Alpine A290 and Volkswagen ID2 GTI: electric hot hatch battle – Preview

Electric shocks

Alpine A290 and Volkswagen ID2 GTI (illustration: Larson)

Electrification is increasingly penetrating the lower segments. Renault and Volkswagen will soon also contribute with the 5 and the ID2 respectively. There will also be two wonderfully sporty versions of those two relatively affordable electric hatchbacks.


  • Alpine A290 coming next year
  • Volkswagen ID2 GTI will follow later
  • More than 200 hp on the front wheels
  • In line with Clio RS and Polo GTI

The popularity of electric cars seems to be reaching a peak, but more affordable newcomers may soon be able to boost the market again. Renault will certainly try to do that with the modern reincarnation of the 5 and Volkswagen will probably be present in 2025 with the ID2. You can see these two compact EVs as electric alternatives to the Renault Clio and the Volkswagen Polo and that goes quite far. There will also be sporty versions, which should fill the gap left by the Clio RS and eventually the Polo GTI.

Alpine A290 (illustration: Larson)

Alpine A290 (illustration: Larson)

Another approach

Renault takes a unique approach, not only because the 5 is a striking retro creation. The manufacturer passes the 5 on to Alpine, which makes its ‘own’ model: the Alpine A290. Of course, it can be recognized at a glance as the R5, but clearly much more heavily decorated and devoid of Renault-styles. If the Alpine A290 stays true to the study model, as our illustrator has clearly shown here, then you can expect some pretty thick bumper work and rally-like extra lights on the nose. The Alpine blue appears in various places to remind you that you are not just looking at an R5 here.

At Volkswagen everything is just a little more subtle. The ID2 has a more conservative line and does not hark back as clearly to a historical model as the R5. However, there are also nods to the past in the ID2 and the ID2 GTI, called the sporty top version. In the concept version, for example, you could conjure up the clock shop of the Beetle and the Golf I on the digital instruments. The most important thing, however, is that the ID2 is immediately recognizable as a Volkswagen and that despite its electric drivetrain it can carry the GTI label. The latter would be because it remains true to the original concept of the GTI.

Volkswagen ID2 GTI (illustration: Larson)

Volkswagen ID2 GTI (illustration: Larson)

Well-known recipe

Because of their battery pack, both the Alpine A290 and the Volkswagen ID2 GTI will not really become lightweights, but in other respects both cars remain true to their fuel ancestors. To start with, they will both be front-wheel drive. This is somewhat striking, especially in the case of the Volkswagen, because models on the MEB platform normally have rear-wheel drive. However, the ID2 is on a new base that has been baptized ‘MEB Entry’. You can bet that the ID2 GTI will receive some chassis technical extras to make it a worthy cornering knight.

Alpine, in turn, has already released something about this with the A290. This way we know that the production model will have a form of torque vectoring. Furthermore, a multi-link rear axle and Brembo brakes with four pistons per caliper are also available. Both the Alpine A290 and the Volkswagen ID2 GTI will have at least a 220 hp electric motor. In terms of power they are just a step above their fuel equivalents, but in terms of torque they undoubtedly exceed them by a wide margin. The biggest challenge will probably be to at least match the popularity.

Electric hot hatch battle

The Alpine A290 and Volkswagen ID2 GTI will certainly not have the kingdom to themselves. More car manufacturers are working on sporty versions of compact electric cars. We can also count on the Cupra Raval, which is related to the ID2 and has a sporty character. The Renault 5, in turn, will soon have a Nissan cousin, possibly called Micra. The concept version was quite elaborate: do we hear Micra Nismo there? Stellantis will probably join in sooner or later with a Peugeot 208 PSE and an Opel Corsa GSe.

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