The A110 HE2HP project is progressing! If the driving on the Bugatti circuit of Le Mans, planned for June, and announced at the time of our discovery at the Dieppe workshop in March, has not finally taken place yet, the development of the project is indeed effective… and above all we have could have glimpsed of its dynamic pretensions!
Chance does things well, but this second episode of the follow-up to the Alpine A110 HE2HP project closely follows the presentation of the very fresh Alpine A110 E-ternity 100% electric. A car that was able to do a few laps on the Paul Ricard circuit during the F1 Grand-Prix de France.
As a reminder, if Alpine has officially announced its 100% electric future (and this prototype launches the trailer), the Technomap team is well on its way to an Alpine A110 hybrid, ethanol and four-wheel drive, which more is. Between a desire for innovation and a passion for motorsport, the car that interests us retains the ambition of an experimental prototype, even if the alternative to all-electric would undoubtedly appeal to many customers of the current thermal A110… on borrowed time!
If the car was just able to drive in degraded mode in electric, thermal and hybrid in March, it has since been sufficiently developed and made reliable to move away from its workshop in Dieppe, almost next to the historic factory of the Mark. The first real driving of the car was done in the sphere of the partners, on the well-known Autodrome of Linas-Montlhéry (91), place of so much automobile history, of records, and today in the heart of the innovation of the car of tomorrow.
Our second discovery of the car then followed this intensive day for the car.
Since our last discovery, the production Alpine A110(S) has seen the arrival of an Aero Pack and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 semi-slick tires as supplements… Also, the production Pilot Sport 4 of the prototype were quickly “upgraded” ! We also note a modification of the admission, discs of 330 mm in diameter on bowl, ventilated and grooved developed at MP Rezeau associated with CL-Brakes pads with a raised coefficient of friction…. some caches and plates for decoration; also and above all the battery completely immersed under the central console! The A110 HE2HP is therefore more “finished”.
A little parenthesis echoing this A110 HE2HP project: the memory of the 308 R-Hybrid project from Peugeot Sport… A 308 hybrid 4-wheel drive developing up to 500 hp from a standing start, which yours truly had the chance to observe between the Paul-Ricard circuit, the Val de Vienne, and Linas-Montlhéry (him again). A very advanced prototype, sometimes accompanied by the Showcar version, which came very close to going into series production. If during an upcoming circuit event, you see a matt gray A110, think of Technomap! Note that the R-Hybrid was in a way the trailer for the 508 PSE, a standard high-performance hybrid – it is true that it is much more reasoned –; the concept had notably been presented within the framework of an event at Le Mans… leaving a first clue on the place of the press tests of the 508 PSE: the Bugatti circuit of Le Mans! Also a place for the challenge of our A110 HE2HP… everything overlaps.
Very privileged first laps as a passenger!
After the partner circuit session, we were honored with a drive on the open road. But the installation of the Sparco harnesses in the Technomap workshop does not suggest such a nice little relaxed Sunday stroll. The noise of the spur gears of the front electric reducer leaves no more doubt about the philosophy of the car: there will be sport! Also, even in all-electric driving, do not believe that this A110 will lose noise and soul, inside at least. Alexandre Dutot, technical manager of Technomap, then at the wheel, then details other secrets of the car.
“The car was really designed for Le Mans. The first goes up to 100 km/h; the sixth 220. Not enough to highlight a stopped start. Without the support of the electric, the thermal is very hollow”. Indeed, we are far from the docility and versatility of the standard A110. At start-up, the thermal is very capricious! It vibrates, hiccups, and here we are as shaken as it is dissatisfied with its cold start. We recall that the sequential box has imposed the installation of a clutch pedal, which is only used to launch the car … given the length of the first, it is not an easy task! Under 3000 rpm, the 100% thermal mode indeed shows a very extinguished 1.8 TCe; the support of electric in hybrid mode is then largely beneficial to smooth everything, and circulate more harmoniously within Dieppe.
Alexandre regularly plays with the two “Soft” and “Sport” maps of the internal combustion engine and the electric motor, which can be adjusted independently. Let’s count 350 hp and 350 Nm in “soft” thermal, 400 hp and 400 Nm in “sport” thermal. As on any hybrid, the electric will always make it possible to compensate for the dip in the thermal at low revs by its spontaneity and will seek in Soft mode to save itself once the turbo is started or even not to be consumed unnecessarily at low load, when he will see in action his full performance in sport mapping. Note also that the electric does not save the presence of the 12V battery, in the absence of DC / DC converters within the vehicle.
