Alpine is preparing a more potent version of Renault’s reborn 5 hatchback, featuring a front-mounted 160kW electric motor borrowed from the new Megane E-Tech Electric crossover, the company’s engineering boss has confirmed.
The French sports car brand is due to switch to pure-electric vehicles by the middle of this decade, and has already issued teasers for what it calls its ‘dream garage’ range of cars – a large SUV with a coupe roofline, a sports car developed with Lotus, and the muscular-looking R5 hot hatch. Our exclusive images show how the cars could look.
The company’s executive vice-president for engineering, Gilles le Borgne, has confirmed to Automotive Daily that not only will the Alpine be a warmed-up version of the Renault 5, but also that it will use a front-mounted motor producing 160kW. Depending on weight and gearing, this means the car could deliver a 0-100km/h time of around six seconds.
“One of the dream garage will be a derivative of the R5”, le Borgne said. When asked if the more powerful e-motor from Renault’s forthcoming Mégane E-Tech Electric could fit into the more compact CMF-BEV architecture that will underpin the new R5, he revealed that: “The final answer is yes, because we want to do Alpine cars. By shortening the engine [for the regular R5] it has the global installation. We’ll adjust the track because it’ll be a more sporty look on the R5 Alpine.”
Le Borgne also revealed that Alpine is developing a four-wheel drive multi-electric motor setup for its sporty SUV, with torque vectoring rear motors, but the R5 hot hatch will be exclusively front driven – there are “no current plans” to offer such a layout for the hot hatchback.
It’s likely that the R5 Alpine would have the larger 52kWh battery offered in the CMF-BEV platform, to deliver a range north of 320 kilometres. The chassis should lend itself to higher performance, with MacPherson struts expected at the front (CMF-BEV shares many components with the CMF-B platform that underpins the current Clio) and a multi-link layout at the rear.