The next-generation, electric Alpine A110 will stay largely true to the retro design of today’s car, albeit with some new ‘futuristic’ cues aimed at attracting new buyers.
The revelation comes as Alpine shows off the dramatic new Alpenglow concept, which it says showcases a number of cues and features that will be rolled out to its production cars, but its influence on the A110 will be minimal, because that car’s heritage is so crucial to its appeal.
That’s the view of Alpine design director Anthony Villain, who said there is more “freedom to explore” brand-new designs for the firm’s upcoming hot hatch and crossover, as they're completely new products that don’t follow on from any historic model.
The A110, meanwhile, continues to trade on its spiritual relationship with the 1960s coupé that helped to establish the Renault-backed performance marque as a leading name in motorsport.
Asked by Autocar if the Alpenglow represented an all-out shift in Alpine’s design language, Villain said: “We will stretch it [the retro look] a bit to make it more modern, but we will keep the link, especially for the A110, because it's an icon.
“We have to keep a legacy. We've always said the A110 is a missing link. The brief was to imagine if the A110 from the 1960s was still alive and the A110 went from mark two to mark three to mark four. So of course we're doing that with the new A110, the next one.”
The next A110 is likely to continue to feature a distinctive quad-light arrangement at the rear and a silhouette that references its mid-engined layout, although Villain wouldn't confirm concretely whether Alpine will use the same stacked-battery arrangement as technical partner Lotus in order to preserve mid-engined design cues and agility.
Villain did acknowledge that the shift to electric power provides an opportunity to attract new customers and so some cues will be taken from the Alpenglow – most likely its LMP1-style steering wheel (in toned down form) and various styling lines, not to mention the changes that come with new-generation infotainment hardware and EV-specific packaging requirements.
“I think it's possible to stay true to the DNA,” Villain said, although he was quick to confirm that Alpine won't seek to replicate the sound of an internal combustion engine for its EVs.
With the switch to EV for the third incarantion of the fan-favourite sports coupé, it faces competition from Lotus, Porsche and Toyota. By the time the 2026 A110 arrives, Alpine’s line-up will also include an electric crossover and an electric hot hatchback.
With those more volume-friendly models arriving alongside, it will be crucial to Alpine increasing its global footprint.