The new Alpine A290_β is much more than a prototype: it anticipates the forms and contents of the electric Renault 5 which will debut in 2024 and of which it will constitute the high-performance version. The name, then, says it all: “A” refers to the transalpine brand; the “2” refers to the B segment, in which the model belongs, and the “90” to the brand’s future “lifestyle” range. The letter “Beta” of the Greek alphabet, on the other hand, refers to the intermediate stage of development, before the official launch of the series model.
The latter will probably do without the (expensive) carbon fiber surfaces on the bodywork and will have five doors instead of three. For the rest, however, aesthetics and general volumes should remain almost unchanged. In the transition from prototype to production car, the front auxiliary lights will also play a part, a tribute to the Alpines that triumphed in rallies in the 1970s.
“A290_β marks the beginning of a new era for Alpine, with the birth of the 100% electric “Dream Garage” starting in 2024”, explains Laurent Rossi, CEO of Alpine: “This urban show-car reinvents the codes of electric sportiness . Leveraging on a strong heritage, A290_β projects Alpine into the future to experience the spirit of competition that has distinguished the brand since its creation in everyday life”.
The central driving position, flanked by two other seats placed further back, is very racing: it recalls the most famous McLaren cars and the GMA T.50, as well as the racing single-seaters. Even this feature, however, will probably be abandoned on the production car, which will have a more traditional rear bench instead of the roll-bar featured on the A290_β.
Other details that unite the present and future of rallying are the semi-hexagonal steering wheel with integrated controls and the head-up display, which projects the most important gear information into the driver’s field of vision. There is also an “overboost” function, which can be called up with a specific button, which allows you to squeeze the best out of the electric mechanics for about 10 seconds, the time necessary to complete an overtaking for example without affecting too much the autonomy ensured by the battery.
Let’s get to the mechanics: the Alpine A290_β has two front electric motors, one for each wheel. However, the A290 that goes into production – as well as the Renault 5, with which it will share the CMFB-EV platform – will only have one. The Alpine will differ from the sister of the Losanga for a specific set-up of the frame, which will guarantee a much sportier behavior. Finally, the manufacturer’s plans: the A290 will be followed by a compact crossover in 2025, the heir to the A110 in 2026 and two other larger crossovers in 2027 and 2028.