It comes standard with a new e-Creeping feature.
Alfa Romeo has officially unveiled the hybrid version of the Tonale SUV. It's the environmentally-friendly alternative to the existing 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 256 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.
Alfa Romeo says it designed an all-new powertrain to hybridize the Tonale instead of just dipping into the Stellantis parts bin. The hybrid versions of the Jeep Renegade and Compass use a 1.3-liter turbo gas engine paired with two electric motors while the Tonale is equipped with a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, with variable geometry turbo technology, producing 160 horsepower. The engine is bolted to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission which also houses a 48-volt electric motor. The electric motor produces 20 hp and 100 lb-ft of torque. It's powerful enough to propel the car even without the combustion motor. Scenarios where it will revert to battery power only include driving at low speeds, parking, and cruising.
Keep in mind, however, that a 1.3-liter engine paired with a 121-hp electric motor on the rear axle is also available with a total of 272 hp.
These 48-volt mild-hybrid systems are particularly useful when it comes to coasting at high speed, where little input is needed to keep the car up to speed.
Alfa Romeo says the Tonale hybrid still maintains the performance credentials expected of the brand, but we're not so sure. With a 0-60 mph time of 8.8 seconds and a top speed of over 130 mph, it's the slowest Alfa Romeo by a considerable margin.
Alfa is also quite proud of its 48-volt lithium-ion high-performance battery. It has a 0.8 kWh capacity, which is twice that of a normal 48-volt mild-hybrid system. The battery is also reasonably small, which means it has no impact on the trunk size. The dual voltage system with DC/DC converter from 48 to 12 volts manages the interface with the electrical architecture of the vehicle.
The Tonale comes with several model-specific features that improve efficiency and the driving experience. Do you live in a neighborhood infested with overly-sensitive eco-warriors? They'll love the Silent Start mode, which only powers up the battery. Naturally, energy recovery via regenerative braking is standard, as is torque filling.
There are also several driving modes tied to the EV mode. You get e-Launch, which launches the car in EV mode, and e-Queuing for traffic jams. e-Parking simplifies parking by making it more practical and quiet. We're not sure loud parking is a problem that needed solving, but we're willing to overlook it to make fun of the most poorly named feature ever.
It's called e-Creeping. The creeping feature uses the electric motor to provide the start-up commonly available in vehicles with automatic transmission, at a speed that can vary from zero mph to the equivalent of the petrol engine idling in first gear or reverse.
It should be good to drive thanks to perfect 50/50 weight distribution, Alfa's now well-known fast steering rack, dual-stage electronic shock absorbers, and dynamic torque vectoring.
Alfa's famous DNA drive select mode consists of Dynamic, Natural, and the model-specific Advanced Efficiency mode.
Standard luxury items include dual-zone air conditioning, a touchscreen infotainment system, ventilated and heated front seats, and a 14-speaker sound system by Harman Kardon. The new model includes an electric tailgate, a wireless charging pad, and over-the-air updates.
In a worldwide exclusive, NFT technology makes its debut in the Tonale. Alfa will give each Tonale customer an NFT digital certificate to go with their vehicle.
Revealed at this stage for the European market, we're awaiting details as to if and when the Tonale Hybrid will reach US shores. Details of a plug-in hybrid version will also be revealed at a later date.