Alpine's New, Electric A290 Represents the Future of French Hot Hatches

a blue car on a road
Alpine's A290 EV Is a French Hot Hatch RevivalAlpine

With a name like A290, you'd be forgiven if you mistook Alpine's newest hot hatch for an airplane or locomotive at first hearing. But if you can look past the clunky name and look further into its X-shaped eyes, you'll see an ongoing evolution of the French hot hatch in the Alpine A290.

Joining the A110 as a performance-forward machine, French manufacturer Alpine is diversifying its lineup with an electric hot hatch. With a boxy, Renault 5-like shape, avant-garde 19-inch wheels, and an ultra-compact 99.6-inch wheelbase, the Alpine A290 will compete in Europe with cars like the Volkswagen GTE, Fiat 500e, and Mini Cooper SE.

a blue car on a road

Powered by a 52-kWh battery, the A290 will offer up 215 hp, 220 lb-ft of torque, and a total range of 236 miles. Fast charging will happen at speeds up to 100 kW. Competing with Mini's new Cooper SE offerings, the Alpine will do 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds, aided by a bright red 'overtake' button on the steering that opens up maximum power for 10 seconds. Weighing in at 3260 pounds, that's not a half-bad sprint to 60 mph, likely a result of its instantaneous electric torque.


Because the Alpine shares the "AmpR Small" platform with its Renault sibling, much of the suspension outfit and frame is shared as well. Fitted with a multi-link rear suspension setup, Alpine engineers spent a great deal of time engineering a degree of stability into the short wheelbase hatchback, both in suspension tuning and aerodynamics. Model-specific roll-bars and the low positioning of the battery pack help minimize body roll. Notably, Alpine has widened the track width of its Renault 5 rendition by 2.3 inches.

a blue car driving down a road in the woods

Similarly, the official press release mentions a degree of safe rear-end rotation is purposefully engineered its the hot hatches lift-off and turn-in characteristics. Alpine's electronic stability control will be fully defeatable, too, in the name of bringing the rear-end around on the corner entry. With a set of 288 mm Brembo brake rotors up front and the powers of adjustable regenerative braking in tow, a sharp, natural pedal feel will be present on the brake-by-wire A290, Alpine claims.

Alpine and Michelin teamed up to create a model-specific tire for the A290 as well, building on the deeply successful Pilot Sport line of rubber. Three varieties of tread will be available to A290 customers, dependent on their climate of choice and driving style. Other bespoke features include two engineered driving sounds, notably made not to replicate the noise of internal combustion engines.

the inside of a car

Inside the Alpine A290, a 10.25-inch instrument screen and 10.1-inch infotainment screen keep the interior layout reasonable. And just because the A290 is slated to be more affordable doesn't mean the company has gone cheap on entertainment amenities, seeing as the hatchback will feature a Devialet sound system complete with a subwoofer and nine-speaker setup.

It's highly unlikely that the Alpine A290 will make it to the U.S. market, at least initially. While Alpine does have plans to eventually sell cars in North America, small-batch production and importation fees weigh down on the profitability of such a move. Competing with electric performance models from Fiat and Mini, European buyers should expect the Alpine A290 to start around €38,000, or $41,000 here in the States.

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