Alpine goes electric with the A290 hot hatch

Alpine, Renault’s performance brand, has officially entered the electric era by launching the A290, an electric hot hatch emphasizing performance, agility, and lightness. The new model marks a significant departure from Alpine’s traditional line-up and is set to debut later this year.

The A290 is heavily inspired by last year’s Beta concept, bringing a bold and sporty design that differentiates it from the Renault 5, upon which it is based. The car retains the same length as its Renault sibling but with an increased track width of 60 mm, giving it a more muscular and aggressive stance. According to Alpine, this design appeals to both stylists and performance enthusiasts.

Of course, Alpine’s motorsport heritage is echoed in distinctive design cues, including that famous X-shape on the headlights, broader wings, prominent side skirts, chunky 19-inch alloy wheels, and a blackened rear diffuser. These features enhance its sporty appearance and wink to the brand’s past rally glory.

A little less range

Beyond bold looks, the A290 has extensive technical modifications for a thrilling driving experience. It features bespoke suspension, advanced powertrain technology, high-performance brakes, and specially designed tires. All these elements work together to provide what Alpine calls a “more emotional driving experience.”

The A290 boasts a pack with a nominal capacity of 52 kWh. Although the brand has not specified the maximum charging capacity, it claims that the A290 can charge from 10% to 80% in half an hour under optimal conditions. According to the WLTP cycle, a range of 380 kilometers is promised, or 30 kilometers less than the technically similar R5. But that should be corrected downward if the driver decides to live up to the spirit of this hot hatch.

Electric but not weighty

Alpine will offer the A290 in two power variants. The base model features a 180 hp electric motor, while the more powerful version has 220 hp. Both variants produce 300 Nm of torque. The top-tier model accelerates from 0 to 100 km/hour in 6.4 seconds. Despite its dynamic capabilities, the A290 remains exemplary at just 1,479 kilograms, making it lighter than competitors like the Mini Cooper SE.

The A290’s versatility extends to a selection of driving modes, allowing the driver to adjust power steering, throttle response, ambient lighting, and the artificial sound generated by the Alpine Drive Sound system. Additionally, Brembo brakes and multi-link rear suspension enhance the vehicle’s handling and stability.

Blasting with AI

Inside, the A290 offers a blend of comfort and cutting-edge technology. It features a three-spoke steering wheel, Nappa leather-covered center tunnel, and sports seats. The infotainment system is powered by an AMD V2000 chip for ultrafast processing and integrates advanced generative AI.

The latter allows for interactive and intuitive control of vehicle functions through voice commands. The A290 also includes Alpine Telemetrics, which provides data on G-forces, engine temperature, tire conditions, and lap times.

Alpine CEO Philippe Krief emphasized the importance of the A290 as an entry-level model: “The A290 is the first Alpine you can have in your story because it’s a hatch, it’s a city car, and it’s quite versatile so that it could be the first car of a future Alpine lover.”


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