Introduced in 1976, the Renault 5 Alpine was among the first hot hatchbacks as it went on sale even before the Volkswagen Golf GTI. With the R5 about to be resurrected as an electric vehicle, it only makes sense to revive the performance derivative as well. Meet the A290_β, an official preview of the subsequent production model coming in 2024. The road-going car will be made by the Renault Group at its Douai facility on the CMF-B EV platform.
With this being a concept, Alpine had complete freedom to go wild with the A290_β. It’s based on the Renault 5 concept unveiled in early 2021 but taken to the extreme to accentuate its sporty side. The feisty EV gets the familiar quad lights along with vertical taillights derived from the A470 endurance race car. It’s finished in powder white contrasted by the partially black hood and roof while the lower part of the body has forged carbon surfaces with blue inserts.
Despite being only 159.4 inches (4.05 meters) long, the Alpine A290_β rides on large 20-inch wheels with an unusual design by having a square cut in the center. The centerlock alloys proudly carrying the French flag are wrapped in tires developed by Michelin, which will also supply the rubber for next year’s production model. It goes without saying the final version won’t look as radical as this but should give the Abarth 500e a run for its money.
In concept form, the electric hot hatch is 72.8 in (1.85 meters) wide and 58.2 in (1.48 meters) tall. It has a McLaren F1-styled three-seat interior with the driver sitting in the center, slightly ahead of the two passengers cocooned by their carbon fiber bucket seats. Shaped like an arrow, the dashboard design is derived from a Formula 1 car’s nose. The minimalist interior has an angular steering wheel inspired by this year’s LMP2 A470 and F1 A523 race cars.
Alpine doesn’t go into details about power but mentions the A290_β benefits from torque vectoring and a rear multi-link suspension. The latter has already been confirmed for the regular Renault 5, so it’ll be standard on the sporty variant as well. We’re also being told the concept boasts a stiffer suspension setup, three driving modes (wet, dry, full), and four-piston Brembo brakes taken from the mid-engined A110 coupe.
As a final note, the production-ready A290_β coming next year will be followed shortly by a GT-X Over crossover and the electric A110 replacement co-developed with Lotus.