All-New 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale Debuts With Available PHEV Tech

There are now just two models in its North American lineup, yet Alfa Romeo took a sweet time developing and introducing the production variant of the Tonale concept that initially debuted at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.  

Here it is at last, though you’ll have to be a little more patient to see it on the road: the 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale, to be built at a freshly modernized and upgraded plant in Naples, Italy, will arrive in Canadian dealerships early next year with orders beginning this fall.

Very Similar to the Concept

The design of the Tonale is pretty faithful to the aforementioned concept and aimed at “young, metropolitan and dynamic customers,” the company says. At 4.53 metres long, 1.84 metres wide and 1.6 metres tall, it’s slightly more compact than the Stelvio.

The Tonale is instantly recognizable as a member of the Alfa Romeo family with the front grille and intakes forming the classic “Trilobo,” the wheels replicating the Alfa Romeo style canon of a telephone dial, and the “GT Line” that runs from the rear to the front recalling the forms of the 1960s Giulia GT Junior. The all-new LED signature of the triple headlights makes it unique and is superbly replicated in the taillights, which are connected by a light bar intersecting with the brand’s logo.

Fresh Interior for Modern Times

Beyond the Stelvio-like steering wheel, the interior of the 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale stands out with a more modern and high-tech environment. The centre console is cleaner and more practical, while the 10.25-inch touchscreen perched above is oriented toward the driver. From the dashboard to the seats and door panels, designers put even more emphasis on colours, shapes and textures.

Photo: Stellantis

Standard content includes a completely new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster as well as the excellent Uconnect 5 infotainment system with a customizable home screen for easy access to the most frequently used features. The latter can store up to five different user profiles, with preferences for music and vehicle operation. Alfa Connect provides new over-the-air capabilities. Wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto integration is also part of the mix, not to mention the Amazon Alexa virtual assistant.

And here’s another interesting aspect for tech enthusiasts: Alfa Romeo is the first automaker to link a car with an NFT (non-fungible token) digital certificate. With the customer’s consent, the NFT will record vehicle data, generating a certificate that can be used to assure the car has been properly maintained, with a positive impact on its residual value.

Photo: Stellantis

Two Powertrain Options

The 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale will be sold at first with a turbocharged 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder engine that is slightly less powerful than the Stelvio’s at 256 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission will handle shifting, and the brand’s Q4 all-wheel drive system will be standard.

The highlight, of course, is the available plug-in hybrid powertrain—a first for Alfa Romeo in North America. This one combines a turbocharged 1.3-litre four-cylinder engine driving the front wheels with a 90kW electric motor driving the rear wheels in a unique application of Q4 technology. The autobox is a six-speed unit only, but output is increased to 272 horsepower.

According to Alfa Romeo, drivers of the Tonale can expect to travel up to 48 kilometres in full EV mode thanks to a 15.5kWh battery. Depending on the conditions or your performance needs, an automatic mode and a hybrid mode can be selected, as well.

Photo: Stellantis

As far as the drive is concerned, the company promises best-in-class weight distribution and steering responsiveness. The Tonale rides on a fully independent MacPherson suspension system with Frequency Selective Damping (FSD) shock absorbers.

One last thing: there will be two trim levels to choose in Canada—Sprint and Veloce—and both can be customized with numerous options. Alfa Romeo has not yet settled on a possible a high-performance Quadrifoglio model, but we’ve been told a decision could come by the end of the year, so stay tuned.

Watch: Alfa Romeo Tonale Concept Revealed at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show

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