Affordable Sports Cars in the Electric Era? Alpine’s Latest Concept Gives Us Hope
Along with the advent of electric vehicles has come an increase in new car prices. The fact is, electric vehicle batteries are expensive to produce, and that cost passes to the market by way of elevated pricing. But the latest electric hot hatch concept from Alpine shows that affordable electric sports cars could be on the horizon.
The Alpine A290 Beta teases an affordable electric sports car
When Alpine announced plans to phase into a purely electric brand, it also intimated a three-vehicle lineup. The base car was described as an affordable EV sports car “for me”, and now the A290 Beta appears to be the brand’s first official reveal.
Conceptually, it is expected that the A290 will be an affordable everyday hatchback akin to the Volkswagen Golf. However, the introduction of electric power means an opportunity for impressive power and torque, especially if the car comes with an all-wheel drive variant.
Alpine’s first EV reveal on May 9
We’ll get the full details on the upcoming Alpine A290 Beta at the official reveal on May 9. However, it isn’t the first electric sports car from the French conglomerate that owns both Renault and Alpine. Currently the Renault Zoe E-Sport and Renault R5 Turbo 3E come from Alpine’s parent company.
The Zoe churns out 460 horsepower while the R5 has a 375-horsepower electric powertrain, but early reports from Motor1 say that the A290 isn’t getting either of those options. Instead, the Alpine electric hatch will get the 215-horsepower electric motor from the Renault Megane E-Tech.
As usual, Alpine’s affordable electric sports car isn’t coming to America
Unfortunately, of the three new EVs in Alpine’s revitalized lineup, the A290 is the one that won’t be coming to America. CEO Laurent Rossi indicated that he plans to bring Alpine to the U.S. by 2028 with a midsize and three-row electric crossover. While those plans are far enough away to change, right now, it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting the affordable electric sports car competitor to the next-generation GTI EV.
Small EVs could be the answer by 2027
Of course, there is a lot of chatter about battery materials, vehicle weight, efficiency, and cost surrounding EVs right now. So far, big, powerful electric vehicles are the standard, but they also come at prices that fall well above average.
With Chevrolet axing the Bolt EV and EUV after this year, that problem will only get worse. However, 40% of Americans show a willingness to buy an electric vehicle. An affordable, compact hatchback could help Alpine break into the market with mass appeal. Fewer battery materials, improved efficiency and range, and standout styling are surefire ways to grab attention in today’s market.
Selfishly, more affordable, fun-to-drive small cars are never a bad thing. But more pragmatically, they could provide an entry point for middle-class Americans to test the electric vehicle waters without being afraid of the sticker price.
For now, we’ll wait until the official reveal of the A290 to see exactly what it has to offer.