Alfa Romeo Australia now intends to launch its first plug-in hybrid in late 2023, with the high-performance Tonale PHEV locked in.
This is a change from the Italian brand, which earlier this year said it had only managed to lock in mild-hybrid versions of the Tonale.
The all-wheel drive PHEV is called Tonale Q, and is billed as the performance variant of the range, not merely the most fuel-efficient.
The system pairs a 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine hooked up to the front wheels only, and an electric motor powering the rear axle, with system power of 205kW and a claimed zero to 100km/h time of 6.2 seconds.
Its battery is 15.5kWh, offering a claimed combined cycle EV driving range of 60km before using a drop of petrol. A 7.4kW AC home wallbox is designed to charge it up in about 2.5 hours, Alfa Romeo adds.
“We are very excited to see Alfa Romeo move towards electrification,” said Alfa Romeo Australia managing director Kevin Flynn.
The Tonale PHEV will arrive 8-10 months after the Tonale Hybrid, which Alfa Romeo said today would arrive in Australia in February 2023 priced between $49,900 and $56,400 before on-road costs.
The Tonale Hybrid uses a 1.5-litre engine coupled to a seven-speed DCT, a 15kW motor, and a 48V and 0.8kWh battery, with system outputs of 118kW and 240Nm.
Alfa Romeo claims the Tonale Hybrid can use as little as 5.6L/100km.
The Tonale’s role will be to serve as a new entry point to the range, which also comprises the Giulia and Stelvio. It’s the starting point for Alfa’s latest five-year plan, which will see the company launch a new model every year to 2026.
It’s built at a refurbished Stellantis plant in Naples.
Dimensionally, the Tonale is 4528mm long, 1841mm wide and 1601mm tall. That makes it 159mm shorter, 62mm narrower, and 47mm lower than the Stelvio.
Rather than using a Stellantis EMP group platform, the Tonale rides on a still-active Fiat Chrysler C-SUV platform – believed to be shared with the Jeep Compass, but with suspension and steering better suited to sporty driving than soft-roading, and a completely new electrical architecture.
Alfa Romeo claims the Tonale has the most direct steering ratio in the class, comes with Brembo braking, available multi-stage dampers, targeted automatic wheel braking in corners, and MacPherson strut suspension front and rear.