The concept stole the show in Geneva, but will the road-going version lure in buyers?
With crossovers and SUVs being all the rage these days, the Tonale is exactly what Alfa Romeo needs to put on the market as soon as possible to join the larger Stelvio. The compact model was previewed earlier this year at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show by a rather fetching concept, but if history has taught us anything, it’s that a production model rarely matches the showcar’s pizzazz – unless we’re talking about the BMW i8.
The road-going Tonale has now been envisioned courtesy of INDAV Design with a slightly toned-down appearance, featuring bigger headlights that don’t look as sleek as the ones the concept had. The lower grille has gained a pair of fog lights and boasts a slightly updated design more suitable for a production model. Gone are the side cameras as these have been replaced by conventional mirrors, while the pop-out handles for the front doors had to make way for a regular setup. The rear doors continue to have the “hidden” handles, which some Alfa Romeo models have had for many years.
The adjacent rendering proposes a different set of wheels replacing the 21-inch alloys of the concept with their familiar retro-flavored design mimicking a phone dial wheel. The new shoes are still very much Alfa Romeo and carry over the same size, although the tires do look a bit chunkier than what the showcar had.
What we said earlier about the headlights has a correspondent at the back where the taillights are also slightly bigger than the concept’s rear clusters. As you can see, these are no longer interconnected through a light bar that meets in the middle of the tailgate where the Alfa Romeo badge is located. A normal-looking exhaust tip has replaced the concept’s flashy setup and is more in line with the Stelvio.
If everything goes according to the plan, FCA will have the shiny new compact crossover on sale at some point in 2020. There’s a lot riding on the Tonale as Alfa Romeo hopes it will become the brand’s best-selling model. Technical specifications are shrouded in mystery at this point, but we do know it will be offered with a hybrid powertrain derived from the Jeep Renegade and Compass PHEVs.
As per Alfa’s product roadmap until the end of 2022, there are also plans for a larger SUV to slot above the Stelvio, while the MiTo might transition to a crossover. In this interval, the Stelvio will go through a mid-cycle refresh and spawn a roomier long-wheelbase derivative.