Alpine A290: Renault's new hot-hatch to take on the EV market

Renault unveils the Alpine A290, the first of seven premium electric cars, to rival Chinese competitors. The A290 showcases a unique design, offers fo
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Alpine
The Alpine A290 was revealed on Thursday and is one of seven planned EVs that Renault will be rolling out to tackle the Chinese EV industry. (Alpine)
Alpine
The Alpine A290 was revealed on Thursday and is one of seven planned EVs that Renault will be rolling out to tackle the Chinese EV industry.

Renault is set to launch a planned series of seven cars in the premium electric segment in order to fend off competition from Chinese players and capture a higher share of the market in order to increase their margins. These seven cars, which include an electric follow-up to the iconic Alpine A110 sports car, will be rolled out within this decade. On Thursday, the French automaker revealed the first of these seven cars, the front-wheel-drive Alpine A290, which is an electric hot-hatch based on the new Renault 5 E-Tech.

X marks the speed

Alpine A290
The A290 comes with X-shaped headlights and auxillary lamps mimicing the fog lamps on a rally car. (Alpine)
Alpine A290
The A290 comes with X-shaped headlights and auxillary lamps mimicing the fog lamps on a rally car. (Alpine)

The A290 takes on the radically distinct Alpine style sheet and takes it a step further with its X-shaped auxiliary headlights that are inspired by the fog lamps on a rally car. The front-end sports a low-mounted air intake with vertical vents on either side that shapes the front into a sly grin. The A290 will come with a two-tone finish with a black roof and thin blue borders for the windows. From the side, the car continues to stand out with wide fender flares jutting out from the side panels that makes for an aggressive stance.

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Alpine offers the A290 with four trim options that are categorised into two separate power brackets. The GT and GT Premium delivers 174 bhp and 284 Nm of torque from the electric motor in the front. The GTS and GT Performance will provide 215 bhp and 300 Nm of torque, with the capacity to pull a 0-100 kmph in 6.4 seconds. The less powerful variants do it a second slower, and top speed hovers between 160-170 kmph across the board. Alpine stated that the A290 is powered by a 52 kWh battery that can provide a range of around 380 km.

Driver-focused

Alpine A290
The Alpine A290 features a heavily driver-focused interior with all buttons and displays angled towards them. (Alpine)
Alpine A290
The Alpine A290 features a heavily driver-focused interior with all buttons and displays angled towards them. (Alpine)

The Alpine concept car for the A290 that was revealed last year had a few interesting design choices that did not make it into the final production unit. One such choice was the driver seat being in the centre, similar to the early-2000’s Mclaren F1. While it is theoretically the most optimal driving position, it certainly isn’t the most practical and enthusiasts can be grateful it did not go through.

The dual-tone interior comes wrapped in Nappa leather. The Alpine A290 features sporty bucket seats that keep the occupants firmly in place while taking on sharp corners. The centre console features a 10-inch infotainment screen that sits attached to the driver’s digital gauge cluster.

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To the right side of the driver’s footwell is the part of the centre console that contains three distinct gear selector buttons within easy reach. In front of it, is the wireless charging slot that one can drop their smartphone in and seamlessly connect to the infotainment screen which offers multiple Google services. The interior is totally driver-focused with every single button and display angled towards them. The cockpit comes together with a flat-bottom steering wheel that features an ‘Overtake’ button as well as a ‘Recharge’ knob that can adjust the level of regenerative braking.

First Published Date: 15 Jun 2024, 08:39 AM IST
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