The Alpine A110 is going electric, but we’ll all have to wait for the next-generation model due in 2025 as the E-ternité unveiled overnight is destined be a “rolling laboratory”.
Billed as a celebration of the brand’s 60th birthday, the A110 E-ternité not only features the brand’s first pure electric drivetrain, but is also capable of a smidge of alfresco motoring.
Rather than engineering a removable hardtop or a folding soft-top, Alpine has come up with a new roof panel, the majority of which can be unclipped and removed without harming structural rigidity.
The E-ternité uses the same battery modules as the Megane E-Tech electric hatch, but they are housed within unique enclosures.
While the modules live together as one unit in the Megane, in the A110 they’ve been shifted around to fit within the coupe’s architecture, with four modules residing up front and eight at the rear.
The concept’s 42:58 front-to-rear weight balance is almost identical to the regular A110. All up the 60kWh battery pack weighs 392kg, but overall weight for the E-ternité has only increased by 258kg.
An electric motor making 178kW and 300Nm drives the rear wheels via a two-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Alpine says it developed this special gearbox so it could side-step the usual EV trade-off between top speed and fast acceleration, as well as stick with a smallish 60kWh battery pack.
Despite being down on power and torque against the standard A110’s 215kW/320Nm, the E-ternité is able to complete the 0-100km/h dash in 4.5 seconds, only 0.1s slower than the ICE car.
Top speed is said to be 250km/h, a drop of 10km/h compared to the standard vehicle. Driving range is claimed to be 420km using the WLTP standard.
The A110 E-ternité rides on 18-inch alloy wheels with 215/40 tyres up front, and 245/40 units at the rear. The suspension has been retuned for the different weight profile, while the lower arms of the double wishbone rear suspension have been reinforced.
While the A110 E-ternité is unlikely to ever reach production, the 1.8-litre turbo models continue to be produced for European buyers. The company withdrew the A110 from the Australian market in late 2021 as it doesn’t conform to the latest side-impact design rules.
The brand is planning to turn itself into an all-electric brand by the middle of the decade with a replacement for the A110 developed in collaboration with Lotus, as well as a hot electric crossover, and heated up version of the upcoming Renault 5 EV.
MORE: Everything Alpine A110