Alpine A290 Beta Concept (2023)
Alpine A290 Beta Concept
Alpine’s new compact B-segment electric sports car, the A290, is showcased by the sporty A290_? (A290 beta) show car. The A290_? is the first of three models in the upcoming “Dream Garage” and aims to redefine sports cars by tapping into Alpine’s motor-sports heritage. The A290_? is designed to cater to every driver’s competitive spirit and be just as exciting for the driver as for passengers. The car's design, materials and technology provide a fresh take on electric cars that are suitable for both motor-sports tracks and everyday drives. As low-carbon mobility is essential in the automotive industry, the A290_? highlights the brand’s commitment to sustainable motor sports.
A forward-looking name
Alpine's new car, the A290_? , follows the brand's global naming strategy by starting with the letter A followed by three numbers. The number 2 indicates the B-segment while 90 is the brand's future Lifestyle range. The Greek letter beta denotes an intermediate stage leading up to the production vehicle's official launch in 2024. This urban show car is the first step towards Alpine's all-electric Dream Garage in 2024, and it redefines the rules for electric hot hatches. The A290_? embodies the brand's motor sports spirit and heritage while also paving the way for the brand's future. Laurent Rossi, CEO of Alpine, leads the brand's journey into the future.
REINVENTING SPORTS-CAR DRIVING
The A290_? show car boasts a three-seat configuration, providing a new concept that sets it apart from production models. With two electric motors at the front, this ultra-sporty show car pushes the boundaries in terms of power and agility in its category. The A290_? has undergone specific developments, including the chassis, suspension, torque management, and fine-tuning to deliver efficient and playful behavior.
The car has been cleared for use on tracks by the FFSA and comes with racing-car functionalities such as the telemetry built into the steering wheel, dynamic shapes, and air inlets for better cooling. The driving seat is located on the centerline like a racing car, with two passengers slightly behind the driver for a unique view.
The A290_? inherits Alpine's DNA honed from motor-sports competitions and will be built on the Alliance's CMF-B EV platform for B-segment electric vehicles. Production is set to begin in 2024 at ElectriCity in Douai, France. The A290_? combines a racing soul with urban influences, providing a reinvented motor-sport universe.
The driver is at the center of the cockpit, reflecting Alpine's driving-experience know-how. Antony Villain, Design Director, Alpine, states that the A290_? showcases Alpine's DNA and spirit as they develop the Alpines for tomorrow.
THE FULL-ELECTRIC CITY SPORTS CAR
The Alpine A290_? has the same design elements as the Alpenglow concept car and other Dream Garage vehicles. Additionally, it has features that make it stand out, like the classic Alpine wheel rims, a cockpit based on racing car designs, and premium materials that will endure.
Fusion, performance and the A290_? concept’s soul
Alpine designed the A290_? show car to emphasize the sensation of merging with the machine. It combines the brand's passion for motor sports with the unique emotions that driving an Alpine evokes. A magenta line runs across the car, highlighting its power, speed, and technology, representing the connection between humans and machines. The blue line denotes the bond between the driver and passengers, transitioning to magenta to emphasize both relationships. The A290_? features contemporary surfaces, materials, and details, fully embodying Alpine's promise of excitement and surprise for the future. Raphaël Linari, Chief Designer at Alpine, explains.
The A290_? electric sports car represents the essence of the Alpine brand, offering drivers a completely new driving experience. Its dynamic and modern body boasts muscular shapes and sharp technical details, exuding an uncompromising performance attitude. With dimensions of 4.05 metres in length, 1.85 metres in width and 1.48 metres in height, this show car gives us a glimpse of what a future production car could look like. The upcoming car is expected to have a short wheelbase and wider track for enhanced stability at high speeds and a sporty driving experience.
Aerodynamics shaped for driving pleasure
The designers of the Alpine A290_? paid close attention to every detail to optimize both the car's aerodynamic performance and driving experience. Large air inlets in the front bumper not only cool the car more efficiently but also enhance its aerodynamics. The car's road grip is improved by the ultra-slim floating rear-view mirrors and indicator bands that highlight the car's versatility and power.
Sculpted air inlets beneath the headlights contribute to the car's motor-sports feel and help airflow. The battery fans, visible from the outside, resemble those used to cool gaming PCs.
The windshield is stretched over the bonnet to connect the outside and inside and draw attention to the central driving seat. The arrow-shaped dashboard, inspired by Formula 1 car nose cones, is in a class of its own and extends outward with the mirrors.
An X-shaped light signature
The A290_? features two X-shaped sets of lights at the front, which are similar to those on the production model. These lights are inspired by the headlights of the iconic A110 and racing cars from the past. The vertical rear lights are also reminiscent of the A470 endurance racing car. The central brake light stretches inward and merges with the light beam across the car's centerline through the back windshield.
