Renault 5-based prototype by Alpine will become the performance brand’s first electric car, aimed at a wider market.
Alpine has kick-started its push to become a mainstream brand, announcing the upcoming reveal of its long-awaited electric hot hatch.
Called the A290 Beta, the show car being revealed on 9 May will be Alpine’s first ‘lifestyle’ vehicle, designed for daily usability, rather than outright sportiness. Automotive Daily Network partner Autocar has rendered what the new model may look like (below).
The A290 name is a designation explaining the model’s positioning, with ‘2’ referring to its size and hinting that it’s based on a B-segment car, the Renault 5 EV. A teaser image showcasing its silhouette all but confirms this and also highlights a duck-tail-style rear spoiler and a small lip on the R5’s bootlid. An extrusion can be seen where the square daytime-running lights feature on the R5 concept.
The ‘90’ moniker means the new hot hatch is a “multi-purpose” sports vehicle, according to an official statement. Alpine’s future sports cars will be designated ‘10’, in keeping with the A110.
The use of ‘Beta’ in the concept car’s name references software development: ‘beta’ software is used for testing just before a final product is ready for release.
Autocar reported in July 2021 that the A290, due to arrive in 2024, will use the 160kW electric motor from the Renault Mégane E-Tech Electric.
Renault chief technology officer Gilles Le Borgne said: “We derived the 100kW motor [for the Renault 5] by shortening the length of the e-motor that we will use for the Mégane. It can go through the same production line and has the same technology but less copper and other elements, so it’s shorter.”
Asked if the larger, 160kW motor would fit in the Renault 5’s CMF-BEV platform, Le Borgne said: “The final answer is yes, because we want to do Alpine cars, as you can imagine. By shortening the engine, it has the same global installation. We will need to adjust the track, because it will be more sporty on the R5 Alpine.”
The trio are expected to enable the brand to grow its volumes from a record 3546 in 2022 (having sold only A110s) into six figures by the end of the decade.
Additional reporting by James Attwood