On the road

Hot Tonale

If there’s one thing you can count on with Italian car maker Alfa Romeo it’s that its designers will get styling right, and that’s certainly the case with the brand’s head-turning new mid-sized SUV the Tonale.

Named after one of Italy’s highest mountain passes, the Tonale Hybrid features Alfa’s signature V Scudetto grille and distinctive ‘3+3’ headlight array, bookended by so-called sine-curve rear light clusters. Boasting the first-ever hybrid powertrain from the storied Italian marque, the Tonale Hybrid comes in two trims – Ti and Veloce – priced from $49,900 and $56,400 respectively, with a Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) version due later this year. Combining a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission and a 48V battery, the Mild Hybrid Electric (MHEV) powertrain produces 118kW at 5750rpm and 240Nm at 1500rpm, returning diesel-like fuel economy of 5.6L/100km. Inside, Alfa Romeo’s sporting pedigree is on display in the driver-focused cockpit which includes a three-spoke sports steering wheel with aluminium shift paddles, shapely Alcantara-clad sports seats, leatherette finishes and binocular-like Cannocchiale’ digital instrument display.

Under the skin, Koni Frequency Selective Damping (FSD) changes the level of hydraulic shock damping to compensate for road surface inputs, endowing the Tonale with the sort of dynamic ride and handling that ‘Alfistis’ and other enthusiast drivers will appreciate.

Visit the Alfa Romeo website to find out more.