What makes a car so unforgettable to drive?
Most will say it is outright performance. Explosive acceleration that pins you to your seat (and keeps you there) is surely unforgettable. Some will add that it’s precise handling and tack-sharp steering that will stay in your mind forever.
If memorable drives were judged on acceleration and handling alone, then only hypercars with over 700hp would merit consideration.
That said, going by how the contributors voted, it seems that their hearts are still with the Alpine A110.
This lightweight, mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive coupe from the Renault-owned manufacturer still enthrals many on the team.
And it doesn’t take a big engine or a lot of horsepower to accomplish this either. This compact coupe is powered by a turbocharged 1.8-litre 4-cylinder that pumps out 249hp. In the world of sports cars, the engine and its outputs seem paltry.
But forget about paper figures. Get behind the wheel and the finely honed chassis and well-tuned suspension will astound you. The Alpine A110 has the poise and balance of a French ballet dancer, attacking and dancing through corners with ease.
And thanks to its light weight, the Alpine A110 is plenty fast – but not so ridiculously rapid that redlining the motor results in the traffic police hot on your tail.
Amazingly, this sports car is also more than up to the task of being a daily driver.
The cockpit is reasonably sized (especially compared to the Lotus Exige) and there are storage points for small items. Oh, and getting in and out is actually possible – there is no need to take up yoga or Pilates before driving an Alpine A110. Talk about having your cake and eating it, too.
What makes the A110 so awesome is its completeness. It has everything that would make you want to drive it every day and never tire of it.
That is why the A110 is Torque’s “Most Memorable Drive” of 2020.