But that doesn't mean it won't have over 300 hp.
Alfa Romeo's much talked about renaissance has been riddled with obstacles. It started with a bang thanks to the stellar Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio and things were looking good when the Stelvio and Stelvio Quadrifoglio SUVs came into the room spoiling for a fight with Germany's finest. But then we learned that the revival of the 8C supercar might not happen and that the best we'd get is the Giulia GTA.
Instead of pursuing supercars, and a rumored Giulia Coupe, the Italian manufacturer has pared back its aspirations, and now its hopes of financial success hinge on the prospect of the upcoming subcompact SUV, the Alfa Romeo Tonale. This isn't all bad, as we'd been hoping it might spawn a hot Quadrifoglio version, but according to a report from Autoblog.it, this isn't going to happen either.
The Alfa Romeo Tonale is expected to debut in production guise later in 2020, with production expected to start in early 2021. The subcompact crossover will provide Alfa with a rival to the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and BMW X2, but while both of those have performance versions, the same cannot be said of the Italian. This stems from the fact that Alfa Romeo now has to prioritize premium shoppers who are after Italian style but couldn't care less about performance. These are the kinds of buyers that care more for low gas mileage than razor-sharp steering, which is why the Tonale is expected to make use of a 48-volt mild-hybrid electrical system in partnership with a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine, with outputs of up to 330 horsepower. But the suspension will be soft, and the Tonale will lack the edge we've come to associate with cars wearing the four-leaf clover badge.
The Tonale is expected to be unaffected by the impending FCA/PSA Groupe merger that will see the companies join to form the world's fourth-largest automaker. However, at a later date, we may see influence from the French conglomerate, especially in an attempt to appeal to broader markets. While we can't say we're surprised that Alfa is being forced to prioritize profits over performance, we can't say we aren't disappointed, as a rival to the Mercedes-AMG GLA45 would've been glorious.