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Alfa Romeo Tonale SUV revealed

Say hello to the Tonale - Alfa Romeo’s first ever compact, hybrid-electric SUV.

It’s also a car that’s well and truly riding the zeitgeist, because it also comes with a ‘non-fungible token’, or NFT, digital certificate.

What the heck is an NFT when it’s at home? We’re glad you asked. Enjoyed by modern Premier League footballers and pop stars, an NFT is a unique ‘blockchain card’ which will be used here to record the vehicle’s data throughout its life, acting as a ‘guarantee’ for future owners.

And while the NFT might be something of a cultural gimmick, there’s enough about the Tonale itself to be taken seriously.

A rival to the likes of the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Range Rover Evoque and Volvo XC40, the Tonale certainly looks the part, with the Alfa trademark '3+3' headlights and sleek rear light clusters on show. 

And the big news here is that two hybrid powertrains will be made available - a mild-hybrid and a more powerful plug-in hybrid.

The mild-hybrid variants begin with a 130 hp system that marries a four-cylinder 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine with a 48-volt 15kW and 55Nm ‘P2’ electric motor.

A more powerful 160 hp mild-hybrid is also up for grabs.

At the other end of the scale the ‘Q4’ plug-in hybrid has power of 275 hp and combines a 1.3-litre MultiAir turbo petrol engine to drive the front wheels with an electric motor connected to the rear wheels.

The Q4 Tonale will be capable of sprinting from zero to 62 mph in just 6.2 seconds, and it’s also equipped with four-wheel drive for an ‘unparalleled level of safety and driving pleasure’, according to Alfa.

The plug-in Tonale will also have an electric range close to 50 miles, during urban use, and a full battery charge takes 2.5 hours when using the 7.4kW charger.

Alfa Romeo is also boasting about how well the Tonale handles. The front-wheel-drive mild-hybrid versions get an electronic self-locking differential as standard, which ‘ensures sporty and effective driving dynamics by controlling the vehicle stability and by redirecting the power to the wheels when accelerating from corners’.

The system should also prevent you from having a spill in wet or icy conditions.

The all-wheel drive plug-in, on the other hand, is also able to decide precisely what power is needed from either the petrol or electric motor to ensure ‘safe travel on snow and ice’.

The Tonale also boasts a whole load of tech.

It’s equipped with the new Alfa Romeo Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) which unlocks Level 2 autonomous driving - bringing you automatic handling, acceleration, braking and remaining within the lane while you’re on the move.

Meanwhile driver assistance systems fitted as standard include Autonomous Emergency Braking with Vulnerable Road Users and Drowsy Driver Detection.

Alfa says there will be two trim levels available - ‘Super’ and ‘Ti’, the precise details of which will be revealed in due course.

But what we do know is that the interior takes its cue from Alfa’s racing heritage.

A spokesman enthuses: 

“The driver’s seat has been tailored like fabric, with the diagonal tunnel, slightly undulating dashboards and instruments facing the driver. All the controls are at the driver’s fingertips and easily accessible, both the physical ones and the digital controls, accessed from the central display. As such, customers can enjoy an engaging driving experience free of distractions, where passion and safety coexist.”

You can expect, depending on which model you choose, dual-zone air conditioning, a sophisticated infotainment system, ventilated and heated front seats, an electric tailgate, wireless phone charging, ambient lighting and a 14-speaker sound system by Harman Kardon.

Some Tonales will also get a Semi-Automatic Parking system, which ‘indicates the space available to park in and completes the car's entry and exit manoeuvres itself’.

The Tonale will be available to order in April and we’ll bring you further details as an when they arrive.

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