March 2019 is when Alfa Romeo signaled its intentions towards coming out with a third product to follow the Giulia and Stelvio. Fast forward nearly three years later, you're still not going to find the Tonale at your local dealer. It has been obsessively spied testing ahead of its 2022 market launch, but to our knowledge, these new shots from Walter Vayr are the first showing the final headlights and taillights almost entirely exposed.
We can easily see the lighting clusters will largely retain the inner design we saw on the concept, but they won't be as sleek since the headlights (with boomerang-shaped turn signals) and taillights are visibly larger. The disguise on the tailgate hides what might be an LED light bar since the showcar had it, bisected by the Alfa Romeo badge. We also get to take a peek inside where there's a fairly large touchscreen for the infotainment, albeit it doesn't seem to be integrated into the fancy curved glass housing of the concept.
Gallery: 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale new spy photos
On a related note, the company's boss in North America briefly mentioned the Tonale in an interview published today by Wards Auto. Larry Dominique confirmed the compact crossover is coming next year, adding it will be offered with a choice between a 2.0-liter gasoline engine and an unspecified plug-in hybrid powertrain. He went on to say it'll be "Alfa, Alfa, Alfa" in regard to weight balance and performance.
The only other tidbit he disclosed – although rather vaguely – was the fact it'll be "slightly smaller" than the Stelvio, which measures 4,687 millimeters (184.5 inches). According to a recent report, the Tonale will be 4,528 mm (178.3 in) long, 1,835 mm (72.2 in) wide, and 1,604 mm (63.1 in) tall. As a refresher, the bigger SUV is 1,903 mm (74.9 in) wide and 1,648 mm (64.9 in) tall. In terms of wheelbase, the Stelvio's stretches at 2,818 mm (110.9 in) while the new model is said to measure 2,636 mm (103.8 in) between the axles or nearly identical to the mechanically related Jeep Compass.
Gallery: Alfa Romeo Tonale concept
The gasoline unit mentioned by Larry Dominique could be a four-cylinder with either 130 or 160 horsepower and mild-hybrid technology in the case of the more potent configuration. As for the PHEV, it's expected to have a rear-mounted electric motor to give the Tonale an all-wheel-drive setup and a total system output of 240 horsepower. That figure makes sense considering the Jeep Compass 4xe has an identical electrified punch.
It will be one of the last Alfa Romeo models with a combustion engine as the Italian brand has vowed to go fully electric from 2027, but a smaller ICE-powered Brennero crossover (with EV option) is said to shortly follow the Tonale. Technically, there could still be some conventionally powered Alfas after that since the Stellantis brand claims it will be 100 percent electric-only in enlarged Europe, North America, and China.