Folks, the 1970s are back in full swing, only this time around we’re riding on the sweet, silent wave of electricity. Say hello, then, to the all-new Alpine A290, which is the French performance brand’s reinterpretation of the all-electric Renault 5.

In the late 1970s, Alpine did its thing with the first-gen Renault 5, and now it had a go with the all-electric modern reinterpretation of the iconic city hatchback known as the Le Car in the United States. And it’s glorious! Don’t believe us? Check out the photo gallery and make up your own mind.

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Electric fun for the masses

Slowly but surely, more and more performance-oriented EVs are popping up in the sub-$50,000 space, at least in Europe.

There's the MG4 XPower and Abarth 600e, and now Alpine dropped the ball with the Renault 5-based A290 hot hatch.

It was no secret that Alpine, the performance arm of French automaker Renault, was working on a souped-up version of the all-new Renault 5. Heck, it even made a concept car called the A290 beta which looks identical to the series production model, making it all the more desirable.

But now that everything is buttoned up and ready to go, we have all the details. As opposed to the gas-powered A110 which is a bespoke model, the all-new A290–Alpine’s first EV–is a sportier Renault 5. But unlike its calmer and arguably non-hot hatch cousin, the A290 comes with cool, rally-inspired headlights with embedded Xs, more aggressive bumpers and a discreet ducktail spoiler.

19-inch wheels come as standard, as well as a 52-kilowatt-hour battery that can offer a maximum travel distance of around 236 miles on the WLTP cycle. Two power versions will be available, but whatever you choose, the A290 is purely a front-wheel drive machine. The GT and GT Premium trims come with a 130-kW (174 horsepower) motor, while the GT Performance and GTS get a beefier 160-kW (214 hp) drive unit.

Alpine says the zero to 62 miles per hour sprint can be over in as little as 6.4 seconds for the most powerful versions. But the performance brand didn’t just slap a bunch of its logos on the car and call it a day.

Gallery: Alpine A290 (2024)

The Alpine A290 features a bespoke all-aluminum motor subframe, as well as a bespoke suspension setup with hydraulic bump stops to increase the comfort and agility of the 13-foot-long hatchback. The Brembo brakes are also lifted straight from the A110 two-door.

Inside, the feisty hot EV has a specially designed three-spoke steering wheel that has two stand-out features. There’s a button that activates an Overtake function, which provides an instant power boost for 10 seconds, while the Recharge knob can be used to select between the multiple brake regen settings.

Alpine is particularly proud of the fact that owners can completely deactivate the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) on the A290. This, coupled with a “Coaching” companion app that can teach drivers how to slide the car, among other things, should make for a particularly enjoyable experience.

Two synthetic “engine” noises can be toggled on or off from the 10.1-inch central touchscreen which also integrates with Apple CarPlay.

Expect the all-new Alpine A290 electric hot hatch to arrive in the United States… never. Meanwhile, European customers should set aside anywhere between €35,000 and €40,000 for the battery-powered French grin-maker.

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