Alfa Romeo and patience, that is a trusted combination. The Tonale, a new SUV for the C-segment, is reportedly being delayed again. Fresh Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato would not find the promised performance of the plug-in hybrid version sufficient
Alfa Romeo has had an SUV in the development rooms for several years that will serve the compact mid-segment. The ‘Tonale’, of which we got a precursor in 2019 in the form of the Tonale Concept, must take over from the recently retired Giulietta. At the beginning of this year we heard that the production version will probably be in the showroom at the beginning of 2022, but that is still far from certain, it now appears. According to Automotive News Alfa Romeo’s new CEO, Jean-Philippe Imparato, who has come from Peugeot, has serious doubts about the powertrain of the plug-in hybrid version of the Tonale.
Alfa Romeo Tonale Concept
Imparato is of course familiar with such powertrains from the former Groupe PSA and at Alfa Romeo finds a technical basis for the Tonale that we know from FCA products such as the Jeeps Compass and Renegade 4xe. On paper, these are plug-ins that can easily compete with the milder plug-in hybrids (225 hp) of Peugeot and Opel in terms of specifications. Still, Imparato would not find that enough and demand that improvements be made before the production of the Tonale gets the green light.
Alfa Romeo probably wants to be a bit higher in the market with the Tonale than, for example, the aforementioned Jeeps. Peugeot and Opel, for example, also supply models with a plug-in hybrid powertrain with a system power of 300 hp, 60 hp more than the strongest 4xes. The big difference is in the fuel engine, which is a 1.6 with the former PSA brands and a 1.3 with FCA. A solution could be to have a larger electric motor in the Tonale work together with the 1.3 to boost the system power, which seems more feasible in terms of adjustments than a larger petrol engine. You can count on something like this now being concocted in Italy. It remains to be seen how much delay that will cause for the Tonale.