All of the vehicle's lights are designed with the same colors as the rest of the car, with magenta sweeping across the car from the headlights to the rear lights, and the wing mirrors and indicators colored blue.
The aluminum rims of the Alpine A290_? provide a preview of those on the production model. They feature a unique pattern and are crafted in three colors: Alps Snow, which matches the body color, glossy mineral black for added intensity around the base, and a blue ring that completes the exclusive and iconic look of the vehicle. The 20-inch circle rims have a square cut-out at the center, which adds a touch of originality and style.
Tailor-made tyres, the result of co-development between two emblematic French brands
Michelin purpose-engineered exclusive tires for the Alpine A290_? , as part of a renewed partnership to support Alpine's electrification efforts. These tires were designed with the same look as the rest of the show car and feature two white triangles that lock the tire to the wheel, which is one of the hallmarks of the Alpine brand. The Michelin name is visible in white on the side of the tire, indicating the exclusive partnership with the French tire manufacturer.
For all vehicles in Alpine's Dream Garage, Michelin will supply high-performance 19-inch tires with exclusive Alpine markings. These tires were custom-designed to ensure optimal calibration and excellent performance on the production A290.
A body tone inspired by the mountains
The body of the A290_? is reminiscent of the mountain range that inspired it. It has a powdery white color that glimmers faintly in the light, giving it a crystal-like effect. The textured paint used on the surface makes it shine like freshly fallen snow.
The car features rock-like forged carbon on the sills, front spoiler, and skirt, all of which have a blue inlay that highlights the car's technological prowess. The metallic-black roof and bonnet add to the vehicle's powerful and bold look, directing attention towards the driver's seat at the center.
The Alpine A290_? 's production model will closely resemble the show car's exterior. However, the interior design is more conceptual and features pioneering architecture that places the driver in the center of the action. The driver's seat is on the centerline, as highlighted by two magenta and blue light beams.
The connection between the inside and outside is emphasized by the windshield flowing onto the bonnet, providing a unique perspective of the arrow-shaped dashboard inspired by Formula 1 cars. The dashboard extends across the cockpit and onto the wing mirrors, with all driving functions lined up on this axis. This underscores the harmony between the interior and exterior design, and the central role of the driver's position in the A290_? 's design.
The cockpit is inspired by racing cars, with a minimalistic design focused on performance and efficiency. The steering wheel features an array of motorsports-inspired features, while the bucket seats and safety harness complete the effect.
Driving in the middle
The A290_? is a hot-rod designed for city driving, taking inspiration from racing cars and the Alpenglow concept car. Its unique three-seat architecture with a central driving position perfectly embodies this idea. The car aims to create a seamless connection between the driver and the vehicle, while providing passengers with an unparalleled experience. The driver can focus on the road and enjoy the driving experience, while passengers become co-pilots who can watch and savour the sensations.
Carbon bucket seats
That's correct! The A290_? 's bucket seats are made of lightweight raw carbon and feature Sabelt safety harnesses designed for racing. The seat pads were carefully crafted to add to the sporty look while providing excellent support. The driver's seat is covered in ultralumen, a high-tech retro-reflective material, and has discreetly placed triangles that reference the car's three-seater layout, the mountains, and the Alpine emblem. Additionally, the handle located next to the driver's feet was designed specifically for this show car and Alpine driver, allowing the doors to open in less than 7 seconds while providing a high level of safety.
An arrow-shaped dashboard
The dashboard also features two screens that display vital driving information. The one in front of the driver shows the speedometer, rev counter, gear indicator, and other driving data. The second screen, in front of the passenger, provides access to the infotainment system and other vehicle settings. Both screens are seamlessly integrated into the dashboard's arrow-shaped design and are easy to read and access.
The steering wheel is a work of art in its own right, inspired by those found in Formula 1 racing cars. It is equipped with a variety of controls, including shift paddles, a drive mode selector, and buttons for controlling the infotainment system. The steering wheel is wrapped in Alcantara, a high-end material that provides a tactile and luxurious feel.
The rest of the interior is just as stylish and high-tech, with minimalist styling, premium materials, and advanced technology throughout. The Alpine A290_? is a car that puts the driver at the center of the action and provides a driving experience unlike any other.
A minimalist and eminently functional cockpit
It is clear that the Alpine A290_? is designed to provide a unique driving experience that emphasizes the driver's connection with the car and the road. The lack of screens inside the car allows for a more immersive driving experience, with the driver receiving all necessary information through the headset display. The production car will continue to prioritize the driving experience, with the cockpit designed to revolve around the driver and the multimedia system and virtual interfaces associated with it. Overall, the A290_? is a high-performance vehicle that combines cutting-edge technology with a sleek, sporty design to provide a thrilling ride for both the driver and passengers.
