Alpine A290, to be launched in June, is tested in the cold

The sporty brother of the upcoming fully electric Renault 5 is undergoing its last test stages in arctic conditions. The launch of the first Alpine EV is foreseen for June 2024.

“Our A290, the future compact B-segment electric sports car, is currently being tested in the extreme and demanding conditions of Sweden’s Lapland,” says Philippe Krief, Alpine’s CEO.”This critical stage aims to confirm the direction we have taken with handling and agility, which is part of our DNA on low grip conditions.”

“To fine-tune its development so that it can be effective in all circumstances and all weather conditions, the winter development stage of the A290 is crucial as it is a completely new car. Our engineering team has scrutinized all the criteria, and the results bode extremely well for its launch in the coming months,” he added.

Near the Arctic circle

The A290 has been fine-tuning its low grip characteristics since the start of the year, in extreme weather conditions with temperatures that can drop below -30°C. Alpine’s technical teams test the prototypes on tracks and open roads to ensure excellence across the board.

All the technical parameters are subject to full-scale tests to guarantee the required performance levels are achieved. As with every Alpine, particular attention is given to dynamic performance on the A290. Engine responsiveness, brio, driving precision, and agility are all given the utmost attention to deliver a driving experience that extends to extreme conditions.

A wide range of equipment is also being tested, including heating, the quality of defogging and defrosting, and ESC (Electronic Stability Control) on snow. None of these points can be reproduced in a technical center and only validated in icy conditions.

Compact and sporty

For its first official outing, the A290 sported Alpine’s original camouflage, the ‘A-Arrow’ logo on the roof, and the Alpine Blue color scheme. The prototype was presented for the first time with its definitive bodywork and validated compact dimensions: a length of 3,990 mm, a width of 1,820 mm, and a height of 1,520 mm. The wheelbase is 2,530 mm.

The A290 also unveiled an exclusive Alpine sport steering wheel in napa leather, with a flattened surface and a center point, reminiscent of motorsport that is so much a part of the brand’s DNA. It includes three essential functions borrowed from Alpine’s Formula 1 steering wheels: OV (Overtake), RCH (Recharge), and Drive modes with one-touch access.

Michelin partnership continued

For these tests, the A290 is shod with high-performance Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 tires to measure and control the level of braking and driving precision in severe winter conditions.

Since the dawn of their collaboration in 2012 with the A110, Alpine and Michelin have strengthened their partnership for tire development for the all-electric Alpine range, starting with the A290.

After two years of work, the A290 will be fitted with specific 19-inch tires: a Pilot Alpin 5 winter tire and two sport summer tires: the Pilot Sport EV for optimized energy efficiency and the Pilot Sport S5 for the highest performance level.

Each tire will feature an exclusive marking based on the coding system for each Alpine model. For the A290, this will be ‘A29’. This will ensure customers get the same performance when replacing their tires, claims Alpine: a perfect balance between safety, range, handling, durability, comfort, and acoustics.

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