New 2022 Alfa Romeo Tonale SUV: Italian brand’s first plug-in hybrid unveiled

The first plug-in Alfa Romeo boasts an electric range of up to 50 miles, all-wheel-drive and a 6.2-second 0-62mph time

Alfa Romeo Tonale

First revealed in concept form at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, the Alfa Romeo Tonale SUV is the first electrified model in the Italian brand’s line-up and will be available with a choice of mild-hybrid or plug-in hybrid power. Prices are expected to be announced closer to order books opening in April 2022.

The car will be available in Edizione Speciale launch edition specification, as well as regular Ti and Super trim levels.It sits below Alfa’s existing Stelvio SUV in the range, with a list of rivals that includes the Audi Q3, Jaguar E-Pace, Mercedes GLA and Volvo XC40 hybrids. The plug-in hybrid Tonale Q4 will be the most powerful variant in the range, with 271bhp on tap and all-wheel drive.

This version can go from 0-62mph in just over six seconds thanks to a 1.3-litre petrol engine sending  power through the front wheels, while the single electric motor fed by a 15.5kWh battery drives the rears. According to Alfa Romeo, the Q4 can cover up to 50 miles on electric power alone on urban roads, or 37 miles in more mixed driving. Fully topping up its battery from a 7.4kW home wallbox will take two-and-a-half hours.

Mild-hybrid versions of the Tonale are also available, with a choice of either 128 or 158bhp power outputs. These get a new four-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol engine paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and 20bhp electric motor, which allows the car to run on electric power when you start it up, at low speeds and when parking. Fuel-economy figures for both the mild and plug-in hybrid Tonales have yet to be announced.

The production version of the Tonale has retained a lot of styling cues from the original 2019 concept, as well as its overall proportions. These include the slim 3+3 LED headlight design, a full-width rear light bar, short overhangs at the front and rear and Alfa Romeo’s iconic five-ring alloy-wheel design.

Inside, the Tonale features a driver-focused cockpit, with a 12.3-inch digital display behind the steering wheel as well as 10.25-inch central touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. The car uses an Android-based operating system and is compatible with over-the-air (OTA) software updates, too. The dashboard also features physical buttons for the climate control and other functions, with a rotary dial for selecting from the brand’s ‘D.N.A’ drive modes on the centre console.

The Tonale also gets ‘Level 2’ autonomous driving capability thanks to ‘intelligent adaptive cruise control’, lane-centering and traffic-jam assistance. Taken together, these allow the car to automatically adjust its speed and course, keeping in the middle of the lane and at a distance from vehicles in front. Other safety features include driver drowsiness detection, blind-spot monitoring and autonomous emergency braking. 

Other kit that’ll be offered on the Tonale includes a powered tailgate, a wireless charging pad, a 14-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, ventilated and heated front seats and a ‘semi-automatic’ parking system, which indicates if the car can fit into a space and will do the entry and exit manoeuvres itself.

The Tonale is the first step towards Alfa Romeo’s zero-emissions future, as the Italian brand has pledged to sell only electric cars by 2027. There’s no confirmation yet as to exactly when its first EV will appear, or what market segment it’ll fit into, but Alfa can draw on the extensive electric-vehicle technology developed by its parent the Stellantis Group and already used in numerous Peugeot, Citroen, DS and Vauxhall models on sale now.

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