An Overtake button like the one on racing-car steering wheels
It's important to note that the Overtake button and other motor-sport-inspired features are only available on the show car and will not necessarily be available on the production car. However, Alpine has stated that the production car will offer a similar driving experience and focus on performance and efficiency, and that the cockpit will be designed with the driver in mind.
Contrasting high-tech materials
The A290_? boasts a one-of-a-kind interior design, featuring high-quality and durable materials that are both sophisticated and contemporary.
Hard-wearing, technically enhanced leather
The car's dashboard has eco-certified leather that's vegetable-tanned and feels distinct and comfortable. The door panels also have this leather, which is laser-cut to create contrasts and enhance the high-tech upholstery. Some of the car's structural components, like the chassis, are embroidered with leather for added elegance.
The mighty, distinctive triangle
The iconic Alpine triangle is present on the side window of the show car, covered with a matte varnish that gives it a modern, high-tech appearance. At night, it illuminates with blue and magenta colors, creating a striking visual effect. The triangle motif can be found all over the car and it blends seamlessly into an elegant and uniform look that is fitting for the brand. The steering wheel also features a small crystal triangle at the center, similar to the one found in the Alpenglow concept car.
The use of aluminium in both the interior and exterior design of the car highlights the lightweight nature of Alpine's brand, while also emphasizing the car's sporty character and ambitious goals. For example, the parking brake is made of sand-blasted aluminium, covered in leather. Other elements of the car, such as the footrests, decorative inlays on the doors, and dashboard winglets, are also made of sand-blasted aluminium.
The top of the dashboard, steering wheel, and driver's seat are covered in ultralumen reflective material. This intensifies the feeling of being in the driver's seat and highlights the unique architecture of the cockpit. The material lights up when a light is shone on it, emphasizing the driver's central role and the sporty feel of the car.
The sides and front of the car are adorned with metallic letters spelling out the name Alpine, while blue, white, and magenta flags reflect the color scheme of the show car and emphasize its identity.
FINE-TUNED FOR PERFECTION
Alpine's engineering, design, and test driving teams put in extensive effort into refining the A290_? show car. They spent numerous hours on the tracks, fine-tuning each setting to optimize the driver's and passengers' experience. Their primary goal was to provide a unique and exhilarating experience.
The A290_? also reflects the development teams' expertise in electric design, which was a success in the A110 E-ternité prototype. The show car incorporates many of the engineers' advancements in electric design, providing a glimpse into how they are transforming the sports driving industry.
Alpine’s development teams enhanced the show car’s efficiency by refining its torque vectoring technology, which regulates the torque supplied to each wheel independently. This calibration elevates the performance to its maximum potential, whether driving in a straight line or turning, resulting in an unforgettable sensation. The production car will also have a torque management system adapted to its design. Furthermore, the car features an all-new multi-link rear axle that achieves the optimal equilibrium between power and comfort, a rarity in its category.
A singular development process
The A290_? 's chassis was purpose-built, resulting in a car that is playful at low and medium speeds for an added thrill. At high speeds, the vehicle is highly stable, providing a reassuring but intense driving experience. The suspension system, shock absorbers, front and rear anti-roll bars, and cooling and braking systems were all optimized for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. The car will feature a high-performance Brembo braking system with 4-piston calipers, identical to that of the A110. To enhance comfort and grip, the vehicle will have hydraulic compression stops to cushion shocks more effectively, allowing for better agility and comfort tuning of the suspension system.
Three driving modes to suit all kinds of tracks
The Alpine A290_? provides various settings that can be optimised in real-time through buttons on the steering wheel. The ABS has 11 positions that adjust to the road's grip. The show car also features three driving modes for tracks - Wet, Dry and Full - that adapt to the road's condition. In Wet mode, the car offers a gentler response with better traction and stability. In Dry mode, it glides more and has a more aggressive wheel response. Full mode unleashes the electric motors' full power, similar to the Overtake button.
FROM REAL TO VIRTUAL: A NEW ANGLE ON MATTER
In addition to physical development, creating a show car involves designing it digitally. Alpine's design team, headed by Antony Villain, captured the essence of their ideas and created a virtual version of the vehicle using materials that are not practical in the physical world. This allowed for an exclusive and complete experience to be transferred to the digital realm. As a result, the A290_? will not only be raced on real tracks, but it will also be available in simulators and video games.
Born digital: a fully-fledged show car in the digital world
It sounds like the design team really pushed the boundaries of what's possible with virtual materials, creating two unique types that serve different purposes. The first material, 0A1, is used for the structure of the dashboard and driver's seat, and is all about maximizing lightness. The second material is more about the driver's emotions and the extreme sensations of driving an Alpine car. It's a "living virtual material" that changes colors and morphs according to the car's speed, trajectory, and acceleration, creating an immersive and intense experience for the driver. This level of human-technology fusion is really pushing the envelope in terms of what's possible with design and engineering.