New Alpine A290 revealed: the first true electric hot hatch? 

June 13, 2024 by

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This is the new Alpine A290 – a souped-up version of the Renault 5 electric car with a big emphasis on fun. 

  • New Alpine A290 revealed
  • Hot hatch version of the Renault 5
  • Up to 220hp and 0-60mph in 6.4 seconds
  • Clever suspension setup for maximum fun
  • Up to 236 miles of range expected
  • Unique interior touches

The new Alpine A290 is here, and the design has remained pretty true to the concept version we first saw last year. It’s based on the Renault 5 E-Tech electric hatchback, so it looks like a much sportier version of that car.

It’s powered by a 220hp electric motor driving the front wheels, making it the first proper electric alternative to hot hatchbacks like the Hyundai i20 N and the Volkswagen Polo GTI.

New Alpine A290 design

The Alpine A290 has a very similar design to the Renault 5, but it looks a lot more sporty than that car thanks to some styling details taken from the A290_β show car concept we saw last year.

New Alpine A290 concept

The most notable change up front is the funky-looking cross-shaped spotlights in the bumper. These featured on the concept car, and they’re inspired by classic Alpine rally cars. The bumper is also a lot more aggressive-looking than the 5’s thanks to some large air intakes and gloss black details.

New Alpine A290 front

It looks a lot more muscular than the 5 from the side as well. The A290 has gloss black wheel arch extensions and some creases in the rear door which mimic the vents found on the concept version. The 19-inch alloy wheels have also made it into production almost unchanged.

New Alpine A290 rear

The rear spoiler has been toned-down a bit, but the overall rally car vibe has remained intact nonetheless. The production car has the same ducktail spoiler halfway down the tailgate as the concept, and the lower bumper is just as aggressive-looking.

New Alpine A290 motors and performance

There are two motor options available for the new Alpine A290. Sadly, neither of them are the clever dual-motor setup featured in the A290_β concept – that car had two motors on the front axle for some mad torque vectoring so it could slingshot around corners.

New Alpine A290 front 

Entry-level versions use a 180hp motor powering the front wheels, 30hp more than range-topping versions of the Renault 5. This car will do 0-60mph in 7.4 seconds, but for the full hot hatch experience you really want the more powerful model.

You can get a 220hp version of the A290 which is also front-wheel drive, and that car will do 0-60mph in 6.4 seconds. That’s a few tenths of a second quicker than the Hyundai i20 N, and it’s 0.1 of a second quicker than the Volkswagen Polo GTI.

New Alpine A290 chassis and suspension

The Alpine A110 coupe is one of the best-handling sports cars you can buy, so the brand knows how to make a car which puts a smile on your face. The A290 therefore has the potential to be the best-handling electric car on the market.

New Alpine A290 front

It has a clever multi-link rear suspension setup and chunky anti-roll bars to make it more agile, and the 220hp version has sticky Michelin Pilot Sport tyres for added grip. It may not have the same torque vectoring capabilities of the concept car, but the A290 does have a clever torque management system which further aids cornering.

New Alpine A290 batteries and range

This new hot hatchback uses a 52kWh battery pack, just like the long-range version of the Renault 5.

New Alpine A290 rear

The added power does dent the range a bit compared to that car though. While the A290 hasn’t been officially homologated yet, Alpine predicts it’ll have up to 236 miles of range. That’s 13 miles less than the 5, which isn’t too bad considering the extra performance you get.

New Alpine A290 interior and infotainment

The new Alpine A290 has a pretty similar interior design to the Renault 5, but it has plenty of sporty touches to help it feel more special.

New Alpine A290 interior

The most obvious change is the new steering wheel, which is chunkier than the Renault’s and features a red overtake button which provides an extra power boost in short bursts.

New Alpine A290 cabin

You also get some body-hugging sports seats with the Alpine logo embossed in the backrest. The flashes of blue trim also set the Alpine apart, but the 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system is the same one you’ll find in the Renault 5. It does have some bespoke graphics and menus though.

New Alpine A290 price and release date

The new Alpine A290 will go on sale early next year, however there’s no word on price just yet. The Renault 5 is set to cost less than £25,000, so you can expect this hot hatch to fetch over £30,000.

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