Fiat Chrysler's merger with PSA Group will see the automakers use common platforms at the smaller end of the vehicle size scale.
There was a time when the 2016 Fiat 124 Spider, which is based heavily on the current-generation Mazda Miata (ND), was actually going to be an Alfa Romeo model. The new Spider was ultimately deemed unworthy of the Alfa Romeo badge by FCA because it was to be built in Hiroshima, Japan, and late Fiat Chrysler chief Sergio Marchionne was adamant that Alfa Romeos could be built exclusively in Italy.
That prideful, self-imposed rule may still stand, but it doesn't appear as though Alfa Romeo is above using platforms engineered in other countries; according to Automotive News Europe, Alfa Romeo's forthcoming compact crossover, the Tonale, could be the first Fiat Chrysler model to use PSA Group's CMP small car architecture.
Using PSA's CMP small car architecture would give the Alfa Romeo Tonale the dubious distinction of being the first Alfa to ride on a vehicle platform of French origin. CMP was launched in 2018 and provides a basis for models toward the low end of the size range: compact cars and smaller. It's flexible enough to allow for any of the three major propulsion varieties: gasoline, diesel, and battery-electric.
Intriguingly, that's something that Automotive News claims FCA will take advantage of, offering a battery-electric version of the Alfa Romeo Tonale. Its powertrain could be similar to the one used in the electric Citroën DS 3 Crossback E-Tense, which couples a 136-horsepower motor with a 50-kWh battery pack to deliver an estimated 200 miles of range or so on the WLTP cycle.
The Alfa Romeo Tonale small crossover was first shown in concept form last March at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, with gasoline-only and plug-in-hybrid models anticipated. More recently, in October, images of the CUV reportedly in production-ready form leaked on an Italian-car forum.
Of course, using PSA Group's CMP platform would likely delay the Alfa Romeo Tonale's introduction by a good amount, and Automotive News Europe claims the small crossover won't arrive until late 2022 - about two full years later than it was originally expected.