Alpine to go electric with new EV sports car

Published: 14 January 2021

► A110 to be replaced with new EV
► Alpine business to be streamlined, too
► F1 team, Renault Sport under same roof

As part of Renault’s massive new business plan for the next decade, the Alpine division has confirmed that it is working on an electric replacement for the A110.

Groupe Renault has confirmed that it will be co-developing the new model with Lotus – the reigning champion of lightweight sports cars.

As Porsche will quietly attest as it wrestles with electrifying the 718, blending a light and compact sports car with an inevitably heavy EV powertrain is tricky. Renault has more electric know-how than most, learnt from generations of Zoes and the Nissan Leaf, and now the versatile CMF-EV platform, as seen on the Megane eVision concept.

Getting into bed with Lotus makes sense for that very reason: batteries are heavy, so Lotus’ know-how on making sports cars as light as possible will be valuable, while Lotus can arguably learn a thing or two from Groupe Renault’s electrification strategy for its own product range.

Groupe Renault says that Alpine and Lotus will ‘conduct a study into the feasibility of joint engineering, design and development of an EV sports car by leveraging the resources, expertise and facilities of the respective entities in both France and the UK.’

Specs aren’t known yet, but the new model could see some design inspiration from Renault concepts like the new 5 Prototype concept and the Megane eVision. Expect to see something come together from 2024.

Any more sporty EVs coming?

Yes. Alpine has also confirmed two more cars are on the way, using Groupe Renault’s electric platforms. A new electric B-segment hot hatch and a C-segment crossover SUV are confirmed, using the CMF-B EV and CMF-EV platforms respectively.

CMF-EV platform

Groupe Renault is streamlining chains of command by collecting the Alpine cars division, Renault Sport and the new Alpine F1 team under one roof. The departure of Cyril Abiteboul – who was to run this new streamlined division – was a surprise, but it gives new Alpine boss, Laurent Rossi, a chance to start from scratch under Groupe boss Luca de Meo’s hefty target of becoming profitable by 2025.

‘The new Alpine entity takes three brands with separate assets and areas of excellence to turn them into an empowered, fully-fledged business,’ he said at the ‘Renaultlution’ industrial turnaround plan, ‘The craftsmanship from our plant in Dieppe, the engineering mastery from our Formula One and Renault Sport teams will shine through our tech-infused, 100% electric line-up, taking the beautiful Alpine name to the future.

What will happen to the current A110?

alpine sportsx

New group boss Luca de Meo said in a press conference back in October 2020 that the combustion-engined A110 could follow the example of the Porsche 911 – constantly evolving, upgrading and diversifying, while always staying true to the fundamental look and feel with regular lifecycle upgrades.

‘We have to stop with the nostalgia,’ said de Meo in October 2020. ‘In my mind, Alpine has a future, and there is a way to get there.’

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches