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Alpine A290 electric hot hatch begins the quest for mainstream success

Alpine A290 Electric Hot Hatch Begins The Quest For Mainstream Success

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In May 2023, Renault-owned Alpine previewed its return to the hot hatch segment by unveiling an electric concept car called the A290_β (pronounced “A290 beta,” underlining the hatchback’s status as a show car). Mostly futuristic but a little bit retro, the design study was closely related to the Renault 5 Prototype concept from 2021. A month later, Alpine announced a major model offensive with an image of an “Alpine Garage” arraying a range of seven new cars due on the market by 2030 that would put the automaker in mainstream segments for the first time in its 69-year history. Here’s the first, the production A290, an electric hot hatch whirring to market in a limited-build Premiere Edition, plus serial production GT, GT Premium, GT Performance, and GTS trims.  

A single motor on the front axle delivers an instant 221 pound-feet of torque in all trims. That motor in the GT and GT Premium has been tuned for 177 horsepower, or for 215 hp in the GT Performance and GTS trims; however, as we see more and more nowadays, a driver needs to engage a special function to release every bit of power. In this case it’s the Overtake button on the steering wheel, a countdown timer in the digital gauge cluster displaying how long is left in the 10-second spurt. The four-door comes in at a claimed 3,261 pounds, its more powerful trims getting from zero to 62 miles per hour in 6.4 seconds, about two-tenths behind the new ICE-powered Volkswagen GTI. Going the other way, a RCH button on the steering wheel cycles through four regen levels.

A 52-kWh battery powers an estimated range of 236 miles on Europe’s WLTP cycle. A maximum fast-charge rate of just 100 kW restores the pack’s charge from 15% to 80% in 30 minutes and can add roughly 90 miles of range in 15 minutes. 

Inside, a 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster sits next to a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen. Even the entry-level GT rides on swank 19-inch wheels wearing Michelin Pilot Sport EV tires, comes with LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, heated sport seats, a Nappa-leather-wrapped steering wheel, and front and rear parking assistance. The GT Premium and GT Performance split into luxury and sporty upgrades. The Premium goes with a contrasting black roof, blue brake calipers, a Nappa leather interior, Devialet premium audio, and an electronic rearview mirror. The Performance ride gets that more powerful motor, red brake calipers, Michelin Pilot Sport 5 tires, and Alpine Telematics with dynamic info pages in the infotainment system broken into Live Data, Coaching, and Challenges. The top regular trim GTS adds a few unnamed exclusive features and sits on black Snowflake wheels.

The A290 GTS Premiere Edition will get just 1,955 examples in honor of Alpine’s birth year. They’ll come in one of three themes: Beta, La Grise, and La Bleue. Alpine hasn’t divulged a price in the home market yet, but local should expect a noticeable premium over the €30,000 ($32,398 U.S.) Renault 5 sister hatch.  




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