Alpine A290 Electric Hot Hatch Undergoes Cold Weather Testing at Arctic Circle

BY Vivek Max R

Prototypes are being cold-weather finalised before going into production.

Alpine has been fine-tuning the A290's low grip characteristics since the start of the year, in the most extreme weather conditions with temperatures that can drop below -30°C. Alpine's technical teams test the prototypes on tracks and open roads in these conditions to ensure excellence across the board.

All the technical parameters are subject to full-scale tests to guarantee the required performance levels are achieved.

As with every Alpine, particular attention is given to dynamic performance on the A290. Engine responsiveness, brio, driving precision and agility are all given the utmost attention to deliver a driving experience that extends to extreme conditions.

A wide range of equipment is also being tested, including heating, the quality of defogging and defrosting, and ESC (Electronic Stability Control) on snow. None of these points can be reproduced in a technical centre and can only be validated in extremely cold conditions.

For its first official outing, the A290 sported Alpine's original camouflage, the 'A-Arrow' logo on the roof and the Alpine Blue colour scheme.

The prototype was presented for the first time with its definitive bodywork and validated dimensions of length 3,990 mm, width 1,820 mm, height 1,520 mm, and wheelbase 2,530 mm.

The A290 also unveiled an exclusive Alpine sport steering wheel in Nappa leather, with a flattened surface and a centre point, reminiscent of motorsport that is so much a part of the brand's DNA.

It includes three essential functions borrowed from Alpine's Formula 1 steering wheels: OV (Overtake), RCH (Recharge) and Drive modes with one-touch access.

For these tests, the A290 is shod with high-performance MICHELIN Pilot Alpin 5 tyres to measure and control the level of braking and driving precision in severe winter conditions.

Since the dawn of their collaboration in 2012 with the A110, Alpine and Michelin have strengthened their partnership for tyre development for the all-electric Alpine range, starting with the A290.

After two years of work, the A290 will be fitted with specific 19-inch tyres, namely MICHELIN Pilot Alpin 5 winter tyre, MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV for optimised energy efficiency and MICHELIN Pilot Sport S5 for the highest performance level.

These three tyres have been developed to enhance and harness the performance of the A290 in all driving conditions, whether dry, wet or snow-covered.

Each tyre will feature an exclusive marking based on the coding system for each Alpine model. For the A290, this will be "A29".

This will ensure customers get the exact same performance when they replace their tyres: a perfect balance between safety, range, handling, durability, comfort and acoustics.

These extreme cold tests in Sweden are a further step in the A290's development, which will be unveiled in June 2024.