When Alfa Romeo announced its new Plug-in Hybrid version of the Tonale, many motoring journalists were sceptical. The Tonale had been pitched as a family SUV, but didn’t quite match up to the competition, in spite of its enviable handling.
The new Tonale offers an impressive range of specs, with all-wheel drive, ultra-low emissions, fantastic fuel economy and 276bhp.
Demand for the vehicle has surprised many, to the extent that Alfa have reportedly decided to up production at its factory in Pomigliano.
As part of the move by Alfa’s parent company, Stellantis, production of the Fiat Panda is being cut. Also benefitting from the move is the Dodge Hornet, which amounts to a rebranded version of the Tonale.
What is Alfa Romeo?
Alfa Romeo tends to be a brand beloved by a small, dedicated fanbase, thanks largely to its success in the world of motorsport. The company was founded in 1910, under the name A.L.F.A. (an acronym standing for: Anomima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili).
The company’s early offerings, including the 24hp, were enough to turn heads – but it wasn’t until the involvement of a certain Enzo Ferrari became involved as chief designer that the company’s success became truly supercharged. A few years later, Alfa Romeo managed to win the first two F1 seasons in the early 50s.
Today, the company is transitioning toward an entirely electric fleet – much like the motoring industry more broadly. The Tonale represents a vital part of that transition.
What is the Tonale?
So, what is it that makes the Tonale so desirable?
To start with, it’s earned a full five-star safety rating from the Euro NCAP centre. This brings it into parity with its rivals in this category. There’s adaptive cruise control that’s capable of reading road signs and slowing down accordingly, as well as lane assist and a host of other automated driving assistance technologies.
You might expect the range of the electric motor to be slightly ahead of the pack, while a full charge from flat requires around two and a half hours using a standard charger. Since it’s never a good idea to let the battery run completely flat, you might see this as an absolute theoretical maximum.
A look at the demand
The total output of the Pomigliano factory increased by around a third in 2022, bringing it to around 165,000 vehicles. Of these, around 20,000 were Tonales. We might roughly estimate an increase in production of around four-hundred units per day.
If you’re thinking about picking up a new Alfa, it’s worth taking out dedicated Alfa Romeo GAP insurance. This will ensure that you won’t fall into negative equity if you should write the car off.