After a revival that included the creation of one of the best sports cars in recent memory - in the shape of the A110 - Alpine's next production car will be a fully-electric hot hatch. Previewing this will be the A290_β show car, which will debut on 9 May. The name, pronounced 'A290 beta', refers to how software is tested before a final version is released, which seems apt for an electric concept car.
But that name also reveals how all future Alpine models will be designated, with the first number referring to the size of the vehicle. In this case, that 2 means a smaller car that is sure to use the same architecture as the forthcoming Renault 5 EV. The '90' in the name is what Alpine describes as multi-purpose sports vehicles (everyday cars to you and me), with pure sports cars receiving a '10' designation as we saw with the A110. Such a naming system leaves plenty of room for more Alpine models to follow in the coming years, which can only be positive news for enthusiasts.
Alpine takes over from Renault Sport
As part of a group-wide restructuring, the Renault Sport brand now comes under the Alpine umbrella, bolstering the performance division. It will see sporty versions of Renault's newer models carry the Alpine badging in a similar way to BMW's M Sport. But there will still be numerous standalone Alpine models besides the A290. The company has already outlined plans for an electric crossover and an electric successor to the A110, which it is co-developing with Lotus.
At the time of the reorganisation, Alpine CEO, Laurent Rossi, said: "As part of the reorganisation of the Renault Group by brand, it is essential that the various entities that make up the business unit bear the Alpine name and embody the values and ambitions of the brand. Alpine aims to be a premium sports brand at the forefront of innovation and technology. Alpine Cars with its expertise and experience in sports vehicles is a master card in achieving our goals."
How to see it in person
Race fans watching this weekend's Formula 1 and Endurance racing at Spa-Francorchamps will see a QR code on the Alpine race cars. Flashing that will open a link to enter a draw to win an invitation to attend the A290_β's presentation on 9 May. However, you'll need to be every bit as quick as the Alpine racing drivers to capture it on screen.