Anyone who has been quietly thinking about the new Alpine R5 will get a bucket of ice water over their dreamy head. “This is something that is future-oriented. It’s exciting and exciting, not depressing or old-fashioned,” said Raphael Linari, chief design officer at Alpine.
Although the Alpine A290_ß is called a “sporty city car”, at 4,050, 1,850 and 1,480 millimeters it is 51, 33 and 10 centimeters long, higher and wider than hot hatch from the 1970s. In addition, even the exhibition version clearly shows that the production version of the Alpine A290 expected in 2024 will be a five-door.
From WEC to F1
In addition to the signature X-shaped headlamps, which refers to the old practice of concealing the headlights of racing cars with an ‘X’ during the day, Alpine also draws on motorsport tradition with the use of wafer taillights thin The current A470 from LMP2.
From there it gets more philosophical. The magenta ash along the length of the Alpine A290, “which emphasizes power, speed and engineering while symbolizing the unity between man and machine”, continues inwards and downwards to the intricately sculpted third brake light, which protrudes from the car. seems to make a way out – or is it the other way around.
The blue axis on the Alpine A290, on the other hand, represents “the driver’s connection with his passengers and shared experience”. This blue strip continues, among other things, exterior mirrors and direction indicators. Nice detail, the names of the Alpine F1 drivers are written at the end.
From concept to production model
For pedestrian protection, the razor-thin carbon elements will not pass the alignment barrier, nor will the X-shaped light signature as shown here. And there are things that are technically impossible, like C-pillars like air deflectors, which take up a lot of space. For the same reason, the support of the third brake light at the back will be lost, since it will endanger the waterproofness of the rear window,” the designer says of his Alpine A290_ß.
At this time, there is no word on the technical aspect. What we do know is that the Alpine A290 will be built in Douai, northern France, based on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance CMF-B EV platform. And that it will be driven by two electric motors placed in front.
Remove the Greek letter beta – an addition that emphasizes that this is a show model – and you have the name of the first electric Alpine. The name A290 can be divided in the following way: ‘A’ for the traditional name of the Alpine type, ‘2’ for the B part and ’90’ for the future range of the brand.
Because Alpine is also preparing for an electric future. Behind the thoughtful, closed doors of what they call their Dream Garage, three new models are being developed: a small sports car, a GT crossover and a replacement for the A110. With this Alpine A290_ß described as a show car, the corner of the curtain is already being lifted.
A central driver’s station
The interior of the Alpine A290_ß is inspired by that of the previously shown Alpenglow concept car. This sporty city car model also has a central driver’s seat, again to emphasize the link with Formula 1.
Passengers sit to the left and right of the driver, thus becoming lucky spectators. They also sit in carbon fiber bucket seats and are also secured with safety harnesses. The dashboard of the Alpine A290_ß is deliberately kept small. There is no screen anywhere. There is a nice head-up display on the steering wheel, which shows important information such as speed and battery charge level.
A dashboard on the roof liner provides quick access to various functions such as the circuit breaker, indicators and lighting controls. Through the OV key (which stands for transfer or ‘overtake’) on the steering wheel, the Alpine A290_ß can have extra power for 10 seconds. A feature that will be available on all future Alpine models. This makes this button about the only part of the interior that will definitely find its way into production.
If you start paying attention to the details, you will realize that this Alpine A290_ß is also a great playground for color and material specialists. “Especially we use a lot of new techniques to do something extra with traditional materials. By learning to work with a laser, we can do really cool things. And 3D printing gives us unlimited possibilities in terms of shapes. Which opens the door to the customization of many cars,” reveals expert Gaëtan Fumaz.
Past and future
Jean Rédélé came up with the name Alpine after winning the Coupe des Alpes with his Renault 4CV. The Alpine A290_ß color combination is a reflection of the relationship between the brand and the mountains. The color of the Snowy Mountains or powdery white alternates with black to create a contrast between the bare, dark rocks and soft snow.
The paint, also called white powder, is varnished with a mother-of-pearl effect. From a distance it looks just white, almost the trick is amazing and when you touch the car you feel the impact of the powder. The gray-blue combination of wheel arch extensions and side skirts plays into this. Here, the combination of carbon fiber and blue fiberglass creates a special effect. The design of the rims, a modern interpretation of the traditional Alpine wheel, is almost complete.