Alfa Romeo, a light supercar could come after SUVs

Alfa Romeo, a light supercar could come after SUVs

Alfa Romeo

T he brand of the Biscione, in recent years, has radically changed tradition becoming a brand mainly focused on SUVs and sedans, thus completely abandoning the supercar sector. Without necessarily having to go too far back in time, between 2010 and 2013 Alfa Romeo had marketed two high-performance cars that won the hearts of many enthusiasts, such as the 8C and the more compact 4C.

This strategy, which winked at the fans, however, found little space in terms of numbers and forced the Alfa Romeo management to pass completely to another sector by challenging the Germans on their pitch favorite: SUVs and sedans. Will the brand continue like this? What future can we expect? The most passionate "Alfisti" will be pleased to know that among the plans of the management there seems to be an intention to return to the sports and light car segment, only after having consolidated the current foundations.

Thanks to the possible and much hoped-for success of Tonale and the subsequent B-SUV, Alfa could raise its finances and think more concretely about a supercar. As with Lancia, Alfa Romeo also has the task of making people dream as required by the brand; not only pragmatism is expected but also a pinch of tradition.

What will Alfa Romeo's supercar look like? Difficult to say but given the brand's roadmap and the European Union's intentions regarding endothermic vehicles, it is not difficult to think that it can be fully electric. After all, even Maserati with its MC20 has unveiled a fully electric supercar and both Lamborghini and Ferrari have been working for some time to switch to battery solutions. The only perplexity concerns the market segment: will it be a supercar destined for very few, with a price of 150-200 thousand euros, or will it be a solution closer to the 4C and therefore with a much lower price? Difficult to say, certainly the first drawings and concepts will appear over the next few months, and only then will we be able to get more information. How do you imagine a Biscione supercar? | ); }

2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale: An All-New Subcompact Luxury Crossover

2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale (European Model)

© 2022 Schnell Auto, Inc.

Alfa Romeo has added an all-new subcompact luxury crossover to its lineup that goes by the name Tonale. The automaker is touting the new five-passenger vehicle as delineating the “brand’s metamorphosis” from combustion to electrification while remaining true to its legendary Italian heritage. While this SUV segment is getting increasingly crowded, Alfa Romeo promises that the Tonale will differentiate itself through styling, driving dynamics, and technological innovation.

2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale Design

The Tonale won’t be mistaken for anything but an Alfa Romeo. Handsomely sculpted, the front fascia features the signature “Trilobo” grille and the brand’s unmistakable “Scudetto” shield. From its smooth lines to the pillar-mounted exterior mirrors and sporty phone-dial wheel design, the overall look is both sporty and timeless. Thankfully, Alfa Romeo has resisted the urge to follow trends, such as incorporating flush door handles and blackened D-pillars, instead choosing to create a more attractive and stylish look – the Tonale will look good a decade down the road.

2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale (European Model)

© 2022 Schnell Auto, Inc.

Inside the Tonale, passengers will find a well-appointed, visually pleasing, and comfortable cabin that projects a premium appearance. Alfa Romeo has incorporated a three-spoke steering wheel (with paddle shifters), a traditional PRND shifter on the center column, and sporty bucket seats for front passengers. The dashboard is fitted with a standard 12.3-inch digital primary instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen running Uconnect 5 – Alfa Romeo says the displays are the largest in the class (digital services include Alfa Connect with over-the-air capability, and there is standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto).

2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale Powertrain

Alfa Romeo will offer the Tonale two distinctly different powertrains in three unique trims: Sprint, Ti, and Veloce.

Standard models are fitted with a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4, rated at 256 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The combustion engine is mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission sending power to all four wheels through the company’s Q4 AWD system. In addition, the engine boasts a twin-scroll turbocharger, direct injection, and an engine start-stop system to maximize power and fuel efficiency.

2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale (European Model shown)

© 2022 Schnell Auto, Inc.

The range-topping Tonale is a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid (PHEV). Its powertrain uses a turbocharged 1.3-liter inline-4 (rated at 180 hp) and a 6-speed automatic transmission to drive the front wheels. The rear wheels, which give the PHEV its Q4 all-wheel-drive system, are powered by a 90-kW (121 hp) electric motor. The total combined system power is 272 horsepower. A standard 15.5 kWh lithium-ion battery can propel the Tonale for about 30 miles, completely combustion-free.

On that note, Alfa Romeo is configuring the Tonale PHEV with three different driving modes: Dual Power/Dynamic, Natural, and Advanced Efficiency. Dual Power/Dynamic configures the combustion engine and electric motor to deliver maximum output to optimize performance. Natural is the default driving mode that balances the combustion engine and electric motor without compromising comfort or performance. Advanced Efficiency limits the vehicle to battery only for about 30 miles of combustion-free driving.

How will the 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale drive?

Alfa Romeo is promising “sports car-like impeccable dynamic behavior” for the new Tonale, citing the most direct steering in the segment, strong Brembo brakes, and a fully independent suspension with Frequency Selective Damping (FSD) shock absorbers. The “Alfa DNA” system manages the two pre-set damping programs: Comfort and Sport. The default program is Comfort, which provides the most compliant ride, especially over rough roads (the setting for Natural and Advanced Efficiency drive modes). Sport stiffens the ride to optimize handling and reduce body roll (it’s the setting when Dual Power/Dynamic drive mode is selected).

2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale (European Model shown)

© 2022 Schnell Auto, Inc.How much does the 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale cost?

Alfa Romeo hasn’t released Tonale pricing as of press time, but it is expected to be priced very competitively in the segment – expect base prices to be about $36,000 - $40,000. Premium Veloce models will likely top out at just over $50,000. The Italian-made Tonale will arrive in dealers in early 2023.

Who should buy a 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale?

The 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale targets an upscale “young, metropolitan, and dynamic customer” that will likely be new to the brand. Tonale buyers will be seeking premium styling, luxury, strong driving dynamics, and technological innovation. The Tonale is small in overall stature, but that won’t dissuade buyers as they aren’t transporting more than one other person on a regular basis – this vehicle is ideal for singles, young professionals, and couples without children. The Alfa Romeo Tonale is unique – the subcompact Italian is not a Mercedes-Benz, Audi, or BMW (it’s actually the choice against the German automakers). The Tonale targets those who want to be unique and individual but don’t want to compromise.