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Alfa Romeo unveils its all-new Tonale compact SUV which slots in beneath the Strevio and designed to take the fight to rivals such as the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Volvo XC40.


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Though this morning’s internet leak ruined the surprise somewhat, Alfa Romeo this afternoon officially removed the wraps from its eagerly awaited Tonale compact SUV.

This attractive newcomer certainly stands out from the crowd with its sultry Italian styling cues that include a set of snazzy ‘3+3’ headlights inspired by the SZ Zagato and the Proteo concept car. This layout is mirrored in the design of the sine-curve taillights. Other standout features include a modern redux of Alfa’s iconic ‘teledial’ alloy wheels that first broke cover in the 1960s, a bold GT Line that runs from the rear of the car to the headlights as well as an aggressively raked tailgate. It’s a fine looking machine, the Tonale, one that should appeal to both the Alfisti and brand newbies alike.

The designers have turned similar tricks with an interior that’s imbued with a real sense of occasion. Drawing on the marque’s rich racing heritage it sports a driver-focused cockpit with all key controls canted slightly towards whoever is behind that leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel. Tech levels are high and you can look forward to a 12.3-inch TFT digital instrument cluster that offers three layouts: Evolved, Relax and Heritage — the latter being inspired by the instruments found in some of the brand’s iconic past models.

Set in the centre of the dashboard is a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system that enables quick and easy access to things like media settings, satellite navigation, climate control and the Alfa DNA drive mode system. All of these and more can be toggled either via the touchscreen or a rotary selector knob on the centre console. Wireless smartphone mirroring is also included and supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Meanwhile, built-in 4G connectivity with over-the-air (OTA) updates means that owners can keep the Android operating system up to date without ever having to visit a dealer.


Sporty cockpit is shaped around the driver. Image: Supplied


Alfa Romeo will be offering the Tonale with two mild-hybrid derivatives, both of which make use of a newly developed 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine making either a claimed 130hp (97kW) or 160hp (120kW). Both are boosted by a 48-volt 15kW/55m P2 electric motor that can propel the vehicle even when the combustion engine is turned off. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission sends drive exclusively to the front wheels.



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The flagship plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model pairs a potent 1.3-litre MultiAir four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor mounted on the rear axle. Juiced by a 15.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack, this sees a total system output of 275hp (205kW) — good enough for a claimed 0-100km/h sprint time of 6.2 seconds. Offering a pure electric driving range of up to 80km, the Best-of-both-worlds Tonale PHEV is fitted with Alfa Romeo’s Q4 all-wheel drive system for optimal traction in all driving conditions.

Conventional 130hp (97kW) turbocharged petrol and 256hp (191kW) diesel variants will be offered in select markets. You can bet that these will probably be the ones coming to SA.

Chassis-wise the Tonale shares its underpinning with the Jeep Compass albeit with a few Alfa-centric tweaks. The geometry of the front axle, for instance, is optimised for rapid and precise changes of direction like you get in the Giulia or Stelvio while the rear benefits from an exclusive three-arm set-up that offers quick reflexes and heightened levels of lateral grip. Last but not least, the suspension in the Tonale uses special Frequency Selective Damping (FSD) technology — developed in collaboration with Koni, a historic technology partner of Alfa Romeo — to improve performance by ensuring both optimal road holding and improved ride comfort in all driving conditions.

While a super direct steering rack is standard on the Tonale (expect a class-leading ratio of 13.6), dual stage valve electronic suspension is available as a cost option. Developed in conjunction with Marelli and actuated via the vehicle’s DNA system, it allows drivers to tweak damper settings to suit real time driving conditions. Two preset modes are on offer here: Comfort, which helps soothe poor road surfaces, and Sport that stiffens up the shocks to increase vertical rigidity, quell body roll and improve cornering performance.

From launch the Tonale will be made available in two spec levels: entry-level Super and flagship TI. The former can be customised with the optionally available Sprint pack while the latter can be taken to the peak of performance and sportiness with the Veloce pack.

Local pricing and availability is yet to be announced so be sure to watch this space.


Main Image: The new Tonale slots in below the Stelvio as the marque’s compact SUV offering. Image: Supplied



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Article Credit to Times LIVE Motoring.


What is your view of Alfa Romeo’s Tonale? If you were in the market, would you be interested in buying one? Let us know in the comments below. Also, if you found our content informative, do like it and share it with your friends.


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