The 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale will be offered exclusively with a plug-in hybrid powertrain in the U.S. when it finally goes on sale here early next year.
The information was confirmed to Automotive News (subscription required) last week by Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato.
The handsome compact crossover was revealed in February with a 2.0-liter turbo-4 and a plug-in hybrid system consisting of a 1.3-liter turbo-4 for the front wheels and an electric motor for the rear wheels.
A company spokesperson told Automotive News the reason to drop the 2.0-liter engine was a need to reduce CO2 emissions, especially in the states that follow the strict emissions rules pioneered by California. The addition of the plug-in hybrid Tonale will help Alfa Romeo reduce its average emissions by 40%, Imparato said.
The plug-in hybrid is the more potent powertrain. It delivers a combined 272 hp versus 256 hp from the 2.0-liter engine.
Going with an electrified-only Tonale family will also help customers adjust as Alfa Romeo prepares to go the full-electric route as soon as 2026.
U.S. buyers still keen on the 2.0-liter engine will find it in the related 2023 Dodge Hornet, which arrives in December. The Hornet and Tonale are twins under the skin, and even share a plant in Pomigliano, Italy.
While the 2.0-liter engine in the Hornet will match the Tonale's original 256-hp rating, the plug-in hybrid setup will deliver 288 hp in the Hornet.