Following delays, Alfa Romeo has been spotted testing the Tonale in public.
Alfa Romeo currently only has one SUV in its lineup: the Stelvio. Thankfully, this will soon change with the stylish Tonale crossover, which debuted as a concept at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show and will hopefully help increase sales in the US.
Originally, Alfa Romeo was planning to launch the Tonale later this year, but the merger between FCA and Groupe PSA to create Stellantis delayed its development. When it goes on sale, the Tonale will face tough competition in the crowded subcompact crossover market from the likes of the BMW X1, Range Rover Evoque, and Audi Q3, so it needs to be special to stand out.
Unfortunately, Alfa Romeo's new CEO Jean-Phillippe Imparato was reportedly unhappy with the plug-in hybrid version's performance, causing further delays. Nevertheless, Alfa Romeo has started testing the Tonale in public.
A few days ago, a Tonale prototype was spotted parked next to its larger Stelvio sibling, allowing us to see how the two SUVs compare in size. Now, our spy photographers have caught a camouflaged Tonale prototype cruising the streets. The SUV is extensively disguised, but the sleek proportions and slender headlights and taillights appear to match leaked photos of the production model from last year. Alfa Romeo has even covered up the wheels. Well, three of them at least, as someone forgot to cover up the left rear wheel.
Inside, the prototype's interior is covered up but it appears to have a wide touchscreen and a semi-analog gauge cluster. This isn't surprising because Alfa Romeo's CEO wants to reduce the number of screens in future models.
Based on the same platform as the Jeep Compass, the Alfa Romeo Tonale plug-in-hybrid will be powered by a turbocharged 1.3-liter engine and a 60-hp electric motor producing a combined output of 240 horsepower. Sadly, Alfa Romeo has ruled out the possibility of a high-performance Tonale Quadrifoglio to complement the larger Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Following delays, the Alfa Romeo Tonale is expected to go on sale in early 2022.