The upcoming Alfa Romeo Tonale may not please die-hard Alfisti, but it will give the brand an entrant in the hot small crossover market.
Although the exterior is heavily camouflaged, we don’t expect the overall design to stray much from the prototype leaked in late 2019 (see bottom).
Up front the small crossover has a thin set of headlights flanking the brand’s traditional deep shield grille.
Given the grille is almost completely covered in swirly disguise tape, it’s probably safe to assume it’s mostly a decorative piece.
Out the back, the Tonale has a strip of tail lights that stretch into the tailgate.
Inside, the Tonale has a large touchscreen in the middle of the dash, likely running FCA’s uConnect 5 infotainment software.
Interestingly this Tonale prototype has an analogue gauge cluster. We’re not sure if this is just for development purposes, or potentially the result of the global semi-conductor shortage.
Under the skin, the Tonale rides on Fiat Chrysler’s Small Wide platform that’s also used by the Jeep Renegade and Compass.
Reports indicate the Tonale will be built in Melfi in southern Italy. The plant already produces the Renegade and Compass, as well as the closely related Fiat 500X.
The Tonale was first revealed as a concept at the 2019 Geneva motor show, and was originally slated for an unveiling in 2021. It’s now expected to launch in early 2022.
After the merger of Fiat Chrysler and the PSA Group to form Stellantis, newly appointed Alfa CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato asked his engineers to improve the performance characteristics of the plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
Both the Jeep Compass and Renegade 4xe plug-in hybrids feature a 1.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine driving the front wheels via a six-speed automatic, and a 45kW/250Nm electric motor on the rear axle.
Depending on the trim level, the 270Nm 1.3-litre engine is tuned to deliver either 97kW or 134kW.
Equipped with a 11.2kWh battery underneath the rear seats, the Compass and Renegade PHEVs are said to be capable of 42km of pure electric driving under the WLTP standard.
It’s unclear if the Tonale will launch with a more powerful electric motor, petrol engine or both.
Stellantis does have more powerful plug-in hybrid drivetrains available in other models, including the range-topping PHEV versions of the Opel Grandland and Peugeot 3008, which pair a 147kW petrol engine with two 81kW electric motors.
It’s unclear if any of these components could work with the Tonale as the 3008 and Grandland ride on a PSA-developed platform.