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Alpine A290: our best look yet at high-performance Renault 5

The first official shots of Alpine A290 show the electric hot hatch undergoing cold weather testing

The reveal of the all-electric Renault 5 may be scheduled for next month, but we’re already seeing its high-performance counterpart, the Alpine A290, undergoing testing on public roads for the first time.

Due to make its debut later in 2024, the Alpine A290 will be the French sports car maker's first EV, although it is working on a rakish electric coupe-SUV, confirmed to be called the Alpine GT X-Over. 

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On the other hand, the Alpine A290, as mentioned, is based on the forthcoming Renault 5, meaning it’ll eventually form part of the small-yet-growing electric hot hatch segment, which currently includes the Abarth 500e, MG 4 XPower and MINI Cooper SE.

As you can see from the latest press images, the Alpine A290 shares the same boxy shape as its Renault counterpart, however, there are a handful of distinct differences that are now identifiable, even with the test car’s heavy camouflage.

For starters, we can already see the A290’s rally-style quad headlight design, which is reminiscent of the setup on the original Alpine A110 rally car of the 1960s. The production car has already been previewed by the A290_β concept, and it appears as if the test mule is already adorning that car’s enlarged rear spoiler and diffuser, as well as Alpine’s unique geometric style of alloy wheels.

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These latest images also give us our first snapshot at the A290’s interior; the dinky electric hot hatch gets the same steering wheel as the A110 sports car, however, it also features ‘Overtake’, ‘Recharge’ and ‘Drive Mode’ buttons – all apparently inspired by Alpine’s Formula One car.

As for what’s under the metal, the A290 will share its CMF-B EV platform with the Renault 5, as well as the upcoming electric Nissan Micra. It’ll use the same 52kWh battery as the Renault, although the Alpine probably won’t be able to match that car’s 248-mile range figure given that it’ll feature a more powerful front-mounted electric motor, among other performance upgrades.

The Renault 5 is projected to start from around £30,000 when it goes on sale in the UK later this year – putting it in-line with the base MINI Cooper Electric. With this in mind, you can expect the Alpine to command a hefty premium, potentially surpassing the £40,000 mark in entry-level form.

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Hello there, I’m Tom Jervis and I have the pleasure of being the Content Editor here at DrivingElectric. Before joining the team in 2023, I spent my time reviewing cars and offering car buying tips and advice on DrivingElectric’s sister site, Carbuyer. I also continue to occasionally contribute to the AutoExpress magazine – another of DrivingElectric’s partner brands. In a past life, I worked for the BBC as a journalist and broadcast assistant for regional services in the east of England – constantly trying to find stories that related to cars!

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