Alfa Romeo has unveiled what will eventually become its first-ever compact SUV at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Dubbed ‘Tonale’, the concept utilizes a hybrid system and, like the Stelvio, is named after a mountain pass in Northern Italy.
According to Alfa, the Tonale Concept is inspired by the “beauty and nuances associated with human forms, and the organic movement of light resulted by pure lines and volumes.” In other words, you might call it stylish.
Squinting in style
The front end features Alfa Romeo’s signature “Trilobo” light graphic as well as the distinctive “Scudetto” grille. The rear meanwhile comes with an enveloping window design, complemented by the suspended wing and a special light graphic that’s said to be reminiscent of a hand-written signature, rather than a more traditional optical lighting element.
As for the wheels, they measure 21-inches in diameter and are said to create an “honest and impactful execution of the circular theme”.
A classic interior
Step inside the Tonale Concept and you’ll find a driver oriented layout, surrounded by rich materials such as aluminum, leather and Alcantara. Features include translucent backlit panels, the DNA drive mode selector, a 12.3-inch fully digital cluster, plus a 10.25-inch touchscreen central head unit.
The infotainment system has two new functions in ‘Alfista’ and ‘Paddock’ – where the former is described as an immersive Alfa Romeo Lifestyle experience, providing users with a fully connected interface with select Alfa Romeo clubs and Community events, like gatherings, drives and meets. The in-vehicle app also allows the driver access to live news and updates regarding Alfa Romeo, while providing the opportunity to win VIP access to special events.
The ‘Paddock’ function on the other hand is all about purchasing the latest interior and exterior performance upgrades and equipment, letting you scroll through the latest offerings of Alfa Romeo merchandise and apparel.
Alfa avoided giving out specific technical details, but it said the concept is motivated by a hybrid engine.We suspect that it’s a variant of the plug-in hybrid unit introduced in the Jeep Renegade today, while the SUV is likely based on a modified version of Fiat Chrysler’s front-wheel drive compact platform, instead of a shorter version of the rear-drive Giulia and Stelvio architecture.
In the Tonale, Alfa Romeo’s drive modes now implement specific energy management functions. Dynamic mode for example evolves into ‘Dual Power’ and offers the maximum output from the two engines – the electric and ICE units.
By pushing the E-mozione button on the touchscreen you can then fiddle with specific throttle settings, make the brakes sharper and gain a more direct steering response. Then there’s Natural mode, which is all about maintaining the best optimization between electrical and internal combustion engines, while the Advance E mode handles performance while operating just under battery power.