A 600 hp A110? Supercar performances!
We were able to get a glimpse of the performance of the car in its optimal configuration, even if the combustion engine did not perhaps have its full capacity: “it may only have 500 hp today! jokes Alexander. Nevertheless, in full load, we have the feeling that our field of vision is reduced, to see ourselves catapulted into a certain violence! Potentially similar to what one can feel when starting a Tesla from a standstill, or when driving in thermal supercars such as a Porsche 911 Turbo S (992) or a Mclaren 720S… Ironically, Technomap was aiming for 1322 kg as a target weight for his little treasure: the exact value of the 720S, for 720 hp, if you follow correctly. But the teams did even better, with 1263 kg. Enough to find the 911 very heavy with its 1640 kg (for 650 hp).
No apparent worries to pass the power to the ground with these four-wheel drive, but it seems to be necessary to hold the car!! It “steers”! The circuit settings seemed to show that she read the road a lot, and its imperfections. She seems like finding her way, yet with great efficiency. The thrust strongly anticipates gear changes in hybrid mode and full power: even our experienced driver, passionate about motorsport, is almost always a little intimidated! Alexandre confided to us then that the car rolled up a lot of the rear in 100% thermal (therefore in propulsion), even more than that of series. The car has since been calmed down and it is anyway logically more serene in Hybrid mode and therefore four-wheel drive. Note that the car benefits from a self-locking variable preload. Also, the coilover suspension from P2S was set very firm, like an A110 GT4 on the track, during the first runs. The compromise found today is somewhere between a “standard” A110 and a more track-oriented A110S. Urban speed bumps don’t scare him.
In any case, with the semi-slicks, harnessed to the original Sabelt seats, the noise of the front reduction gear, the jolts in the gear changes of the sequential gearbox and the engine without soundproofing show a unique atmosphere on this twirling little road. around Dieppe! What to believe in passenger of a super A110 RGT of rally… with practically the double of power. Unbelievable.
Everything is not perfect yet, and still deserves development time. The engine supports showed a bit of fragility in the face of the vibratory stresses that the car has: a repair was then carried out during the lunch break. Nothing is complex, everything is possible, enough to feel closer to a motorsport team during a circuit or rally event than a normal Renault workshop! Also, the regeneration is developed via a brake pressure sensor, which does not yet give full transparency and satisfaction. The same problem that we have in series on electric and hybrid cars but which will not be allowed for the A110 HE2HP track challenge! The well-known regenerative braking solutions in series, of the “One Pedal” type and by pedal position sensor (regenerative then mechanical braking) are for the moment ruled out.
We were also talking about the lack of thermal performance: due to a slightly insufficient turbo pressure, the power was more like around 350 hp which, in thermal alone, gave the impression of a lack of resources! The Technomap team would have recovered the expected power of 400 hp (and 400 Nm) and would aim for 450 hp thermal.
The cumulative power in Hybrid and thermal “soft” is 554.7 hp and 728.6 Nm … proof of regained health !! 398.5 hp in pure combustion, Sport mapping.
Nerve of the war of any electrified car, the recharge time is also not yet optimal: the team hopes to be able to reach 25 kW of power but caps for the moment at 10 kW, while waiting to find common ground. between Technomap and supplier specifications. The recharging time is then for the moment 1h30; when the thermal is content with a small tank of only 25 L! The electric autonomy is then not yet a known fact and the thermal autonomy… not really a subject of importance given the vocation of the car. Just our two little laps would seem to have started the tank well!
A dynamic and mouth-watering first ride…
These few hours spent with the car did not disappoint the high expectations of the car’s performance! Such a moment of exchange with the Technomap team showed another very privileged day: a big thank you to Christophe, David, Nicolas, Alexandre and the whole team for their warm welcome, and these passionate discussions on the automobile, without refuse all possibilities of evolution and revolution. Because the car hasn’t finished surprising us…
See you at the start of the school year for an evolution on the circuit? To be continued…