In March 2021, a report from the French publication auto-moto.com said that Renault Group would launch the Alpine electric SUV as early as 2024. The Alpine SUV belongs to the ‘Alpine Dream Garage,’ a trio of three EV models. In June 2021, Luca de Meo, CEO, Renault Group, said that the first of these three EVs will come out in 2024.
The Alpine Dream Garage we unveiled in January is coming actually true starting 2024, and I can’t really wait to see some electric Alpines on the road.Luca de Meo, CEO, Renault Group (Renault eWays ElectroPop)
The French website expects the company to price its novelty e-SUV from under €100,000 or roughly $120,000 in the domestic market, which is way more expensive than previous calculations. The electric model will feature a silhouette that combines the typical characteristics of a coupe strongly. The teaser, which Renault Group revealed during the Renault eWays ElectroPop in June, shows the Alpine SUV having a flatter roofline that results in a noticeably different-looking rear deck.
Alpine, an ‘Avant-garde’ vehicle specialist of Renault Group, revealed the first teaser of its upcoming models in the Renaulution corporate presentation in January. The silhouettes of its 3-member portfolio confirmed an electric sports car (successor for the Alpine A110), an electric SUV, and a B-segment electric hot-hatchback.
Alpine, which has been given the blessing of Renault Group boss de Meo to re-invent itself into a performance division, has a new target to be profitable by 2025. To this extent, the firm has partnered with Geely-owned Lotus to work together in a number of areas including the development of the new sports car. It would be reasonable to expect the learnings from this partnership to spill over to the Alpine electric SUV.
While there are not too many details about the Alpine electric SUV, reports say it will be based on the CMF-EV platform, which will underpin the upcoming Renault Megane E-Tech electric crossover. To date, Renault Group has filed over 300 patents on the CMF-EV platform.
Battery & Motor
If the Megane E-Tech is the basis to go by, the Alpine electric SUV will feature the ‘slimline’ batteries, which are built into the structure of the CMF-EV platform. de Meo has told the media that these batteries are the ‘flattest in the market’. They help the crossover achieve superior aerodynamics, which would be key for the performance-oriented Alpine electric SUV.
Auto-moto reports that the Alpine electric SUV will get four-wheel drive, while its battery should offer a capacity of at least 90 kWh. Auto-Moto speculates that the Alpine SUV would be about 4.6 m long, matching the Nissan Ariya. The motor output would be between 400-500 hp, enough to have the mettle to compete with the Porsche Macan electric.
The battery pack of the Alpine SUV will likely come from Verkor. Renault Group plans to buy over 20% stake in the French start-up and co-develop a high-performance battery which it can use in C and higher segment Renault models and Alpine models. The duo will develop a pilot production line in France for battery cells and module prototyping next year. If all goes as per the plan, four years later, from 2026, Verkor will build the first gigafactory for high-performance batteries in the country. This factory will have an initial capacity of 10 GWh for the Renault Group.
Renault Group plans to use what it calls “Gen1 Performance” cells in the battery of the Renault Megane E-Tech from next year. The company expects to achieve a range of 450 km (WLTP) in a 60 kWh application in the electric SUV. Then, by 2024, it will introduce an evolution of this technology called “Gen2 Performance” for sports cars, presumably including the Alpine SUV, reaching a 700 Wh/L density at the cell level. Sophie Schmidtlin, VP Research & Advanced Engineering, Renault Group, revealed these details about the company’s future battery cell technology at the Renault eWays ElectroPop.
Range & CMF-EV platform
Like the Renault Megane E-Tech, the Alpine SUV may feature a heat pump that allows the driver to heat the vehicle’s cabin using the heat of the battery and thus reduce the energy consumption of the HVAC system to improve the driving range in cold weather.
As for the range, an Alpine model must get the best possible specifications, and Laurence Excoffon, Alliance Platforms Leader, Renault Group, revealed at the Renault eWays ElectroPop event the CMF-EV platform can offer a range of 580 km (360 miles) in WLTP. She said:
The first benefit of this platform is the range. Indeed the CMF-EV platform offer a range up to 580 km in WLTP with a very low energy consumption. We can offer this performance thanks to a reduction of friction from braking, bearing, entire rolling resistance, a weight reduction – we achieve about 100 kg less than the closest competitor – and a specific energy management, so-called Energy Recovery System. This system is transferring battery calorie to the cockpit and reduce electric heating consumption for cabin comfort. Combined with the heat pump and the thermal insulation of the battery, the range increases by 5% in cold condition.Laurence Excoffon, Alliance Platforms Leader, Renault Group (Renault eWays ElectroPop)
Production of the Alpine SUV should take at one of the three northern France plants of Douai, Maubeuge, and Ruitz. The batteries will likely come from the Envision AESC gigafactory in Douai. Renault Group expects two-thirds of EV demand in Europe to come from France, the UK, Germany, Italy, and Spain, and so, expect these markets to be the main targets for the flagship SUV.
Featured Image Source: Renault Group