Alfa Romeo will flesh out its crossover lineup with a new model called the Tonale, a vehicle smaller than the Stelvio that’s being previewed in concept-car form at the Geneva auto show. The Tonale looks to use more space-efficient front-wheel-drive underpinnings and will compete with other subcompact luxury SUVs such as the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA-class, Audi Q3, and Jaguar E-Pace. A plug-in hybrid version with an electric motor at the rear will be on the menu, kicking off Alfa’s plans for more electrified models going forward. The company says electrification won’t come at the expense of performance and driving dynamics, with the technology instead enhancing those classic Alfa characteristics while also increasing efficiency.
The circular air vents and the driver-centric dashboard are obviously evolved from current Alfa models. The concept’s dash also featured a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and its three-spoke steering wheel put a modern spin on a classic design. The adoption of front-wheel drive could help with interior packaging compared with rear-drive Alfas. However, that space could be compromised by the battery pack and electric motor that define plug-in hybrids. The Tonale concept boasted a 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with unique content called “Alfista” and “Paddock” that should excite Alfa Romeo fanatics. The former allows people to connect with Alfa clubs and community events, and the latter offers a virtual marketplace to buy performance parts and Alfa-branded merchandise.
Recognizable as an Alfa Romeo thanks to its distinctive front grille, the Tonale nonetheless has quite different proportions than its big brother, denoting that it doesn’t use the rear-drive platform underneath the Giulia and Stelvio. The plug-in model will have multiple driving modes, including one that allows for maximum performance from both motors and another that lets the Tonale drive under electric power only. The hybrid gets a special logo that’s a variation of Alfa’s snake emblem but with an electric-plug graphic. The plug-in hybrid model will have a rear-mounted electric motor to assist an internal combustion engine up front—most likely a turbocharged four-cylinder. Despite the mechanical departures showcased on the Tonale, Alfa promises it will preserve the driver engagement and performance attributes that are the brand’s legendary hallmarks.
Dual Power mode provides maximum performance, guaranteed by maximum output from the two engines. The EMOZIONE button offers a precise calibration of the gas pedal, a more effective braking and quicker response from the steering wheel. The exclusive D.N.A Alfa Romeo driving selector enters a whole new dimension with the Tonale Concept. In fact, the various driving modes have been specifically studied to be integrated with the features of this hybrid powertrain. In Natural mode, managing the switch between the electric and thermal engine is entirely automatic. The ideal setting for everyday use, where consumption won’t compromise performance. With the Advanced Efficiency setting, designed for maximum consumption efficiency, Tonale will only use electric propulsion.
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