Renault performance-car brand Alpine previews its plans for a new go-fast version of the French automaker's upcoming battery-electric R5 hatchback with the unveiling of the A290_ß concept.
Set for production in 2024, it aims to emulate the sales success of traditional internal-combustion-engine hot hatchbacks with bolder styling, added performance and an upgraded chassis among other sporting touches to the standard R5, which is also planned to reach European showrooms next year.
Building off the standard R5 first revealed by Renault in concept-car guise in 2021, the A290_ß receives a beefed-up body with a deeper front bumper, extravagantly flared wheel arches, a prominent spoiler above the hatchback-style tailgate and distinctively styled 20-in. wheels.
Other new design elements include X-shaped headlamp and foglamp graphics and a prominent red center spine. As with the standard R5, it also hints at a 5-door layout.
According to Alpine design director Antony Villain, the A290_ß's styling is “very close” to that of the production car.
Alpine also confirms the dimensions of its first battery-electric model; the A290_ß is 159.0 ins. (4,039 mm) long and 72.8 ins. (1,849 mm) wide.
Inside, the A290_ß adopts a 3-seat layout, with a centrally mounted driver's seat (pictured, above) and two rear seats. However, this will give way to a conventional 4-seat layout for the production version of the new hatchback, which is based on Renault’s CMF-BEV platform.
Similarly, the Alpine concept car’s twin front-mounted electric motors will make way for a single front-mounted electric motor in production. Details of power output have not yet been made official, though officials say the front-wheel-drive powertrain will share key components with that used by the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric.
The beta symbol in the A290_ß's name “refers to the beta test used in the software world, the test version, just before the final version,” the company points out.
Production versions of the new model will retain the A290 name, Alpine officials confirm.
The new hatchback is the first in an extended lineup of battery-electric models under development and planned for launch by Alpine.