We love our Alpine A110. We have spent a decent amount of time with the car since it arrived earlier in the Summer and this included taking it to the Nurburgring to see how it performed on the most demanding of tracks. It was brilliant but there is always remove for improvement.
The Alpine’s lightweight construction, it only weights 1,086kg, means that even with the claimed 249bhp (252PS) and 236lbft from its 1.8TCE engine it’s feels quick. This same engine is in the MkIV Renault Megane RS, which produces 276bhp (280PS) and 287lbft, so clearly it has more power potential.
With our latest tuning software we are able to program the Alpine directly through the OBD port which makes developing an engine tune much quicker as we can swap between different calibrations easily. Whilst we have been testing the car we have been collecting data of how it has performed on the road, track and dyno.
With the Alpine strapped onto our super accurate Maha dyno we performed a number of further tests on the standard setup. With the car running on 99 octane Shell Vpower it produced a healthy 256bhp and 258lbft of Torque (+7bhp & 22lbft over the manufacturers claimed figures)
The first calibration tests were based around running a similar ECU programming as those found in the Megane RS. A smooth and consistent 285bhp and 289lbft was achieved easily. On the road the car felt noticeably sharper and pulled more cleanly. Even with this modest 30bhp/31lbft increase the car felt much quicker as it’s lower weight magnifies the gains.
However it was clear from the data the engine was still working well within itself. For one Charge Air Temperatures on the road and dyno has barely increased over standard so the Turbo could be asked to work a little harder.
The car went back into the dyno for some more calibration time and over the cause of the week we slowly increased power to over 300bhp and 300lbft (+44bhp & + 42lbft over standard) all from ECU calibration.
On the road the car is a completely different animal! It is so much more powerful throughout the rev range and now feels genuinely quick with great throttle response and reduced turbo lag.
The engine comfortably produces these figures with the engine calibration still running conservative timing and fueling mixtures. On the road the charge temperatures are still near standard and even on harsher conditions of multiple runs on the dyno the temperatures only rise 6 degrees over the original low figures.
We’ll continue to fine tune the calibration and hope to release this upgrade in the coming weeks.
Next up for the develop team will be looking at an improved exhaust system and we begin work on a new suspension system. Watch this space…….