The Italian SUV will take on the Range Rover Evoque and Audi Q3.
First seen as a concept at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, the Alfa Romeo Tonale will finally be unveiled on February 8, 2022. Based on the same platform as its Stellantis stablemate, the Jeep Compass, the Tonale will go ahead with segment stalwarts such as the Range Rover Evoque and Audi Q3, competitors with strong followings and even stronger brand images.
With just the Giulia sports sedan and Stelvio SUV currently on offer from Alfa, the Tonale is an important car for the Italian brand as it hopes to strengthen sales in the US. First slated for release last year, development issues and Alfa's CEO being unhappy with the performance of the plug-in hybrid model's performance caused delays.
Not only is this Alfa's first premium compact SUV, but the Stelvio's baby brother will also serve as the marque's first plug-in hybrid. The Tonale will likely gain motivation from a turbocharged 1.3-liter engine that is assisted by a 60-horsepower electric motor, for a grand total of 240 hp. While Giulia and Stelvio models have the high-performance Quadrifoglio variants, the Turin-based carmaker has said a Tonale Quadrifoglio will not happen.
From a design standpoint, Alfa Romeo has certainly looked through the archives for inspiration. While its stablemates sport the brand's more aggressive, modern look, the Tonale appears to take design cues from legends such as the Alfa Romeo SZ and various '90s models, with thinner, more sculpted headlights. The above teaser also suggest Brera-style taillights - no bad thing.
Based on spy shots, the cabin of the test mule appears to have a wide touchscreen with a digital gauge cluster. According to Alfa Romeo, a 12.3-inch fully digital cluster will be offered, supplemented by a 10.25-inch central infotainment screen.
The world premiere of the Tonale is set for 09:00 eastern time on February 8. If Alfa has gotten the Tonale right, it has the potential to take on more established brands, expand its market share, and gain customers who previously wouldn't have considered the brand before. A new generation of Alfa fans is critical to keeping the storied marque afloat, and this could be just the ticket. Fingers crossed that it's far better than its Jeep sibling.