Alpine kicks off its all-electric era with the A290 hot hatch EV that has video game style challenges

French automaker Alpine has launched its first EV model called the A290. This addition to Alpine’s small but sporty portfolio kicks off a lineup of BEVs to follow and comes equipped with some exciting features, including bidirectional charging capabilities, in-cockpit driving tutorials, and video game-like challenges you can complete.

Société des Automobiles Alpine SAS, more commonly referred to as Alpine is a French automaker founded in the mid-1950s that specializes in compact motorsport vehicles. It currently operates as a subsidiary of France’s Renault Group and has collaborating with the OEM since the 1970s.

Renault helped revive the Alpine brand’s passenger vehicle arm in the early 2010s, helping develop a new model called the A110, which has been on sale in Europe since 2017. Looking ahead, Renault said it was working with Lotus Technology to develop a new EV sports coupe for the Alpine brand, but by 2023, those plans had been nixed.

Alpine’s CEO has previously promised two new “Porsche-like” EV models it intends to bring to the US – a market seen as a crucial one to enter for success. By the fall of 2023, Renault was seeking fresh suitors to invest in a reinvention of Alpine for the EV age, and was in talks with Geely out of China.

Before then, however, Alpine will begin selling its first EV model, which has taken much of its design DNA from the A110—and it’s called the A290 – based on a show car of the same name presented to the public in 2023.

The Alpine A290 EV looks like a fun, sporty new ride

Per details shared by Alpine today, the new A290 EV is nearly ready to go and touts impressive technology for a veteran automaker new to the segment. The new hot hatch sits atop a skateboard platform that offers optimized weight distribution (less weight on the front axle) and a lower center of gravity.

Combined with the extra rigidity from the BEV’s battery, the A290 provides balance in a short wheelbase with widened stability and larger tires—perfect for nimble, sporty maneuvers. The BEV comes standard with a 52 kWh battery pack that offers an (estimated) WLTP range of 380 km (236 miles). The A290’s platform enables charge rates up to 100 kW, replenishing from 10-80% in 30 minutes on a DCFC and 150 km (92 miles) in about fifteen minutes.

The platform also offers more advanced technologies, such as a heat pump, bidirectional charging that enables vehicle-to-load (V2L) capabilities, and the opportunity for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) power transfers.

The new Alpine EV features a single motor that keeps its overall weight at an agile 1,479 kg (3,260 lbs). This propels the hot hatch from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in 6.4 seconds with up to 220 bhp and 300 Nm of torque.

A red button on the steering wheel activates an “Overtake” (OV) function that delivers extra power for up to 10 seconds. That boost can be recharged in 30 seconds but used immediately for another five-second boost after 15 seconds.

One last cool feature in the A290 EV is the Alpine Telemetrics function, which gives drivers access to three main categories to improve their experience behind the wheel: Live Data, Coaching, and Challenges.

  • Live Data
    • Agility: lateral and longitudinal Gs, ABS/ESC activation, Overtake boost.
    • Power: monitoring of acceleration and braking (regenerative or hydraulic), battery recharging and Overtake boost potential.
    • Endurance: consumption, accumulated energy, and battery status.
    • Circuit: lap times, car data (motor and battery temperature, tire pressure and temperature, brake temperature), video recording on a smartphone with driving data display.
  • Coaching
    • Development engineers and drivers of the A290 offer first hand advice in the cockpit.
    • Delivers advice on how to best control the EV using Alpine Telemetrics functions to improve your driving skills.
    • Introduces the basic reflexes you need to adopt when driving a sports car, such as eye tracking, trajectory control and braking techniques.
    • Concepts like managing drift when lifting off, become more advanced as you learn.
  • Challenges
    • The Alpine EV offers a series of challenges based on agility, power and endurance.
    • Takes a distinct “video game-style” approach, with amusing names challenge names like “to infinity and beyond”
    • Some challenges require closed roads (acceleration, braking, accelerator pedal percentages over a given distance).
    • Endurance challenges can be completed on open roads, helping to teach anticipation in driving.
    • Pass challenges to progress to new levels.

The Alpine A290 will be built at the Manufacture in Douai in Franc’es ElectriCity. Its electric motor and battery will also be built in France beginning in the summer of 2025. Alpine says that as it enters the EV age, the A290 will be followed by a GT C-Crossover and a new electric version of the A110.

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