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New Alfa Romeo Tonale Spied One More Time Before Official Premiere

Remember the Alfa Romeo Giulietta? That was a fine compact hatchback when it premiered in March 2010 at the Geneva Motor Show, but in typical fashion, the Italian automaker couldn’t update it often enough to keep up with compact heavyweights (think VW Golf and Skoda Octavia).
 Alfa Romeo Tonale test mule 26 photos
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Sensing there’s no reason to replace it with yet another hatchback, Alfa Romeo decided to develop a brand-new utility vehicle featuring a similar footprint. Enter the Tonale, an SUV that’s been delayed by chief executive officer Jean-Philippe Imparato to better the PHEV system’s performance.

Yes, it’s the first plug-in hybrid in Alfa Romeo’s long and illustrious history. Spied one more time (and probably for the last time) before its unveiling on February 8th, the prototype in the photo gallery is the closest one yet to series-production reality. Gifted with LED headlights and placeholder taillights, the camouflaged test mule ditches the concept’s gigantic wheels for more appropriately-sized and generic-looking wheels.

It's not known if we’re dealing with conventional rear door handles or hidden-style handles like the Giulietta, but in any case, don’t dare get your hopes up for a special car because it’s not actually special. More specifically, it shares the Small Wide vehicle architecture with the likes of the Jeep Renegade, Compass, new Commander, Fiat 500L, and 500X.

Confirmed with a driver-centric interior featuring a multi-function cluster dubbed Cannocchiale (Italian for telescope or binoculars), the Alfa Romeo Tonale is expected with a 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder turbo that makes approximately 240 horsepower with plug-in hybrid assistance.

A mild-hybrid unit is also rumored (and necessary given the draconic emission regulations in the European Union). There’s also a case to be made for a turbo diesel even though a diesel-engined Alfa Romeo is anything but exciting from the driver’s perspective. “Too little, too late” would be the best way to describe the long-awaited Tonale, which is anticipated to make amends for the years of dreadful neglect that led to the Giulietta’s demise.

 
 
 
 
 

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