The Alpine ‘dream garage’ unveiled in January 2021 (below) will take shape next year with the launch of the first model: the small urban Alpine. This second stage of the brand’s renaissance, following the presentation of the A110 in 2018, involves three models: the Alpine derivative of the electric Renault 5, which unveils its name today (A290), the C-segment GT crossover that will be produced in Dieppe in 2025, and the A110’s replacement, scheduled for 2026.
This will be followed by a third, more international stage, as it envisages two new crossovers in the top of the range D and E segments, notably destined for the North American markets and scheduled for 2027 and 2028 respectively. For the time being, the little A290 will be unveiled on May 9th (at 10.30pm to be precise and lignesauto.fr invites you to come and discover it) in the form of a “100% electric sports show car”, according to the press release. This show car brings to the official A290 name the Greek letter β (Beta) which refers to the “beta test” used in the software world – the test version – just before the final version.
Coincidence or not, this Beta comes at a time when Lancia’s boss has announced that the Italian brand’s 100% electric flagship model will be (re)named Gamma, in homage to the prestigious 1970/1980 model below. That’s ballsy.
The press release issued this morning by Alpine with only two photos tells us a lot about the names of the future products planned until 2028. The newcomer, designed on the basis of the electric R5, “respects the naming strategy of the Alpine brand comprising an A followed by three digits.” So far, everything is clear and legitimate! We will therefore remove the Beta which only concerns the name of the show car that we will discover on May 9th. The manufacturer then specifies that “the first number corresponds to the size of the vehicle.
The number “2” therefore corresponds to the format of a small urban sports car. However, it is understandable that Alpine could not call its newcomer the A210, because the A210 already existed. It was an endurance prototype (below) that was seen in the Le Mans 24 Hours from 1966 to 1968.
So we had to organise a few brainstorming sessions like we love them (!) and find the solution. I can imagine a guy at the back of the room who has just been ticketed at 91 km/h instead of 90 in his A110, chatting a bit loudly with his colleague. Suddenly, the master of the house catches the number 90 on the fly, shouting “Eureka!
On a more serious note, Alpine explains that “the 90 is specific to the brand’s versatile sports vehicles, known as life-style”. We can understand that this 90 will be extended to future Alpine crossovers which will logically be versatile and sporty. Thus, the next C-segment GT crossover, announced for 2025, should logically (but not “certainly”…) be called A390, and not A310. And that’s good because the A310 already existed (below, prototype with lights on top) and was not a crossover at all! Phew ! one less brainstorming…
What names will be chosen for the two other future big crossovers of 2027 and 2028 circled in red below? All bets are off. Logic would dictate the A490 and A590, but logic in this kind of game is often compromised by reality… Let’s call the projects “AX90”, which sounds very aeronautical.
Alpine continues its explanation by informing us “that this number 90 will be replaced by the number 10 on the purely sporting vehicles. Thus, the replacement for the current A110 would keep the “10” of its current name, but what about the number after the A: the “1” of the A110 is now very small (smaller than the A290), so could it be the return of the A610? Not necessarily a good memory, despite a very efficient product, but more coherent according to the new naming strategy.
There have been many different names for the Alpine. Almost as many as there were abandoned projects. For example, the name A105 was considered for the NGA programme: New Alpine Range in the mid-1970s (below).
For the benefit of those born with a mobile phone, yes, Renault did plan to launch an Alpine range to renew the existing A110 and A310. The A105 was a berlinette for which Robert Broyer, author of the R12 and R14, had imagined a revolutionary and efficient architecture! Below the picture.
Closer to home, in the late 1980s, the W71 project for a modern saloon car was often called the Alpine A410 (below). It went quite far in its development, notably at Berex, and the car made it to the rolling prototype stage, but not to the industrialization stage. If we follow the new Alpine names, such an A410 in the future range would be quite consistent.
The same abandonment in the final stretch for the project of a small B-segment crossover, conceived at the time by Renault design for Renault Sport in 2005, almost 20 years ago. At the time, it was imagined to have a central rear engine and 2+2 seats. It was the W16 project that could have made a perfect A290 in today’s nomenclature!
The A290_ β of 2024 will be unveiled on the evening of 9 May with genuine joy. Because seeing a true Alpine range reborn after the death of the brand in 1995, 40 years after its birth, is more than a relief. It is a real event.
Would you like to attend the presentation of the A210_ β? From 28 to 30 April 2023, during a particularly sporting weekend, it will be possible for the general public to win a place to attend the presentation of this brand new show car by following Formula 1 and the World Endurance Championship. You will have to be quick to capture the QR code present during these few days on the Alpine A523 during its outings on the Baku circuit in Azerbaijan for the Formula 1 Grand Prix as well as the A470 during the 6h of Spa Francorchamps. This QR code is the key to enter the draw to win the famous sesame.