Alpine, Renault’s performance-oriented vehicle brand, has revealed the A290 Beta – an electric hatchback EV concept intended to preview a new, corresponding, model due to launch in 2024.
At launch, the concept’s external design will largely be carried over to its end production version. Much of this design works to maximize the vehicle’s core performance and further support its performance on the track. Alpine, for example, highlighted the large air inlets located in the front bumper that enhance its dynamics while cooling it more efficiently, as well as its slim floating rear mirrors that support the vehicle’s grip.
The A290 Beta’s interior design is more conceptual than its exterior, with many elements catering to its core purpose of maximizing performance and embracing the racing experience. Here, the vehicle features a driver seat on the centerline, in a similar fashion to Alpine’s 2022 Alpenglow concept car. The arrow-shaped dashboard – designed to reflect the vehicle’s speed, performance, and control – stretches across the cockpit and outwards onto the wing mirrors. It then stretches horizontally, to the base of the bonnet, and to the back of the EV. The interior is also host to the concept’s Formula 1-inspired steering wheel, which offers a variety of motorsports-inspired functions, including an overtake button that provides a ten-second power boost.
Further along the interior is the concept’s cockpit, which further reinforces its track and racing-oriented design. This is because the model has no internal displays, allowing the driver to focus solely on the driving or racing task ahead of them. A console built into the roof houses several key vehicle functions, such as the kill switch, indicators, and light settings. A small, slender, HUD similarly provides key driving statistics – such as the vehicle’s speed and battery level. Separately, a headset accompanying the concept is designed for use when racing and offers a display tailored for this purpose. When wearing the headset, live information such as the flags being waved by officials, present track conditions, and information about the other cars on the track is quickly, efficiently, provided to the driver.
While details on the concept’s performance have not yet been released by Alpine, the brand did confirm that the production model will feature torque vectoring. It will likewise offer a torque management mechanism aligned with its design and three driving modes – Wet, Dry, and Full – based on three road conditions. The Full mode maximizes the full performance capabilities of the A290 Beta, Dry makes its wheels respond more aggressively, and Wet enables it to respond more gently through additional traction.
Exclusive to the A290 Beta concept is its powertrain layout, which pairs two electric motors configuration at the front alongside a fine-tuned chassis, suspension and torque management system designed to enable a roguish, efficient, driving behavior. Alpine has said that this setup was certified for use on the track by the FFSA (the Fédération Française du Sport Automobile).
With the concept ultimately previewing a near-future production EV to be launched by Alpine, the brand shared the first details on the production model – called A290 – will be launched. It confirmed that this version will be built on the Alliance’s CMF-B EV platform (for B-segment EVs) and begin production in 2024 at Renault’s ElectriCity plant in Douai, France. The model’s electric engine will be manufactured at a separate plant, the OEM’s Cleon Megafactory in the Normandy region of northern France.