Renault Unveils Alpine A290: A Revived Hot Hatch Icon with Electric Power


6/17/20243 min read

Renault's sporting division, Alpine, has introduced an exciting new electric hot hatch: the Alpine A290. This launch marks a pivotal moment in Alpine's storied history, which began in 1955 as a sports car manufacturer closely linked to Renault. Over the decades, Alpine has produced iconic vehicles such as the A110, A310, and A610, as well as high-performance versions of Renault cars like the Renault 5 Alpine. Today, Alpine operates as a fully-owned unit of Renault, integrating the Renault Sport division into a unified sporting entity.

The new Alpine A290 builds on this legacy by transforming the upcoming Renault 5 E-Tech into a high-performance electric vehicle. Described by Alpine as "compact and agile, offering easy-to-use high performance while guaranteeing comfortable everyday use," the A290 aims to revive the 'hot hatch' category that the original Renault 5 Alpine helped pioneer in the mid-1970s.

Externally, the A290 features several upgrades over the standard Renault 5 E-Tech, including wider wheel arches, larger wheels with lower-profile tires, a front bumper diffuser, and distinctive Alpine branding. The interior has been customized with sports-style seats and a unique center console.

Under the hood, the A290 boasts significant mechanical enhancements. A new engine subframe optimizes the motor's positioning, while the rear suspension has been upgraded to a multi-link setup with bespoke anti-roll bars. The electric motor will be available in two power grades: 132 kW (180 bhp) for the base and GT Premium versions, and 162 kW (220 bhp) for the GT Performance and GTS versions. The top-tier models can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 6.4 seconds and feature an overtaking function that provides extra power for up to 10 seconds.

The A290 comes equipped with advanced technology, including Google Maps GPS navigation with an electric route planner, Google Assistant, and both wired and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Additionally, the A290 supports bidirectional charging up to 11 kW through its AC charge port.

A limited production run of 1,955 units, called the Premier Edition, will be released in three versions: Beta, La Grise, and La Bleue. Each version will feature exclusive livery, additional equipment, and a limited-edition plate on the center console.

In terms of availability, the A290 is likely to be introduced in Australia, a strong market for Renault Sport models. Although Renault Australia has not confirmed plans for the R5 E-Tech, they have expressed a willingness to consider it if there is sufficient demand.

The Alpine A290 has a tare weight of 1,479 kg and a 52 kWh battery, with bidirectional AC charging up to 11 kW and DC charging at 100 kW. It features a heat pump for the heating system. The GT model has a 132 kW motor, 19-inch alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport EV tires, full LED headlights, adaptive cruise control with stop & go function, heated sports seats with a grained coated fabric and fabric blend, a Nappa leather-trimmed sport steering wheel, the Alpine Portal with Google services and navigation, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and front and rear parking aids and a reversing camera.

The GT Premium model adds a contrasting black roof, tinted rear windows, Alpine Blue brake callipers, a Nappa leather interior, a Devialet premium audio system with Alpine Drive Sound, a heated steering wheel, an induction smartphone charger, an electrochromic interior mirror, and folding exterior mirrors. The GT Performance model includes a 162 kW motor, Michelin Pilot Sport 5 tires, red brake callipers, black monograms, electrically folding door mirrors, and Alpine Telemetrics. The GTS model combines features of both the GT Premium and GT Performance, along with black ‘snowflake’ wheels.

The Alpine A290 promises to bring back the excitement of the hot hatch era with a modern, electric twist, blending high performance with everyday practicality.