Alfa Romeo has premiered a new small SUV that will arrive in the UK before summer – the Tonale, which will be available in mild hybrid, regular hybrid and plug-in hybrid forms.
The Tonale, which is set to challenge rivals like the Audi Q3 and BMW X1, will be the entry-level SUV in the Alfa Romeo family, sitting below the larger Stelvio. It also effectively replaces the Giulietta hatchback, which finally disappeared from sale last year after 11 years in production.
The new model inherits many exterior styling traits from the rest of the Alfa Romeo range, with narrow LED headlights either side of the traditional Alfa Romeo heart-shaped grille, sitting above a lower air intake that spans almost the full width of the front bumper.
Extended curves, which Alfa Romeo calls ‘GT lines’, run from the headlights to the tail lights at waist height to give the sides of the Tonale more definition.
At the rear, the Tonale gets a full-width red LED light that runs across the boot lid, mirroring the U-shape design of the headlights in the front. The alloy wheels, in Alfa Romeo’s readitional ‘telephone dial’ style, can be ordered as 19-inch or 20-inch units.
Interior trim and tech
Inside, the Alfa Romeo Tonale mixes new components with some borrowed from the larger Stelvio, including its three-spoke steering wheel with aluminium shift paddles and air conditioning vents. The centre console has a similar layout, too.
The most notable edition to the Tonale’s interior is the new ten-inch infotainment console. which is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It uses Amazon Alexa for voice commands and also allows customers to select their Tonale as the delivery point for Amazon orders. This new infotainment system can be updated over the air while your car is parked in your driveway.
The instrument panel behind the steering wheel is also a fully digital 12-inch display, while a wireless charging pad for your smartphone now sits in front of the gear shifter.
The seat upholstery has also received a stylish upmarket finish, trimmed with Alcantara and vegan leather, and the front seats having a heating function. Ambient lights are dotted around the cabin, and the dashboard has a multicoloured backlight to illuminate the controls as you prepare to set off.
The Tonale comes with a number of safety and autonomous driving features, such as adaptive cruise control with a function that automatically centres the car on motorway lanes and adjusts speed while monitoring the car in front. Traffic sign recognition is also present, as well as a semi-automatic parking assist feature, which can complete entry and exit manoeuvres on its own.
Range of powertrain options
At launch, there will be three engine options available to UK customers. Kicking things off is the entry-level 130hp petrol-electric hybrid, followed by a 160hp hybrid. Both are front-wheel drive and use the combination of a four-cylinder 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine and a 15kWh battery.
A 275hp 1.3-litre plug-in hybrid version of the Tonale sites at the top of the range, which Alfa Romeo says can travel up to 50 miles just using its battery from full charge. This top-of-the-range model is all-wheel drive, with the front wheels powered by the petrol engine and the rear wheels by the electric motor.
All variants come with automatic transmission, with manual gearboxes not available on any models.
The Tonale will be built at Alfa Romeo’s recently upgraded Pomigliano d’Arco factory near Naples in Italy, and will be the first car to go on sale with its own non-fungible token (NFT). This is a unique digital asset that will be used to certify the car’s mileage and record other data, in an effort to boost residual values down the line.
Alfa Romeo has announced that the Tonale will have two trim levels to choose from, the ‘Super’ and the ‘Ti’, but not much is known about the specifications for these yet.
Further information, with full UK specification and pricing, will be released closer to the Tonale’s expected arrival in April.