Marking Alfa Romeo’s metamorphosis while remaining true to its DNA of Italian sportiness, the Turin-based brand has finally whipped the covers of the SA-bound Tonale. According to the firm, “With the Tonale, radical evolution is taking place at Alfa Romeo.” 

Tonale

Remaining faithful to the design of the concept car, the Tonale offers “distinctive, sensual and forward-looking” exterior styling. The Stelvio’s sibling measures 4 530 mm in length, 1 840 mm wide and 1 600 mm in height. 

Up front, the iconic Alfa Romeo grille is flanked by a pair of adaptive LED matrix headlamps. The design of the latter items “evokes the proud look of the SZ Zagato or the Proteo concept car”‘Round back, the most distinguishable feature is the LED light strip that connects the taillamps. The rear lights follow the same design cues as the front units. 

Tonale

Inspired by the company’s racing history, the interior is “strongly focused” on the driver. Inside, the driver-focused cockpit’s switchgear is within easy reach of the pilot to ensure ease of operation when on the go. The tech-laden cabin “wraps around” the occupants. 

Speaking of the technologies, the Tonale comes equipped with non-fungible token (NFT) technology which, Alfa says, is a first for a production car. The technology is based on the “blockchain card” concept, a confidential and non-modifiable record of the main stages in the life of an individual vehicle.

To ensure a connected and comfortable experience, the Tonale features Amazon Alexa voice assistance, complete with ‘Secure Delivery Service’. In terms of infotainment, Alfa’s new SUV sports a 10.25-inch touch-based system, replete with an Android operating set-up. A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster is included. 

Adding to the comfortable driving experience, the Tonale is fitted with level 2 autonomous driving and an array of safety systems. These include, among others, lane-centring assist, blind-spot detection and a 360-degree surround-view camera set-up. 

Tonale

Alfa Romeo’s entry point to the world of electrification, the SUV is available with 48 V hybrid powertrains, a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) option, and a diesel motor. The former unit comprises a 1.5-litre petrol engine and, as mentioned, a 48 V electric motor for a power output of 118 kW. At launch, a 96 kW version will also be on offer. Both of these units are coupled to a seven-speed self-shifter. 

The PHEV model is endowed with 202 kW for a claimed zero to 100 km/h sprint time of “just” 6.2 seconds. The all-wheel-drive PHEV offers an electric-only range of “over” 60 km on the combined cycle. 

Completing the engine line-up, the 96 kW oil-burning variant is equipped with a new 1.6-litre engine. Coupled to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission, this model sends 320 kW of torque exclusively to the front axle. 

As a reminder, the local arm of Alfa Romeo has announced the Tonale penned in to arrive on South African shores in by the first quarter of 2023.