With the ’23 Tonale, Alfa Romeo enters the highly competitive compact luxury crossover market, debuting early in 2023 with two powertrains, including a plug-in hybrid with more than 30 miles of electric range and the company’s first electrified vehicle.
The PHEV Q4 AWD is powered by a turbocharged 180-hp 1.3L 4-cyl. Driving the front wheels through a 6-speed automatic gearbox and a rear axle powered by a 90-kW (120-hp) motor. The two power sources combine for 272 horsepower and a maximum torque of 2,054 lb.-ft. (2,785 Nm), with the rear-axle motor producing up to 1,844 lb.-ft. (2,500 Nm) from zero rpm.
Tonale’s initial edition in the United States will be the non-electrified Q4 AWD model, driven by a turbocharged 2.0L 4-cyl. generating 256 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. (400 Nm) and transferring power to the wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission.
The PHEV, which will be available a few months later, will have three drive modes: Dual-Power Dynamic, which draws maximum output from the engine and motor; Natural, which balances engine and motor propulsion; and Advance Efficiency, which may operate in electric-only mode.
The Tonale also gets the latest Stellantis user-experience technology, such as Uconnect 5 with Amazon Alexa interaction, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, over-the-air software updates. In addition, Alfa also claims to offer an NFT to privately track the car’s maintenance and operation data and issue rewards.
According to Larry Dominique, director of Alfa Romeo North America, the hybrid Tonale represents the beginning of the brand’s march toward full electrification. Alfa Romeo will launch its first battery-electric car in 2025 and will transition to a 100% BEV lineup in 2027.
Dominique claims that the BEV will come on a separate electric chassis rather than a converted internal combustion car for battery-electric performance.
The Tonale joins the Giulia performance sedan and Stelvio midsize luxury CUV in Alfa Romeo’s North American lineup, along with a segment of 4C sports car sales. In addition, Dominique claims the Tonale competes in the Wards Intelligence Small Luxury CUV market with the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.
According to Wards Intelligence statistics, the category sold 162,131 vehicles in 2021, including 18,253 BMW X1s – three units more than all Alfa Romeos sold in the United States that year. However, Dominique believes that the Tonale and a new North American business unit solely dedicated to Alfa Romeo are set to change that.