A little more than a year ago, Renault’s new boss Luca de Meo expressed his intention to convert Alpine into an all-electric brand. Giving us the first glimpse into its electrified future, Alpine has now introduced as a prototype the A110 E-ternite. This all-electric version of the A110 sports car comes just in time for the brand’s 60th anniversary and will debut this weekend at the 2022 French Grand Prix.
The Alpine A110 E-ternite Comes With Clever Engineering
While conceptualizing the A110 E-ternite prototype, Alpine had laid out a clear goal: the electrified version should match the driving dynamics of the gas-powered A110. To achieve this feat in record time, the brand decided not to develop an all-new electric powertrain but to use one already available in Renault’s parts bin. As a result, the E-ternite prototype shares its drivetrain with the Renault Megane E-Tech.
Finding the right drivetrain was a relatively easy task for Alpine, but implementing it accurately into the platform of the A110 did require a bit of engineering solution from the brand. The 12 battery modules of Megane’s electric drivetrains were split in two to ensure correct weight distribution. Four modules find their place at the front of the A110, while the remaining eight sit at the rear.
Electric drivetrains are inherently heavy, resulting in the A110 E-ternite prototype gaining 568 lbs over its gas-powered version. At this point, you must be wondering about the performance figures of this electric sports car prototype and how the additional weight gain has impacted its real-world performance. Well, let us put your curiosity to rest!
The Alpine A110 E-ternite’s electric motor produces 238 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. This electric sports car can achieve a maximum speed of 155 mph and 0-62 mph in 4.5 seconds. Furthermore, with these figures, one can expect to extract 260 miles of WLPT range from its 60 kWh battery pack.
Though most of the components of the drivetrain of the A110 E-ternite come from the Meghan E-Tech, its gearbox is bespoke. Alpine decided to develop this transmission in-house to ensure that its light and compact enough to accommodate the batteries and electric motor. More importantly, this DCT unit has two gear ratios and comes with electronic control to ensure limited torque breakage.
Alpine A110 E-ternite Gives You The Open Top Experience
The standard, gas-powered Alpine A110 does not come with a convertible roof. However, the nature of this sports car is such that it demands one naturally. And as a result of this, Alpine has been receiving requests from its customers to provide the A110 with some form of an open-top experience. With the A110 E-ternite, the automaker has finally listened.
Alpine engineered a simple in-house solution to ensure that the E-ternite is a convertible roof option while ensuring that the same remains light and compact. It came up with a design that accommodates two-roof shells interjected with recycled Carbon. Not only does this provide the often asked-for open-top experience in the A110, but it also ensures that the vehicle retains its structural rigidity.
In the A110 E-ternite, You Bring Your Own Infotainment System
Just like the exterior design, the cabin layout of the A110 E-ternite is identical to that of the standard A110. However, Alpine did provide the former with a few exclusive features that are bound to make this electric sports car stand out compared to its gas-powered counterpart.
The open-top driving experience in a convertible is often accentuated if a matching soundtrack compliments it in the background. So naturally, to ensure that Alpine A110 E-ternite has a more powerful sound system, it comes with one additional speaker in the center and two at the back. The 8-speaker set-up, including a subwoofer, promises a surround sound experience for this sports car’s occupants.
In the E-ternite prototype, you will never find yourself complaining about the poor display quality of the infotainment unit or being disappointed by its outdated operating system; simply because this EV does not have a central display unit. Yes, you heard it right. In the A110 E-ternite, you bring your infotainment system. What this means is that your tablet is going to act as the car’s multimedia screen!
Alpine A110 E-ternite Prototype Comes With Flax Composite Parts
Automakers often use carbon composites in their performance-oriented vehicles to ensure they remain light while maintaining their structural strength. Alpine, however, has gone for a slightly different approach. It has also used composite materials in the A110 E-ternite; the only difference is that the French automaker opted for Flax instead of Carbon.
Alpine says that Flax composites offer better acoustic capability than carbon fiber while at the same time being lightweight and environment friendly. As a result, this electric sports car prototype uses Flax composite materials in the bonnet, roof, rear window, grille, seat shells, and rear skirt.
Should Alpine decide to put the electric sports car into production, we would definitely be jealous if Alpine doesn’t bring the A110 E-ternite to the US.