The 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale has been officially unveiled yesterday as the brand's first model to offer a plug-in hybrid variant, but it turns out the automaker could also make a pure electric Tonale if it wanted to.
InsideEVs US attended a digital preview of the 2023 Tonale last week along with other North American media outlets, and we were especially on the lookout for statements regarding electrification during the Q&A session with Alfa Romeo executives and engineers.
When asked whether the Tonale could get an all-electric variant, Alfa Romeo product head Daniel Tiago Guzzafame said that would technically be possible—although that doesn't necessarily mean it will happen.
"The architecture could technically support a pure electric version but that has not been decided yet."
He also revealed during the event that the Tonale is not built on an all-new platform, but the FCA Small Wide (SUSW) architecture that also underpins the Jeep Renegade and Compass SUVs—which also received 4xe plug-in hybrid powertrains in 2020.
However, Guzzafame pointed out that highly significant changes were made to the platform for the Tonale, including all-new suspension, steering and electronic architecture. Furthermore, the Tonale PHEV's 15.5 kWh lithium-ion battery is exclusive to the brand and "specifically developed to enhance the Alfa Romeo spirit."
First Alfa Romeo BEV arriving in 2024, first standalone BEV in 2025
Speaking of battery electric vehicles, Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato confirmed that the brand's first EV model would launch in 2024 and would offer a hybrid variant as well. Alfa Romeo plans to launch its first dedicated EV a year after that.
"The first full-electric car will come in 2025, and from 2027 Alfa Romeo will only sell fully electric cars."
With Alfa Romeo going all-electric from 2027, it means the Tonale will be discontinued by then—unless an all-electric variant of the compact SUV gets the green light in the meantime.
While the CEO said he could not answer InsideEVs' question on US pricing for the Tonale, he did note that it would be "affordable for what it offers." He provided another hint when he said the Tonale would have premium positioning and would not be far from BMW in terms of pricing.
Tonale pricing and a possible Quadrifoglio high-performance model
Our colleagues from Motor1.com learned from an unnamed source within Alfa Romeo that the Tonale would have a starting price in the high $30,000 range in the US, with the most expensive variants to be in the low $50,000 range.
The sub-$40,000 starting price will make the Tonale comparable with other European competitors such as the BMW X1 and Audi Q3.
Mind you, it’s worth noting that the base 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale Sprint will only come with the 256-hp 2.0-liter gasoline engine. The mid-range Tonale Ti trim level will offer the choice of ICE or PHEV, while the range-topping Tonale Veloce will only be available as a plug-in hybrid. This probably means the plug-in Tonale will start in the mid-$40,000 range.
Obviously, there were many questions on whether Alfa Romeo plans a high-performance Quadrifoglio variant of the Tonale, but company officials were quite evasive on this topic.
"Each and every model can have a Quadrifoglio version, but only if the balance between price and performance makes it possible."
Jean-Philippe Imparato, Alfa Romeo CEO
Product chief Guzzafame added that the launch of Quadrifoglio variants depends on the potential an Alfa Romeo vehicle has in a specific market segment. Nevertheless, he did suggest that future Quadrifoglio models would use electric motors rather than combustion engines.
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