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Alpine A290 coming soon – price, specs and release info

French sportscar company Alpine is making an electric hot hatch out of the Renault 5. Here’s everything you need to know

Mark Nichol

Words by: Mark Nichol

Published on 11 June 2024 | 0 min read

Alpine, the French company whose portfolio currently only contains the A110 sportscar, will shortly unveil a production electric hot hatch called the A290. What you’re seeing here is the pre-production concept that Alpine has been teasing since it announced the car about a year ago. It’ll be unveiled in full on 13 June at the Le Mans 24-hour race, but here’s everything we know so far…

Design and models available

According to Alpine it’s “designed to trigger every driver’s competitive spirit and recast the notion of sports cars.” A bold claim for what is ostensibly a re-skinned Renault 5 – an electric hatchback designed to be cost-effective, that is. But there’s plenty to suggest that the A290 will be a lot more than just a Renault 5 with a power hike. On which, though, it’s likely that the A290 will use the 218-horsepower motor found in the Megane E-Tech, which would be a significant power hike over the 150-horsepower Renault 5.
The concept car you see in the pictures is very close to the production car – albeit the on-sale version will have five doors. It will feature highly flared wheelarches, unique front- and rear bumpers, a roof-mounted spoiler. It’s not all for show, either. The body additions feature cooling vents and air flow channels, both for aerodynamic efficiency and to cool the brakes and tyres. The ‘square within a circle’ alloys are likely to make production, too, and the X-shaped LEDs are a nod to the taped-over lights of past Alpine racing cars.

Interior and technology

While the concept car has an interior with a single central seat, steering wheel fixed to the middle of the dashboard, the production car will of course be far more conventional. Think Renault 5 but with plenty of blue and red detailing, and fixed-headrest bucket seats. A squared steering wheel will feature a button marked ‘OV’, which will give a short maximum power boost for a burst of acceleration – “OV-ertaking”, see.
Expect three driving modes called some variation on ‘Normal’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Race’, with each linked to settings for the steering, traction control and accelerator response. It’s unlikely the A290 will have adaptive damping because it’ll add too much cost. There’ll be four levels of regenerative braking, controlled by a toggle on the steering wheel, in the style of an F1 car.

Battery, motor and range

The battery is likely to be one of the only things from the Renault 5 that’s unchanged and un-fettled. It’s a 55kWh unit, which can do up to 248 miles in the 5, according to Renault. Expect a drop in that range from the Alpine, given the power hike.
The electric motor will drive the front wheels, and if it does end up being 218 horsepower, that should equate to a 0-62mph time of just under six seconds in a car that weighs around 1.5 tonnes.

Price and release

The A290’s closest rival is the £34,000 Abarth 500e, so despite the A290 boding more ‘hardcore’ than that and almost certainly a lot quicker, Alpine would be daft to price its car miles beyond. £38,000 seems like a reasonable starting point when it’s released in Autumn.

What other cars from Alpine are due?

Alpine is still a niche manufacturer, largely because its sole model to date has been a two-seat sportscar that competes with everyone’s favourite two-seat sportscar, the Porsche Cayman. Still, in 2023 it posted record sales, shifting 4,300 cars, 1,200 of those in the UK.
The A290 marks the beginning of Alpine’s plans to move further into the mainstream. It’ll follow this with a five-seat SUV in 2025 – think Cupra Formentor rival – before replacing the A110 with a fully electric model. The company has also confirmed that a four-seat electric coupe called the A310 will come, too – hopefully a cut-price alternative to the Lotus Emeya.