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Metamorphosis complete: 5 things to know about the 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale

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We speculated recently about what the 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale could be, but after the full reveal today, we now know almost everything about this vehicle.  The Italian influence is clear on this new smallest SUV in the Alfa Rome lineup, as Tonale doesn’t look like any of the other Stellantis vehicles.

Let’s look at five highlights of the 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale.

Powertrain

We speculated that the Tonale would be a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), and as it happens, that is one of the two powertrains that will be offered on this compact SUV in the North American market. The other is a turbocharged gasoline engine. Both powertrains are all-wheel-drive only.

Frankly, having a PHEV makes a lot of sense as it’s a great transition toward electrification, and it wouldn’t surprise us if, in the near future, the Tonale became an EV — especially since Alfa Romeo has promised to be fully electric by 2027.

Here’s the powertrain breakdown:

  • AWD 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a six-speed automatic transmission combines a 15.5-kWh lithium ion battery with a 90 kW electric motor to deliver 272 horsepower. This PHEV has an all-electric range of more than 30 miles.
  • AWD 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with nine-speed automatic transmission delivers 256 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. It is equipped with engine stop-start technology that meets the super-ultra-low emissions 30 (SULEV 30) standard.

The PHEV is expected to be the go-to choice, and with that comes three driving modes, including one that runs on only electricity:

  • Dual power (PHEV)/Dynamic – Performance with maximum output from both the engine and electric motor
  • Natural – Power management is automatic for everyday use; a balance of engine and electric motor without compromising performance or driving comfort
  • Advanced efficiency – Designed for pure electric operation, the vehicle will run off the battery with more than 30 miles of electric range

Italian looks, Alfa Romeo distinction

Within Stellantis, no brand has more of a European vibe than Alfa Romeo. The few offerings they have in North America each has a distinctive appearance, and the 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale will follow suit.

Stellantis didn’t hide from the fact Tonale is intended for a young, metropolitan consumer, and the design is aimed at being attractive to that demographic. As such, the shape and size is geared toward a specific buyer. Aesthetically, the Tonale’s front end stands out with a “3+3” headlight design, with three LED headlights on each side, with the Alfa Romeo “Trilobo” emblem centered between them.

The dimensions for the Tonale are 178.3 inches long, 72.4 inches wide and 63.0 inches high.

Level 2 autonomy

Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) are becoming more prominent on today’s vehicles. The 2023 Tonale has a ADAS technology that qualifies it as Level 2 autonomous driving (that means hands-on driving). The ADAS features in the Tonale include: Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control (IACC), Lane Centering (LC) and Traffic Jam Assist (TJA), which automatically adjust speed and trajectory, keeping the car in the middle of the lane and at a distance from the vehicle in front, thus ensuring safety and comfort.

The Tonale as an NFT?

Non-fungible tokens (NFT) are a trendy thing these days. You know NFTs more as it relates to crypto currency than anything. So, it was bizarre to see the Tonale getting mentioned as the first vehicle on the market equipped with an NFT digital certificate.

So, what does an NFT have to do with the Tonale? It all runs through Blockchain, which is essentially a digital format that turns all the service, repairs and driving history of the Tonale (from the moment it leaves the dealership) into an NFT.

To simplify, the NFT essentially operates as a digital version of CarFax, but in a transferable way so that it moves with the Tonale from owner to owner. Apparently, it will help keep the resale value higher. This is a bigger thing in Europe than North America, so it’s still very new and comes off a little gimmicky.

UConnect 5

The Stellantis infotainment system is one of the most intuitive in the industry, and the 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale gets the latest version of UConnect 5. The interface is similar to that of a smartphone, which is why it’s so intuitive. For the PHEV version, customers can monitor efficiency through a unique Hybrid Pages app on the center screen — all with one touch.

The new infotainment system also features several fully customizable interfaces, storing up to five different user profiles and featuring preferences for music and vehicle operation. The system also connects features to a driver’s profile, such as temperature, seating position and mirror placement. Switching between user profiles can be handled by a single touch.

The bottom line on 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale

This new SUV from Alfa Romeo feels a little out of place here in North America. Maybe that’s why it feels so fresh and exciting. It’s different in the era of cookie-cutter crossovers without personality. This seems to have personality in bulk. Sure, it has a funny-sounding name (it’s not TOE-NAIL by the way, it’s TOE-NAH-LAY), but at least it’s interesting.

Pricing is not yet available for the Tonale, and orders open in the fourth quarter of 2022 with availability in the first quarter of 2023.

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Jimmy Dinsmore

Jimmy is News Editor for PickupTruckTalk with an expertise in new vehicles. He is also a Ford Mustang historian having authored the book Mustang by Design (available on Amazon). His second book, about the history of Ford's F-Series truck comes out next year.

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