We don't like to start articles with bad news but let's rip the bandoff off: this epic little electric hot hatch is, for now, just a concept. When it does find its way into production trim, it's unlikely to reach our North American shores. So why feature a car that we probably can't buy? Well, because we are big fans of fun and we want to appreciate any EV that puts fun at the forefront - it moves the whole industry forward and changes perceptions of what an EV is and can do. This Alpine, when it finds its production clothes, will join a short list of EVs that are redefining what it means to be an enthusiast in a world of electrification.
If you're unfamiliar with Alpine, they are the performance division of Renault, a French company who in partnership with Nissan and Mitsubishi, are one of the largest auto groups on Earth. That can be easy for us North Americans to forget, since Renault hasn't sold any cars here since the 80s (but that could soon be changing). Their Alpine division is small, but its influence and reach are profound. Perhaps best known for their Formula 1 team, Alpine also makes a road car called the A110, which has maintained status as a critical darling due to its lightweight construction and sublime handling.
So then, we have an automaker who knows a thing or two about how to make cars fun, who care about how cars drive and handle (and how much they weigh), dropping a joyful hot hatch and calling it a sports car. Oh, and they gave it a center-seated cockpit design reminiscent of the legendary McLaren F1, surrounded by a full racing roll cage, drenched in ambient lighting. OK, we know the center seating position and roll cage are not going to make it to the production version, but we love the thought (and hope the aftermarket does too).
Alpine says this A290_β is the first car in its "electric dream garage" which will also include a "GT Crossover" and an electric replacement for the aforementioned A110. Alpine, you have our attention.
And so we're just glad this car exists, even if we can't have it. But yeah, about that... Alpine, pretty please?