The A110 was renowned for its accomplishments in the early 1970s as a victorious rally car. After having great success with its iron-cast R8 Gordini engine on various rallies in France, the car was then equipped with the aluminum-block Renault 16 TS motor. This engine had two dual-chamber weber 45 carburetors and generated 125 hp (93 kW) DIN at 6,000 rpm, providing the 1600s model with a maximum speed of 210 km/h (130 mph). The longer wheelbase 2+2 Alpine GT4, initially thought to be an edition of the A108, was upgraded using A110 engines and parts, now being advertised as the «A110 GT4».
Unveiled two years after its predecessor, the A310, the Alpine A110 1600 SX was the most advanced version of the berlinette and only 387 units were manufactured between 1976 and 1977.
The car gained global prestige in the 1970–1972 seasons, when it took part in the freshly established international championship for manufacturers. It garnered a number of victories in Europe, and was regarded as one of the most powerful rally cars at the time. One of its outstanding achievements was Ove Andersson’s victory at the 1971 Monte Carlo Rally. Read more
The acquisition of Alpine by Renault had been finalized, and this led to the international championship being displaced by the world rally championship in 1973. As a result, Renault made a decision to take part in the race with their A110. The team included Bernard Darniche, Jean-Pierre Nicolas and Jean-Luc Thérier as regular drivers and «guest stars» such as Jean-Claude Andruet (who won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1973). As a result of these efforts, Alpine became the first ever World Rally Champion with their A110 winning most races where it was entered by the works team. In addition, later competition-spec A110s were fitted with engines of up to 1.8 litres.
The Alpine A110 was created and crafted at the Alpine Dieppe factory, yet it was also manufactured by a range of other car manufacturers globally. For instance, the model was produced in Mexico under the alias «Dinalpin» by Diesel Nacional (DINA) from 1965 to 1974, and Renault’s vehicles were also constructed there. Moreover, SPC Metalhim and ETO Bulet formed a cooperative which resulted in the production of both Bulgaralpine and Bulgarrenault models in Bulgaria from 1967 to 1969.
In 1974, the Lancia Stratos was introduced with a mid-engine configuration that had been specifically designed for rally racing. Meanwhile, it became apparent that the tail-engined A110 had reached its peak in terms of development. The addition of fuel injection did not bring any improvement in performance. 16-valve DOHC heads were fitted to some cars but they were unreliable. Modifications to the chassis such as an A310 double wishbone rear suspension on an A110 1600SC failed to enhance performance either. On the international scene, it soon became clear that the Stratos was a formidable car, rendering other rally vehicles such as the A110 obsolete.