The Alpine A290 Partnership with Michelin​

Close up of the wheel on the white Alpine A290
A white Alpine A290 concept vehicle on a black background with the model name written on the ground in front of it
Close up of the wheel arch and wheel of a white Alpine A290

Alpine understands that tyres play a crucial role in their vehicles dynamic qualities as the only part that comes into direct contact with the road, even more so when it comes to sports cars like the A110. When planning the upcoming A290 model, Alpine had no hesitation in where to look.

“It's on Michelins that the Alpine A110 emerged as a market benchmark in terms of ride dynamics. Why would we have looked elsewhere for the A290's tyres?” – Phillipe, Ride and Handling Manager, Alpine.

The partnership between the two brands dates back as far as the 1960s, when Michelin was committed to the development of radical technology that was revolutionising the world of tyres. Alpine’s Formula 3 single-seaters featured adjustable suspension and contributed greatly to the fine tuning of the concept and the genius of breakaway at high speed that had been causing problems for Michelin’s engineers.

The collaboration has continued ever since then in both production cars and motorsport, with he two essentially being the first to introduce slicks at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1967. Formula 1 then quickly adopted the idea, a testament to the hard work from both teams.

“The value of our association stems from the fact that it made it possible to lay the foundations for a genuine joint-development project at a very early stage,” underlines Alpine's ride and handling expert, Philippe Mérimée commented, as they moved to extend their collaboration.

Changing from a rear wheel drive car with an internal combustion engine to an all-electric, front wheel drive city car presented new challenges to Alpine and whilst the manufacturer tends to dictate their tyre sizes to the supplier, Michelin had close involvement with the decision making process for the A290.

The choice for the A290 was eventually decided and the model will have 225-40-R19, which equates to a tread width of 225mm, with a 45mm sidewall height, and interior diameter of 19 inches. Two distinct ranges have been carefully selected for the model: the Pilot Sport 5, a performance-bred tyre available exclusively as an original equipment fitment, and the Pilot Sport EV which places the emphasis more on energy efficiency through low rolling resistance.

The cooperation between the two brands on the A110 began in 2012 before beginning to ruminate on ideas for the A290 in 2021. “At that point, nothing actually tangible even existed,” notes Frédéric Brigaud, “but we were capable of working on the brief with the elements we had in virtual form.”

A joint testing programme followed to evaluate tyre options fitted to a preparatory lab car at Michelin’s proving ground in Ladoux, near Clermont-Ferrand in France. This allowed for a wide range of different conditions and the next test will take place early this year at the Indra facility in southern Spain.

Alpine plans to reveal the A290 to the public later this year.