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Alpine A290B: all-electric hot hatch to rival Abarth 500e revealed


A290B concept teases production-ready retro styling, a maybe for the Australian market 

Alpine is working on a new electric hot hatch due to enter production in 2024 – and it could come to Australia.

The French brand teased the new production model with its hot hatch concept the A290_β, the Greek letter Beta intending to signal its pre-production concept status. (For the purposes of readability, we will refer to it as the A290B for the rest of the article.)

2023 Alpine A290B rear 3/4
The A290B takes styling cues from the Renault 5 Turbo

With more than a little 1980 Renault 5 Turbo about its pumped rear haunches, the production version of the A290B will be built on the RenaultNissanMitsubishi CMF-B electric vehicle platform and manufactured at the Renault Group’s Douai plant in northern France from 2024.

While Alpine has released few details about specification, the A290 hot hatch will be closely related to Renault’s forthcoming 5 electric small hatch, which features multi-link rear suspension (as opposed to the traditional torsion beam) and a 400-volt capable battery pack with up to 400km of claimed WLTP range. 

2023 Alpine A290B wheel
Centre-lock wheels with in-built LEDs are a cool novelty of the 290B

The Renault 5 will use a 100kW front-mounted electric motor driving the front wheels.

More-powerful electric motors with outputs up to 200kW are also known to be in development. Alpine said the A290’s electric “engine” will be manufactured in Renault’s engine and gearbox Cleon Megafactory in France.

The A290B concept measures 4050mm long, 1850mm wide and 1480mm high and wears 20-inch wheels, but Alpine said the production version would use 19s with tyres supplied by Michelin.

2023 Alpine A290B interior
The A290B uses a centrally-mounted driver’s seat

“From the outside, the A290B looks like the production model,” said Alpine, however the interior was a free-for-all in proper concept car tradition. The A290B is a three-seater, mounting the driver centrally – like a McLaren F1 – with two passengers either side. It also has a hydraulic handbrake.

The A290B’s steering wheel features an ‘overtake’ button unleashing extra power for up to 10 seconds – a feature that will make it to the production model, said Alpine. The concept also offers fully customisable anti-lock brake (ABS) settings, signalling its hardcore intent, although this is not expected to make production.

2023 Alpine A290B seat
Alpine obviously turned to its F1 team for seat styling

Alpine said the production A290 will offer torque vectoring from its electric motor, varying the torque reaching each driven wheel to maximise traction and entertainment.

The A290 is one of three electric models in the Alpine pipeline, the other two being a ‘grand touring’ crossover SUV and a replacement for the all-aluminium, mid-engine, four-cylinder A110 sports car.

2023 Alpine A290B driving
Rally-inspired fog lights can be found at the front of the A290B

Alpine was forced to discontinue its sole A110 model in Australia after it fell foul of newly introduced ADR side-impact regulations. 

Local brand representatives have said they want to sell Alpine’s three new electric models in Australia from around 2025 – depending if they are manufactured in right-hand drive.

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