Alfa Romeo Reveals Tonale Plug-In Hybrid SUV Concept

Alfa Romeo today revealed the Tonale compact SUV concept at the Geneva auto show, previewing the brand's intention to break into both the small utility and plug-in vehicle markets with a single model.

Like the larger Stelvio, the Tonale takes its name from a mountain pass in Italy.

Alfa says the Tonale concept's styling references numerous vehicles from the brand's past. The body sides are meant to recall the Duetto and Disco Volante while a pair of character lines call back to the GT Junior coupe. Alfa Romeo also calls out the Tonale's "phone dial" wheels, a design that originated in the 1960s on the 33 Stradale mid-engine sports car.

The Tonale's design also references a couple of more recent Alfa Romeo designs: "three plus three" LED signature lighting front and rear was conceived to be reminiscent of the SZ and Brera sport hatchbacks of the 1990s and 2000s, respectively.

Inside, the Tonale concept has a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen. There are also translucent, backlit panels, including on the central console tunnel, where Alfa's DNA drive mode selector lives.

Alfa Romeo offers little detail about the Tonale's drivetrain. The closest they get is a reference to a rear electric motor, suggesting that electricity will be the source of the Tonale's AWD capability. We'd guess at a production version having a second motor up front with the engine and transmission. What that gas engine might be is all speculation on our part, but we'd put money on a 2.0L turbo four-cylinder and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The DNA drive mode system gets some new labels to reflect the Tonale's electrification. Dynamic mode becomes Dual Power, while Advance Efficiency turns into a full-electric Advance E mode.

Alfa doesn't mention when the Tonale might be ready for prime time. As concepts go, this one looks close to production ready, given the close resemblance to the larger Stelvio model.

Alfa goes PHEV 3/5/2019 1:38:24 PM