Thought the Renault 5 EV was cool? The sportier Alpine A290 is also on the way

  • Whilst the reveal of the Renault 5 earlier this week has put it in the spotlight, Alpine has released teaser pics of its electric A290 hot hatch, undergoing cold weather stress testing in the arctic circle.
  • As the performance arm of Renault Group, Alpine’s A290 carries the same electric underpinnings as the recently revealed Renault 5 EV, set to begin sales in late 2024 and 2025.
  • The Alpine A290 is set to have a full reveal in June, and is likely to be available in a similar timeframe to the Renault 5.

Our first glimpse of the Alpine A290

French manufacturers have always had a penchant for making hot hatches that combine both practicality, low running costs, and sports car-rivalling performance. While the discontinuing of models such as the petrol-powered Renault Clio RS left some fearing the death of the hot hatch, those fears are now unfounded, with the Alpine A290 set to fill the gap left behind. The A290 will be a direct competitor to other small electric performance cars such as the Abarth 500e and the upcoming Mini Cooper SE.

Cold-weather testing is one of the last trials a new car goes on before it reaches production, and whilst the A290 in these teaser photos is wearing a camouflage, it still gives away several design cues that will set it apart from its Renault 5 sibling – namely, extended wheel arches, and a deeper sill line. Alpine also partially revealed the interior – a sporty leather steering wheel, with a built in drive mode selector, and an ‘overtake’ button – which we can only assume offers a short boost of extra power, like we’ve seen with the ‘N Grin Shift’ button on the Hyundai IONIQ 5 N.

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Alpine CEO, Philippe Krief, commented on the milestone:

“Our A290, the future compact B-segment electric sports car is currently being tested in the extreme and demanding conditions of Sweden’s Lapland. The target of this important stage is 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 scrutinised all the criteria, and the results bode extremely well for its launch in the coming months”.

We’ll be waiting to see if Peugeot releases a similarly-priced electric hot hatch that could rival the Alpine. The e-208 platform would certainly be ripe for a bit of performance tinkering…

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