Alpine is set to launch D- and E-segment SUVs that will feature “high-performance and energised” chassis dynamics inspired by the A110, while fulfilling a brief to give the French brand a footprint in the crucial luxury car market.
As such, they will be marketed as ‘lifestyle’ products, rather than pure-performance machines, but Alpine bosses have promised that engaging dynamics will still be among their core attributes.
Alpine’s head of design, Antony Villain, said: “The idea is to use the driving experience of the A110 and duplicate it in different segments. We want something high-performance, sporty and energised. We don’t want something that just goes in straight lines super-quickly.”
Villain admitted how “ambitious” this is, not least because electric cars are inherently heavier than their combustion-engined equivalents.
Translating the driving dynamics of the A110 to an electric SUV requires “various technical solutions”, said Villain, such as a low centre of gravity, torque vectoring and four-wheel steering, all of which are expected to feature on Alpine’s ‘lifestyle’ models.
Asked for clues to the larger E-segment car’s overall dimensions, Villain said: “We’re using it to expand our footprint and especially to enter the US market. That’s why it’s bigger compared with Europe. I wouldn’t say it’s a compact car, but it’s not a large car. For Europe it’s a large car, but for the US it’s still compact.”
Villain hinted at the E-segment model being about five metres in length, which would make it a natural rival to SUVs such as the Audi Q8 E-tron and BMW iX. The D-segment model is expected to be about 4.7m.