Alfa Romeo Tonale concept previews new mid-sized SUV
Geneva - It’s no secret that Alfa Romeo is working on a mid-sized SUV that will slot beneath the Stelvio, and now we have a much better idea of how it’s going to look.
Alfa Romeo pulled the covers off its new Tonale concept car at the Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday, and the production vehicle is likely to share most of its design cues as well as its name with the show car. Tonale? Well that’s the name of a mountain pass in the Alps, situated close to the Stelvio Pass, after which Alfa named its larger SUV.
It has been widely reported that the Tonale production vehicle will be crafted around the front-wheel-drive platform that underpins the Jeep Compass, rather than the RWD premium architecture that forms the basis of the Stelvio and Giulia.
The concept is powered by a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, a first for Alfa Romeo, and although the company has not gone into detail on the system, sister-brand Jeep has just revealed its Compass and Renegade hybrid models, and we’d imagine the Alfa’s drivetrain would be similar. The Jeep system mates a 1.3-litre turbopetrol engine to an electric motor for system outputs of up to 177kW, which is not inconsiderable even by Alfa Romeo standards.
While its power source embraces the future, the Tonale concept car still honours the past in many of its design features, including 21-inch ‘telephone dial’ wheels that are a nod to the 1960s 33 Stradale, ‘3 plus 3’ headlights that pay tribute to the SZ and body lines that take inspiration from the Duetto and Disco Volante Spider.
The cabin is a blend of classic and modern features, with a deep-set digital instrument cluster and wide central infotainment screen. It also has apps to keep the Alfisti well connected, such as the ‘Alfista’ interface that provides updates about select Alfa Romeo clubs and community events, and the ‘Paddock’ app that allows owners to browse and purchase various accessories and vehicle upgrades.