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The arrival of a new model from Alfa-Romeo is special, very special and I do not hide the fact that I am and out and out fan of this carmaker. Tonale is Italian design without a doubt, faithful to the concept from where it originates. State of the art technology is at the heart of the newcomer and manufactured at the revamped Giambattista Vico plant in Pomigliano d’Arco, which can claim to be one of the most advanced faculties in the world. Alfa-Romeo scores a world exclusive here, as the Tonale is the first car on the market equipped with a NFT digital certificate. With the newcomer, there are  two forms of electrification, hybrid and plug-in hybrid Q4 which have been developed to deliver best in class performance.

Onto the styling and the Tonale is an evolution of a concept model first shown at the Geneva Motor Show in 2019. The Centro Stile Alfa-Romeo has ensured that the new car combines classic Alfa Romeo features, reinterpreted in the name of modernity. The sides feature extended curves below the waistline, this is known as the GT line and at the front the new floating Scudetto shield stands out, no longer a part of the bumper but a distinctive element. The lower part includes two main side air intakes which together with the shield create what is known as the Trilobo and in the upper part of the front there are 3+3 headlights inspired by the SZ Zagato and the Proteo concept car. For me, a smart set of wheels always play a major part to the overall look of a car and with the Tonale, new teledial alloys and there is a wide choice in sizes.

Moving to the interior, there is no disappointment in this area; the design draws inspiration from the racing heritage of Alfa Romeo that comes as no surprise, evoking a giant helping of passion. The lines balance harmony and effort and there is the tangible feeling that the car is always ready to go. Everything about this SUV is Alfa with the diagonal tunnel slightly undulating dashboards and instruments facing the driver while all of the controls are at the driver’s fingertips and very easy to access. Both the physical ones and the digital controls, accessed from the central display. Strong elements include the telescopic instrument panel with its clear Alfa Romeo stylistic matrix and there is a compact steering wheel which ensures you get a precise and direct steering feel. The entry point to the Tonale world is the 130hp hybrid version, the new four-cylinder 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine with 130hp and 240Nm of torque, paired with the exclusive seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and built-in 48-volt 15kW and 55Nm ‘P2’ electric motor. The 160bhp hybrid VGT makes it debut in this new model and it features a seven speed TCT dual clutch transmission and the 48 volt 15kW 55Nm P2 electric motor, this makes it possible for the 1.5 litre petrol to propel the wheels even when the internal combustion engine is turned off.

The real performance offering is the 275bhp plug-in hybrid Q4, which apart from performance is the most powerful version in terms of electrification. The advanced hybrid system combines the 1.3 litre MuliAir turbo petrol engine to provide traction to the front wheels while the electric motor is connected to the rear wheels. Looking at performance, rest to 100kph (62mph) in 6.2 seconds and you get all wheel drive. Worth noting the Q4 is also the most efficient plug-in C-SUV with an electric range of up to 80km (50m) on the city cycle and 60km (37m) on the combined cycle. A full battery chare takes two and a half hours when using a 7.4kW fast charger. This is one Alfa Romeo I look forward to driving and providing more in depth information.

Ian Lynas



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