Smaller sibling to the Stelvio, the new Alfa Romeo Tonale concept manages to stand out by virtue of its combination of style and brand-firsts the new compact SUV previews a plug-in hybrid powertrain and a whole new selection of dashboard technology. Read on for what you need to know about the new Tonale shortlisted in three bullets as to why we’re loving it.
The Tonale is Alfa Romeo’s first plug-in hybrid
Electrification waits for no automaker, and Alfa Romeo is finally jumping onboard the battery train. The Tonale has the distinction of being the brand’s first plug-in hybrid, pairing a petrol internal-combustion engine with an electric drivetrain. However Alfa Romeo is playing coy with the actual details, beyond the fact that the gas engine is up front and the electric part is at the rear.
How big a petrol engine does it have? We don’t know yet. How many electric motors? Alfa isn’t saying. How much power will the whole thing deliver? That, my friend, is a mystery.
Meanwhile that vital figure plug-in hybrid buyers always want to know, just how long it will go on a charge under electric power alone, is also unstated. Alfa Romeo just isn’t ready to say.
The Tonale cabin sees a big tech upgrade
The current range of Alfa Romeo cars have fairly compact infotainment displays, operated by a circular control wheel. The Tonale, though, kicks things up to a far more technological level.
There’s a 12.3-inch digital cluster for the driver, replacing analog with a more flexible, customizable display. In the center console, meanwhile, there’s now a 10.25-inch touchscreen. That gets a new infotainment system to play with, including two new features for connected motoring.
Alfista is an in-vehicle app which promises to link drivers to lifestyle features around the car and the brand. That includes news and updates, along with access to different events, and even a way to win tickets to VIP Alfa Romeo-sponsored events. Paddock, meanwhile, is an in-vehicle garage and market. There, the automaker says, owners will be able to buy “the latest interior and exterior performance upgrades and equipment.”
As for space, Tonale is designed for four adults. There’s plenty of leather and Alcantara, paired with real aluminum and translucent backlit panels.
Tonale previews a production car to come
Alfa Romeo is calling Tonale a concept car, but it’s also clear that the automaker has a production version in mind. That’s likely to keep the general look of this compact SUV, though presumably lose some of the more show-friendly detailing like the slender side-mirrors and pop-out door handles. The interior, too, would undoubtedly be toned down.
When it might arrive at dealerships is unclear. Alfa Romeo is tight-lipped, unsurprisingly, though the general consensus is that the production Tonale could only be a handful of years out. Given how popular the SUV segment is right now, Alfa arguably can’t afford to wait too long to give the Stelvio a sibling.
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