French performance brand Alpine has revealed the electric A110 E-ternité as an intriguing glimpse of its all-EV future - hinting at the techniques its next-gen cars will use to minimise weight and maintain agility.
Unveiled on the 60th anniversary of the Alpine A110, it is not only the brand's first running and driving electric car, but also its first drop-top, featuring a removable roof section that has minimal impact on the car's rigidity and silhouette.
Its unveiling comes just days after company CEO Laurent Rossi gave Autocar new details of the next-generation Alpine A110, which will swap its mid-mounted turbo four-pot for a pure-electric powertrain - but remain a highly bespoke proposition even as the sporting brand launches a line of models based on Renault-derived EV platforms.
"We hope to preserve the A110 DNA, and it might be quite different from the rest of the cars, despite platform sharing,” he said. “There’s nothing more similar than two electric cars nowadays: same platforms, same electric power, distributed to all wheels if you’re lucky, and it’s pretty much a matter of fine-tuning the output of the motors."
The new E-ternité prototype is not explicitly said to be a preview of the 2025 A110 EV, but it stands as a showcase of the brand's commitment to the coupé's fan-favourite formula: compact, lightweight, dynamically capable and engagingly quick.
As a "rolling laboratory", the E-ternité is being used by Alpine's engineers to explore ways of electrifying its flagship sports car. The firm describes it as a sort of "resto-mod" and says it serves as a "bridge between a prestigious past and an even more ambitious future".
Based on the same chassis as the current production car, the E-ternité uses battery packs from the Renault Mégane E-Tech – whose CMF-EV platform will underpin Alpine's own upcoming electric crossover – but houses them in bespoke casings and spreads them around the chassis for optimum weight distribution: there are four at the front and eight at the rear - in a bid to maintain the A110's characteristic mid-engined handling behaviour.