Alpine’s 220hp A290 EV takes it back to the halcyon days of the hot hatch

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French sports car maker Alpine has unveiled the second car to join its compact model line-up,  the battery-powered A290, which will sit alongside the petrol-powered A110.

It won’t take a genius to connect the dots between the recently revealed Renault 5 EV and this model, as they are essentially twins. But Alpine, the long-standing maker of red-hot Renaults, has added some serious spice.

For a start, it has thrown in some aggressive exterior styling, with ‘X’ motif spotlights, flared wheel arches filled with 19-inch alloy wheels, and additional body creases, giving it several suitable nods to the Renault 5 Turbo of yesteryear.

But where the original weighed around 850kg, this thoroughly modern EV tips the scales at 1,479kg, meaning it needs a hefty dose of firepower (and clever tech) to ensure it delivers the thrills to match its overtly aggressive exterior.

Alpine A290

(Image credit: Alpine)

This comes in the form of a tweaked electric powertrain with a 52kWh battery pack, which drives an electric motor on the front axle. This will be available with 180hp in the standard version, or up to 220hp in the spicier and more expensive GTS model.

It might not sound like much in today’s EV money, but Alpine claims that’s enough to propel the little electric rascal from 0-62mph in 6.4 seconds – certainly not modern electric hyper car territory, but quick enough for most.

As with Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 N, Alpine has relied on its engineering nouse to inject what it calls “accessible sportiness” into the A290. This comes in the form of clever multi-link suspension at the rear, adjustable steering, and a sophisticated torque management system that even allows for a little slip at the rear for some slidey fun.

Alpine A290

(Image credit: Alpine)

The flat-bottomed steering wheel is festooned with race-car buttons, including a large red module imprinted with the letters ‘OV.’ Pressing this instantly delivers the maximum power of 220bhp for short bursts of time.

The French automaker has also introduced digital driver coaching via a downloadable app, which will teach wannabe Hamiltons how to improve their reflexes, offer advice on where to look when driving at speed, and even offer tips on controlling a slide.

This information is displayed on dual digital screens, while chunky, physical controls help the driver locate key functionality during the heat of the moment.

EV sensibleness meets hot hatch hilarity

Alpine A290

(Image credit: Alpine)

The fact that the Alpine A290 is based upon the soon-to-be-released Renault 5 EV means it will be capable of up to 236 miles between top-ups, while the infotainment offering runs the latest Android Automotive operating system (with support for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto).

A maximum charge rate of 100 kW certainly isn’t the fastest out there, but the small-ish battery pack means the important 15 to 80 percent battery charge takes around 30 minutes via fast-charging outlets.

It’s all very useable and sensible, but adding the slightly more madcap driving modes, the big red overtake button, and the driver coaching apps deliver some much-needed fun into an otherwise sensible segment.

There’s even a specially developed Alpine Drive Sound actuator, which can offer a subtle soundtrack for those every day cruises or something distinctly sportier when you want to drop the hammer.

It certainly possesses most of the ingredients that made the old-school hot hatch recipe so tasty – all except the price, that is.

The A290 is expected to cost from £35,000, to £40,000 (around $44,400/ AU$67,000 to $51,000/AU$77,000) when it arrives in Europe later this year (sorry North America), which is almost double that of the Renault 5 upon which it is based. Ouch.

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müzik dinlemek için en iyi hoparlörler,
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