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Alpine Continues With EV Sports Car After Mutual Split From Lotus

French auto firm Alpine has decided to move forward with its own novel electric sports car. The company, part of Renault’s auto group, was working with British manufacturer Lotus to create an electric platform. However, the two decided to cancel the partnership

Renault Group CEO Luca De Meo confirmed the news. He told “Autocar” at the Paris Auto Show, “We had a long discussion and finally decided to build our own platform.” 

Renault is preparing to roll out a few new electric vehicles (EVs) in the near future. The collaboration with Lotus, which was to be for the “successor to the current A110,” had pushed the timeline for the sports car to 2026, but it’s unknown how the split will affect the rollout. Though no car concept plans from the two brands were unveiled, Alpine plans to move forward with its A290_ß.

Photo Courtesy Alpine

The A290_ß is a new version of the A290 but with integrated Formula 1-inspired technology. It’s a three-seater hatchback with Formula 1-style steering, comes with cool X-shaped headlights and a matte color scheme, is made from lightweight carbon, and is draped in LED lighting throughout the car. It’s also highly technical, with a line of NFTs and racing simulations included. The best part: it will be totally electric.  

Alpine and Lotus originally announced their plans to build a new electric sports car platform in 2021. It coincided with Lotus revealing its E-Sports platform, a lightweight powertrain for electric sports cars, the same year.

The company says it’s designed to be 37% lighter with higher-performing batteries. Lotus will work on its own model, codenamed Type 135. It’s predicted to come out in 2026 as well. 

Alpine and Lotus maintain a good relationship despite the breakup, confirming they are open to future collaborations. The plan was to develop a successor to Alpine’s A110.

Photo Courtesy Alpine

“There was no friction with the thing because everybody was feeling like this was the best thing,” De Meo said to “Autocar.” “It doesn’t mean we don’t have opportunities to work together again.” 

Alpine plans to become an EV-only manufacturer later this decade. Laurent Rossi, the company’s CEO, also confirmed to “Autocar” that we will see at least five new cars from the French luxury brand across the next five years. 

He said a Renault 5-based A290 hatchback and GT X-Over compact crossover are on the way. There are also plans to use these new vehicles to break into the American market. The company recently made a U.S. expansion plan public — we could see Alpine cars stateside by 2027.

Photo Courtesy Alpine

Alpine continues to impress on the Formula 1 circuit. New driver Pierre Gasly has filled the role of Fernando Alonso quite well, and Esteban Ocon continues to be solid. He and Gasly sit in ninth and 11th, respectively, in the Drivers Championship. Meanwhile, the team is fifth in the Constructor’s Cup. That’s pretty good when competing against Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari, and the surprise of the season — and home of former driver Alonso — Aston Martin. 

Alpine will likely keep the A290 in Europe, so we will probably not see it in North America. Nevertheless, the exposure from media like Netflix’s “Drive to Survive” series has generated buzz across the pond. Despite no longer using Lotus’ platform, it will push forward with some impressive EVs.  


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