Aiming to be fully electric by 2027, Alfa Romeo aims to introduce a new car every year by 2030, in line with a radical change in its approach, and this trend will begin with the Tonale. Like the larger Stelvio SUV, the Tonale got its name from an Italian driveway. Designed to rival the Audi Q3, Volvo XC40 and Mercedes-Benz GLA, among others, the SUV is 4.53 meters long, 1.84 meters wide and 1.6 meters high. It was developed by its previous parent company, Fiat Chrysler Group, and is based on a floorboard also used by the Jeep Renegade. A purely electric Tonale is available upon request. In the future, Alfa Romeo will also use common platforms from Stellantis.
According to the brand, the Tonale will be the most flagship model in its class. The Tonale chassis uses MacPherson struts with frequency-dependent damping. The gist of this is that, due to the special valves, higher damping forces are created in situations that require slow motion of the shock absorbers but under heavy load, such as when cornering sports, while damping is lower with low-intensity fast running, such as on uneven roads. This method of combining dynamic driving and comfort does not require complex electronic control either. Another promised feature of the Tonale is the direct steering feel, 50:50 weight distribution and by-the-wire braking system, which features no physical contact between the brake pedal and brake pistons under normal conditions, with the brake pedal only electronic signal generation, which is interpreted and aggregated by Computer for braking requirements. According to Alfa Romeo, this gives the brake pedal better driver response.
electrification is displayed
Currently, two versions of the Tonale include an electric drive element: the light-hybrid powertrain in the 130 and 160-horsepower versions, and the plug-in hybrid. Light hybrid cars use a 1.5-liter four-cylinder petrol engine with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, as well as a 48-volt electric motor that acts as a starter generator and allows a pure electric motor at a very low level at speeds up to 15 kW with a maximum power of 55 Nm.
The most powerful version is the plug-in hybrid, in which the Fiat 500’s 1.3-liter, turbocharged, three-cylinder petrol engine, which drives only the front axle, is complemented by an electric motor on the rear axle. The system comes with a 15.5 kWh battery, allowing for a pure electric range of up to 60 kilometres. Long electric range is key to keeping the Tonale viable as a fleet, says Jean-Philippe Imbrato, CEO of Alfa Romeo. The total power is 275 horsepower, which is enough for 6.2 seconds from 0-100 acceleration.
According to the manufacturer, electrification should also serve the brand’s sporting heritage while rethinking it from a 21st century perspective.
Imparato sees robust software solutions at the core of Alfa Romeo’s paradigm transformation. The brand is so committed to this that they delayed the launch of Tonale to perfect the program. As expected of a luxury SUV, the Tonale features a 12.3-inch digital display and 10.25-inch touchscreen capable of running CarPlay and Android Auto. It has a number of active driving support features and also performs wireless system updates from the vehicle’s cloud.
Most interestingly, the Tonale is the first car brand in the world to have a “non-fungible token”, or NFT. This term, used in the crypto world, is a digital certificate stored in the blockchain which, with the consent of the owner, records uniquely and without altering the digital traces of the vehicle’s life history. It makes it possible to track service history, for example, more reliably than ever before.
Among other things, the built-in Amazon Alexa, a voice-based digital assistant, will be available to order, for example, the delivery of an Amazon package to the car that the owner can remotely unlock for the shipping company.
Target official language
With its design, the manufacturer wants to appeal specifically to young, urban, and vibrant customers, while displaying some cues of classic Alfa Romeo style. The headlights are similar to the 1989 SZ, keeping the three-piece Trilobo design at the front, with the Scudetto’s triangular grille still the brand’s trademark signature at its center.
Pricing according to Autocar is not yet known.