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New electric car for petrol heads: 2025 Alpine A290 EV hot hatch revealed as Renault 5 based Hyundai i20 N and VW Polo GTI rival

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Alpine A290.
Alpine A290.

Alpine is keeping Renault Sport's spirit alive with the A290 electric hot hatch.

Based on the Renault 5 electric car, the diminutive front-drive hatch boasts 160kW, 60mm wider tracks, 19-inch alloy wheels and a rally-inspired appearance.

Also new to the A290 are bespoke sounds to evoke the emotion of a hot hatch, more powerful brakes and a bigger electric motor from the Megane E-Tech – a similar recipe to Renault Sport Clio models of old.

Australian details are yet to be confirmed, however the first A290 deliveries will begin in European and UK markets by early 2025.

Said to be a stand-alone project, Alpine CEO Philippe Krief still wanted to evoke some of the driving pleasure found in the A110 sports car no longer sold in Australia.

This means a different suspension set-up to the regular car; think firmer chassis and anti-roll bars though it retains the multi-link rear end. A set of 19-inch wheels shod in sticky tyres are present along with extra refinement from hydraulic bump stops.

The Alpine A290's brake discs have grown to 288mm Brembo items that accompany regenerative braking.

Alpine A290 GTS
Alpine A290 GTS

Weight has been kept reasonable at 1479kg, thanks to a motor and transmission combo that's under 100kg total. The 52kWh lithium-ion battery give the hot hatch a WLTP combined 380km driving range.

The standard 0-100km/h sprint is dispatched in a claimed 6.4 seconds for the most powerful GTS model with 160kW/300Nm. A red 'Overtake' button works as a boost mode for when you need a bit of extra punch.

While that may not be as quick as a Honda Civic Type R or Hyundai i20 N, the Alpine A290 is more rapid than a Volkswagen Polo GTI (6.8 seconds).

To increase emotion Alpine has crafted driving sounds using the 'natural harmonics' of the e-powertrain rather than aping a combustion engine as Hyundai did with the Ioniq 5 N.

Alpine A290 GTS
Alpine A290 GTS

Inside a 10.25-inch digital driver's display and 10.1-inch multimedia touchscreen are present with video game-like 'Challenge' mode upping the difficulty of telemetry coaching to improve driver skill.

Alpine says the A290 will play an important role in the range as a 'conquest' model for younger buyers.

Pricing is yet to be finalised but is expected to start at around $70,000 in Europe. To compete in Australia, the Alpine A290 will need to drop closer to – or below – the $59,990 asking price of Cupra's Born.

John Law
Deputy News Editor
Born in Sydney’s Inner West, John wasn’t treated to the usual suite of Aussie-built family cars growing up, with his parents choosing quirky (often chevroned) French motors that shaped his love of cars. The call of motoring journalism was too strong to deny and in 2019 John kickstarted his career at Chasing Cars. A move to WhichCar and Wheels magazine exposed him to a different side of the industry and the glossy pages of physical magazines. John is back on the digital side of things at CarsGuide, where he’s taken up a role as Deputy News Editor spinning yarns about the latest happenings in the automotive industry. When he isn’t working, John can be found tooling around in either his 2002 Renault Clio Sport 172 or 1983 Alfasud Gold Cloverleaf.  
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