Screens have become an integral part of almost every modern-day vehicle but Alfa Romeo doesn’t want them to dominate its vehicles’ interiors.

    In an interview with French broadcaster BFM Business, Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Phillipe Imparato rejected the idea of screen-dependent interiors.

    Imparato said that he believes future Alfa Romeos should continue to be driver-centric with “as few screens as possible”.

    “I don’t sell an iPad with a car around it, I sell an Alfa Romeo,” he added.

    If could work in Alfa Romeo’s favour should the current semiconductor shortage continue or rear its ugly head again in the future.

    With fewer screens in the vehicles, this means fewer semiconductors required in the manufacturing process. It could also spell shorter waiting times for future models in the event of a chip shortage.

    Many manufacturers, including Mercedes-Benz and Tesla, offer vehicles with enormous central touchscreen infotainment systems that can be used to control almost every function of the vehicle.

    For example, the MBUX Hyperscreen in the Mercedes-Benz EQS stretches from A-pillar to A-pillar and measures 141cm wide. It comprises a digital instrument cluster, a central touchscreen, and a display for the passenger.

    Other companies like Porsche have also introduced separate displays for front-seat passengers, in addition to standard central touchscreens and digital instrument clusters.

    While Alfa Romeo is eschewing this trend towards more screens, it’s following the industry trend towards electric propulsion.

    Like many other automakers, Alfa Romeo has announced it’s transitioning to an all-electric line-up. This will happen by 2027.

    Despite this, Imparato says he wants the vehicles to convey emotions even without the aural pleasure that comes from the sound of an internal-combustion engine.

    Before it switches to being an EV-only brand, Alfa Romeo will introduce the Tonale small SUV that’ll offer a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

    It’s based on FCA’s Small Wide platform used in the Jeep Renegade and Compass.

    Both Jeep models feature a plug-in hybrid powertrain in other markets that uses a 1.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder driving the front wheels via a six-speed automatic, and a 45kW/250Nm electric motor on the rear axle.

    Depending on the trim level, the 270Nm 1.3-litre engine is tuned to deliver either 97kW or 134kW.

    The Tonale has been floating around since 2019 when it was revealed in concept form.

    It was originally set to be revealed in 2021, but this has now been pushed back until early 2022.

    In recent spy photos, the Tonale prototype was seen with an analogue gauge cluster, which could be reflective of the production model.

    Current Alfa Romeo vehicles, such as the Stelvio and Giulia, have analogue gauges with a central information display.

    MORE: Alfa Romeo going electric-only in 2027

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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