How Alpine's going from one sports car to seven EVs by 2030 | CAR Magazine

How Alpine's going from one sports car to seven EVs by 2030

Published: 14 February 2024 Updated: 14 February 2024

► Behind the headlines
► Big ambition transforming tiny Alpine 
► Hydrogen-based fuel option is being explored

Alpine is so small, and its sole model such an infrequent sight on our roads, that you could be forgiven for forgetting that it’s a real car maker.

But not for long. Encouraged by parent company Renault, Alpine is about to add the A290 electric hot hatch, and a ‘crossover GT’ in 2025, on its way to a line-up of seven EVs by the end of the decade. And while it’s delivering this ambitious plan for road cars, it will be expanding its motorsport commitment beyond F1 and LMP2 to include the top class of the World Endurance Championship.

That’s a lot for a boutique European sports car maker to take on. Why is it happening, and how? It starts with Renault Group chief executive Luca de Meo. In 2020 he declared that Alpine should go all-electric. (Renault and Dacia, with their bigger sales and global reach, will keep one foot in the combustion camp for longer.) One of those EVs will be an electric replacement for the A110; the others will be less niche.

Anne-Catherine Basset runs the Dieppe plant currently making 22 A110s a day, and which next year will start producing pre-production versions of the crossover GT, codename DZ110, which will go into series production the following year. But the car currently causing the biggest buzz around Alpine, its hot version of the Renault 5 EV, will actually be built in Douai, alongside the Megane E-Tech.


‘Dieppe remains the cradle of the brand. But expansion cannot be here – the site can’t grow. When you cannot expand, you have to think of clever ways to use the space.’ She notes that in the year 2000 the plant produced a total of 25,000 Meganes and Espaces, so it can be done.

‘The transformation is a big challenge, but it means a big future for the plant. We’re aiming to be more efficient but also to go from one to two or three shifts. Producing EVs in Europe is a big challenge and we need to remain competitive [with lower-cost China]. We’re using the best of Renault production techniques, but there are some things only we do, for instance carbonfibre.’

Sovany Ang, Alpine’s vice president for product performance, spells out how this expansion into multiple EVs can maintain a credible connection with the A110. 

‘We’re going to roll out the dream garage, starting with the A290. All cars will be boosted with Alpine DNA. Alpine design is going to be outlandish, and we are deploying motorsport tech which allows us to deliver the Alpine driving experience, focused on the feel of being at one with the car.’

Alpine’s vice-president for engineering, Roberto Bonetto, insists: ‘The bridge is agile driving pleasure. A110 is testimony to what we want to achieve. We have put all of our knowledge into the A290.’

The connection between motorsport and road cars is real, he says: ‘Racing is at the top level of technology for aerodynamics, for materials, and racing is moving towards electric. There are a lot of synergies between our racing teams and the cars we are developing.’

Alpine front

The Alpine F1 team was not long ago badged Renault, but the new WEC campaign is very much an Alpine affair. Two cars will compete in 2024, with a six-driver line-up including Mick Schumacher.

Ambitious? Yes. But when you recall Alpine’s colourful history since 1955, and the brilliance of the A110, and the vast amounts of data captured in F1, it starts to add up to a plausible way to sprinkle some magic that could make those EVs stand out. 

What about hydrogen?

Alpine’s racing HQ at Viry-Chatillon is flat-out on preparing the A424 Hypercar ahead of the 2024 season, but has also made time for some development work on hydrogen-fuelled internal-combustion engines.

That planet-friendly way of using existing engine technology – also being championed by Porsche and Toyota – was part of the Alpenglow concept unveiled in late 2022. But unlike many technological aspects of design-led concepts, this idea is being seriously explored.

Alpine Racing’s Francois Champod told us: ‘This is real. Viry is working on hydrogen internal combustion engines seriously. There is a version of this which is running.’ More would be announced soon, he added.

Doesn’t this conflict with Alpine’s all-EV plan? Not so. Engineering chief Roberto Bonetto stressed that EVs were a means to an end, not an end in themselves. ‘Our strategy is no emissions. That’s not necessarily EV. We are open to other solutions, maybe hydrogen.’

All EV? Maybe not…

By Colin Overland

CAR's managing editor: wordsmith, critic, purveyor of fine captions