Alfa Romeo makes another pass at an SUV

Tonale Concept borrows styling cues from Alfa Romeo’s current SUV, Stelvio

Published: April 8, 2019, 5:30 PM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 2:54 PM

Alfa Romeo Tonale Concept

It seems like only a couple years ago that Alfa Romeo introduced its first sport utility vehicle, and now here it is seemingly readying what may be its replacement.

Introduced at the Geneva Motor Show last month, the Tonale concept vehicle returns to its company’s birth city, Milan, for its national homecoming at the 58th Salone Internazionale del Mobile. Like the Stelvio, Tonale is also named after a mountain pass, and is also a first for Alfa Romeo — its first plug-in hybrid.

The Tonale concept borrows styling cues from the Stelvio, as well as from previous performance cars, such as the SZ/RZ and the Brera, and updates the look with modern technology, including of course the use of electrification.

Tonale rides on 21-inch wheels, adopting the “telephone dial” design dating back to the 1960s, and the “3 plus 3” front lights are mirrored on the rear, though the presentation is more like a squiggly line appearing as an artist’s signature.

The interior belies the utility theme, blending the versatility of an SUV with the sporty driver-centricity of Alfa Romeo performance cars. Alfa calls it a balance of harmony and tension, with the emotional presentation contrasting with the cool demeanour of premium materials such as aluminum and leather. Unique touches include translucent panels and a backlit central tunnel.

Not much is yet known about the powertrain, except that it uses a front engine (presumably that also used on the Jeep Compass) and a rear motor to create the all-wheel drivetrain needed for a crossover. And, naturally, it also gives the driver the choice to go from using the gasoline engine, electric propulsion or a combination of the two.

Seeing as the vehicle is refined enough to perhaps lose the “concept” moniker, we anticipate the next few months will see more information released, with the likelihood the Tonale will go into production for 2020.