Alfa Romeo plans two new crossover SUV models in the future, a compact model below the current Stelvio and a mid-size model above it. On Tuesday, at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, the Italian luxury brand gave us an early look at the compact model in the form of the Tonale concept.
Named after an Italian mountain pass like the Stelvio, the Alfa Romeo Tonale marks the first time the brand has incorporated a plug-in hybrid powertrain. By 2022, Alfa Romeo plans to electrify 100 percent of its vehicles and offer six plug-in hybrid models.
Smaller than the Stelvio, the Tonale could go up against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, BMW X1/X2, and Audi Q3, though it could also stretch into the small segment with the Stelvio. If there's one area Alfa Romeo already has punched above its weight, it's in the design department. While somewhat portly looking, the Tonale concept oozes the Italian marque's signature design traits quite well.
Alfa Romeo Tonale concept
Up front is the unmistakable "Scudetto" grille with tri-lense headlights that give the SUV concept somewhat of a sleepy, but pronounced look. The side profile draws the eye with a sweeping style line from the hood crease through the side mirror and back to the taillights, which the brand said are reminiscent of an artist's signature and are meant to invoke the human element of automotive design. The rear window also features an enveloping design that helps create a very fluid look compared to traditional hatches. Black C-pillars create a hardtop look, while thick rear pillars threaten to block vision to the rear. Of course, the Tonale rides on telephone-dial wheels as Alfa Romeos have for decades.
Inside, Alfa Romeo aimed to create a driver-focused cabin, but one that doesn't forget about the space for four passengers. The multiple lines and creases help create a muscular look, while the translucent center tunnel, aluminum trim, and warm tones from leather and Alcantara exude a racier kind of luxury. Front and center is a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and in the center sits a 10.3-inch touchscreen to handle infortainment.
Alfa Romeo Tonale concept
The Tonale concept also appears to preview the powertrain we'll see in the production vehicle. Alfa Romeo said the concept houses an electric motor in the rear while a traditional internal-combustion engine remains up front, though the company isn't saying what that engine is. Alfa says the concept can drive on pure electricity for an undisclosed distance. The Tonale introduces Dual Power to replace the current Dynamic driving mode and Advance E to replace the Advance Efficiency mode. The latter unlocks the electric-only option. Dual Power mode combines the electric motor and engine's power for peak performance, and a Natural mode has both the hybrid system and engine work together for optimal fuel savings without sacrificing all of the available performance.
Based on the future plans Alfa Romeo laid out in June, the Tonale should arrive in production form no later than 2022. When it does, it looks like it will be a pretty face for crossover SUV buyers to consider.
For more from the Geneva auto show, head to our dedicated hub.