really care about.
The Alpine: 155 MPH (limited).
The Alfa: 160 MPH.
OK, I know that the numbers say the Alfa is faster (perhaps because of the limiter on the Alpine), but I'm just going to say the two are probably even in the real world.
The Alpine: £52,194 pounds.
The Alfa: £45,000 pounds.
OK, guess I've got a lot of catching up to do on the Alpine. I understand that the Alfa doesn't have a frunk, power-steering, or much standard creature comforts, but it also has a carbon fiber tub! That fact alone should've made the 4C more expensive than the A110!
The Alpine: 46 MPG.
The Alfa: 41.5 MPG.
I can't fathom why there's such a difference in efficiency between the 4C and A110. Perhaps the 4C has a more aggressive engine tune or more aggressive gear ratios, but it's also a good deal lighter than the Alpine. If you know why there is such a difference then please explain this to me in the comments below.
The Alpine: 144g/km
The Alfa: 157 g/km
Yes, I included another piece of data most won't care about. Despite being so similar, the Alpine pulls ahead in this regard.
Time to tally up the points. The Alfa Romeo has either 4.5 points or 4 points. It just depends on which power figures you deem to be more accurate. No points were awarded for the 0-60 runs because they're identical. Additionally, neither get points for top speed, as they're so similar the two cars might actually be even in the real world.
The Alpine is a bit more difficult. It doesn't start off well for the Alpine in the beginning but it does gradually claw back points further in the comparison. Especially when we get to the (likely controversial) power figures. If you take the first figures, that gives the Alpine a full point. As a result, the A110 would get a grand total of 4 points. If we use the more realistic figures, that leaves the A110 at 3.5 points.
In no way is this to say the Alfa Romeo is better. This is just a simple comparison between two featherweights. At the end of the day, I think this is the bottom line: The 4C *and* the A110 are more similar and different than they appear.