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Alpine’s upcoming electric hot hatch previewed by A290_B. Image by Alpine.

Alpine’s upcoming electric hot hatch previewed by A290_B
The Alpine A290_B will be based on the next Renault 5.
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What's all this about?

You’re looking at a preview of the next Alpine production model, called the A290_B. It’s pronounced A290 beta, though the beta part will be dropped from the name when the car goes on sale in 2024. Having won the hearts of many car enthusiasts with the A110, it is branching out with more mainstream models as it also takes over the reins from the now-defunct Renault Sport performance division.

The A290 will be based on the forthcoming Renault 5, but will feature unique styling to create more differentiation between the models. In the coming years it will be joined by a GT crossover and an electric successor to the A110 sports car as Alpine looks to expand its model offering.

Hang on, where's that steering wheel?

With true concept car pizzazz, the A290_B features a central driving position with a passenger seat on either side. It’s one of the things that designers can do when there isn’t a combustion engine under the bonnet getting in the way. Sadly, depending on how agile you are at getting in and out of cars, by the time the production car rolls off the line it will have a more conventional left- and right-hand drive setup.

What else will the A290_B have?

While this latest Alpine looks superb as a three-door, if you look closely you can see where the lines for a set of rear doors will be. It seems that due to the current market trends, the A290 will come only as a practical five-door hatch. It will share much of the same internal design and architecture as the next Renault 5, but expect bespoke digital displays and animations.

One of the features on the steering wheel of the A290_B is the ‘OV’ button. Taking inspiration from Alpine’s race cars, this overtake function will feature in the road car, giving drivers a ten-second power boost for overtakes and powering out of corners.

The exterior styling will keep some of the A290_B’s features, including aerodynamic aids that have been co-developed with input from the Alpine F1 team. Those gloriously retro wheels will also carry over to the production car in a 19-inch style, wearing rubber specially created by Michelin.

Do we know the tech specs yet?

It’s still too soon for Alpine to reveal any exact technical data for the car. However, it will share many of the same components as the Renault 5, such as a long-range 52kWh battery and a driving range of around 400 kilometres. Renault will offer a smaller battery option in its car, but Alpine may choose to stick with the larger capacity to help maintain range through higher performance outputs. We’re likely to see decent rapid charging figures, too, with a 10-80 per cent recharge taking around 30 minutes. The latest generation of electric motors from the Renault Alliance use no rare-earth metals and have an output of 136hp, though the Alpine could have a performance bump over the Renault 5.

Dave Humphreys - 11 May 2023

2023 Alpine A290_β. Image by Alpine.2023 Alpine A290_β. Image by Alpine.2023 Alpine A290_β. Image by Alpine.2023 Alpine A290_β. Image by Alpine.2023 Alpine A290_β. Image by Alpine.

2023 Alpine A290_β. Image by Alpine.2023 Alpine A290_β. Image by Alpine.2023 Alpine A290_β. Image by Alpine.2023 Alpine A290_β. Image by Alpine.2023 Alpine A290_β. Image by Alpine.

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