Alpine A290_ß high-performance concept car previews 2024 all-electric hot hatch

Three-seat, twin-motor show car gives first hints of performance-focused electric supermini

Alpine A290_ß show car (Photo: Alpine)Alpine A290_ß show car (Photo: Alpine)
Alpine A290_ß show car (Photo: Alpine)

If you thought Renault’s R5 Turbo 3E Concept was eye-catching when it as unveiled last year, you’ll be blown away by this: it’s the Alpine A290_ß show car which previews a very, very sporty all-electric hot-hatch for the future.

Alpine, which will take over the role currently played by Renaultsport when it comes to Renault Group hot-hatches — makes sense as it’s Alpine which is the name of Renault’s F1 team — is using the A290_ß (pronounced A290 ‘beta’) to preview a production model which is set to make its debut next year.

Sharing the same architecture which will support the new Renault 5 all-electric supermini and next-gen Nissan Micra, the Alpine promises an even sportier stance than the already impressive R5 Turbo 3E. Boasting a wider track and even chunkier bodywork, the Alpine sits on 20-inch wheels wrapped in bespoke Michelin tyres.

Up front there’s a deep front bumper which hosts the brand’s trademark four-light face and ‘X’ LED signature. The rear is dominated by a not insignificant rear spoiler, plus the body also carries extended side skirts and wheelarches; these are made from, according to Alpine, “rock-like forged carbon” with a blue inlay.

Inside the cabin, the ’show car’ is pure theatre. The driver sits centrally, with a passenger either side and slightly set back. The dashboard is outlined by blue-LED lighting which runs horizontally around it, intersected by a magenta LED stripe that highlights the central driving position.

In true sporting mode, the lightweight, 100% “raw-carbon” bucket seats are trimmed in Alcantara, while overhead the driver can access the car’s kill switch, indicators and lights in a space age console. Interestingly, given many current car owner’s aversion to using screens, Alpine has chosen not to put one in the cabin, stating this is so that the driver can focus totally on driving. There is though a small head-up display with all the car’s important, relevant information.

The Alpine A290_ß concept hints at what the brand's first all-electric hot hatch will be like (Photo: Alpine)The Alpine A290_ß concept hints at what the brand's first all-electric hot hatch will be like (Photo: Alpine)
The Alpine A290_ß concept hints at what the brand's first all-electric hot hatch will be like (Photo: Alpine)

Of course the production car will have a more conventional interior layout. But we should still expect something racy, including a noticeably lower seating position than is currently found in many electric vehicles to really involve the driver.

Technical specifics for the A290_ß are scant, save for the fact that while it has two electric motors on its front axle, the production version will feature just one unit. It also has three drive modes, Wet, Dry and Full. Wet ensures the car responds more gently for extra stability and confidence, while Dry dials up the performance and, let’s be honest, the aggression.

And if you think that’ll be fast, wait till you experience Full which, not surprisingly, maxes everything to the extreme.Full can also be accessed by using the red boost button on the car’s steering wheel. Marked ‘OV’ for Overtake, it will deliver a 10-second boost of power. And the good news is … Alpine says this will also be present on all A290 production models in the future.

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