Tonale: Alfa Romeo's first new car in years is a high-tech SUV hybrid

BERLIN: Things have been quiet at Alfa Romeo for quite some time now, but now the Italian subsidiary of the automotive giant Stellantis is now showing signs of life once again.

Starting in mid-2022, Alfa Romeo wants to step up to rival SUVs like the VW Tiguan, BMW X1 and Ford Kuga with the Tonale, the company's first new model this decade and first plug-in hybrid ever.

A compact off-roader named after a pass in Italy's Trentino Alps, the Tonale shares a platform with sister brand Jeep, measures around 4.50 metres in length and has space for five people.

Beyond the angry-looking front, the car's interior wants to score points with plenty of tech and Alfa Romeo says it has kitted out the Tonale with two large displays in the cockpit.

Under the bonnet, the Italians are also adding electric support for the first time, and the 1.5-litre petrol engine with 160 or 130 horses is equipped with a 48-volt starter generator, enabling very short trips on purely electric power.

Alfa Romeo will also introduce a plug-in hybrid for the first time.

Combining a 1.3 litre petrol engine, a 15.5 kWh battery and an electric motor, it has a system output of 275hp, can drive up to 60 kilometres without emissions and has all-wheel drive thanks to the second engine in the rear.

For those who don't care that much about emissions, there is also a 1.6-litre diesel with 130hp.

Autos Alfa Romeo