Alpine Says A110 Successor Will Come to United States, Outlines Expansion Plan

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Alpine, the French performance brand tied to Renault Group, has frequently shared plans to break into the U.S. market. This has included rumors that the initial lineup would include a successor to the fabled A110. The brand is now fleshing out plans to expand into our market, stating that it hopes to begin U.S. operations by 2026.

Renault CEO Luca de Meo confirmed several items during the automaker’s 2024 Annual General Meeting. Alpine is to become a global brand, with seven vehicles being planned for the United States by 2027.

“Alpine is on track to become a global brand with 50 [percent] of volumes outside of Europe by 2030,” said de Meo.

Known models, slated for the U.S., include whatever is about to replace the current A110. The model will be electric and utilize the Alpine Performance Platform. Rumor has it that the vehicle will play host to a battery pack sized just shy of 80 kWh and that the engineering team is hoping to create a rival of the all-electric 718 Porsche has been developing.

Electrification will fundamentally change the formula for the models, as both prioritize lightness and balance over engine output. Battery packs may be good at keeping a vehicle’s center of gravity low. But they also add a staggering amount of weight. With the Alpine A110 being laser focused on maximizing lightness and agility, one wonders how its successor is supposed to retain those traits with a relatively large power pack situated beneath the seats.

The A310 will also be coming to America after being out of production since 1984. Originally built as a successor to the A110, the model ended up being more like its bigger brother and adopted a 2+2 cabin. Once the original A110 ended production, the slower A310 started seeing major performance improvements and a boost in sales. Renault hasn’t confirmed much about the new model other than the fact that it will be another all-electric product from Alpine.

We’ve likewise heard rumors that it would be a sedan, though assuredly called a four-door coupe by the manufacturer. European outlets have suggested that Alpine is hoping to build something to compete with the Porsche Taycan. But we’re still too early in the development phase to assume much of anything beyond what Renault leadership has said directly.

While the A110 has long been one of those iconic European models Americans tend to obsess over even more due to the fact they cannot have it, Alpine’s follow-up model won’t be because it’s supposed to be all-electric. Granted, an A310 EV would probably garner some attention if designed well. But the model lacks some of the cultural cachet of A110 and almost certainly that of the original A310 ( which looks like a cross between a C3 Corvette and Nissan 300ZX). Meanwhile, all-electric products look to be confronting some hard times — particularly in North America where Alpine is aiming to do fresh business.

However, those wanting to sell in the United States know that crossover vehicles have been the safe bet and the brand definitely plans on having a few for sale by 2027. But the brand isn’t known for SUVs and crossovers, it’s known for building extremely lightweight performance and race cars in small quantities.

One could have also said that of Porsche in 2002. But then the Cayenne came out and suddenly everyone’s wife was driving one. Now, you can find people buying used Porsche SUVs on the cheap to be used as comfortable cruisers or built into luxury baja buggies.

Alpine plans to start with smaller vehicles, which is on brand. The smallest crossover available to us will be called the A390 and use the CMF-EV platform that underpins the Nissan Ariya and Renault Megane E-Tech Electric. That being the case, expect batteries sized between 66 and 91 kWh.

Less is known about the larger crossover. But rumor has it that Alpine wants to call it the A490. There will also be the A290, which is slated to be revealed later this year as a performance hatchback and has not yet been confirmed to come to North America.

While the crossover angle seems very unlike Alpine, it’s how companies are moving product these days and isn’t that worrying. The brand likewise seems to be trying to keep its crossovers more on the car end of the spectrum, rather than trying to build something masquerading as an off-road vehicle.

It’s the electrification aspect of the plan that’s slightly concerning. There just doesn’t seem to be sufficient interest in EVs for there to be another all-electric marquee in our part of the world at present. While Alpine would presumably be targeting affluent buyers, helping its chances, EV growth is slowing and most legacy automakers are revisiting their electrification plans. But the French automakers seem to have a real knack for building innovative vehicles and totally misunderstanding the American market. Win or lose, it should be a good effort.

[Images: Alpine]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by  subscribing to our newsletter.

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

More by Matt Posky

Join the conversation
2 of 13 comments
  • Wolfwagen Wolfwagen on May 23, 2024

    I expect Renault to be less popular than Fiat

  • Varezhka Varezhka on May 24, 2024

    This is Luca De Meo just throwing out ideas in hope of making themselves look more appealing to additional investment by Geely. Peugeot was also talking up their grand plans for a US return right before the Stellantis merger.

  • 3-On-The-Tree I don’t think Toyotas going down.
  • ToolGuy Random thoughts (bulleted list because it should work on this page):• Carlos Tavares is a very smart individual.• I get the sense that the western hemisphere portion of Stellantis was even more messed up than he originally believed (I have no data), which is why the plan (old plan, original plan) has taken longer than expected (longer than I expected).• All the OEMs who have taken a serious look at what is happening with EVs in China have had to take a step back and reassess (oversimplification: they were thinking mostly business-as-usual with some tweaks here and there, and now realize they have bigger issues, much bigger, really big).• You (dear TTAC reader) aren't ready to hear this yet, but the EV thing is a tsunami (the thing has already done the thing, just hasn't reached you yet). I hesitate to even tell you, but it is the truth.
  • ToolGuy ¶ I have kicked around doing an engine rebuild at some point (I never have on an automobile); right now my interest level in that is pretty low, say 2/5.¶ It could be interesting to do an engine swap at some point (also haven't done that), call that 2/5 as well.¶ Building a kit car would be interesting but a big commitment, let's say 1/5 realistically.¶ Frame-up restoration, very little interest, 1/5.¶ I have repainted a vehicle (down to bare metal) and that was interesting/engaging (didn't have the right facilities, but made it work, sort of lol).¶ Taking a vehicle which I like where the ICE has given out and converting it to EV sounds engaging and appealing. Would not do it anytime soon, maybe 3 to 5 years out. Current interest level 4/5.¶ Building my own car (from scratch) would have some significant hurdles. Unless I started my own car company, which might involve other hurdles. 😉
  • Rover Sig "Value" is what people perceive as its worth. What is the worth or value of an EV somebody creates out of a used car? People value different things, but for a vehicle, people generally ascribe worth in terms of reliability, maintainability, safety, appearance and style, utility (payload, range, etc.), convenience, operating cost, projected life, support network, etc. "Value for money" means how much worth would people think it had compared to competing vehicles on the market, in other words, would it be a good deal to buy one, compared to other vehicles one could get? Consider what price you would have to ask for it, including the parts and labor you put into it, because that would affect the “for the money” part of the “value for money” calculation. An indicator of whether people think an EV-built-in-a-used-car would provide "value for money" is the current level of demand for used cars turned into EVs. Are there a lot of people looking for these on the market? Or would building one just be a hobby? Repairing an existing EV, bringing it back into spec, might create better value for the money. Although demand for EVs is reportedly down recently.
  • ToolGuy Those of you who aren't listening to the TTAC Podcast, you really don't know what you are missing.