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Alfa Romeo Tonale confirmed as a plug-in hybrid, but will space-age interior be tamed?

The Alfa Romeo Tonale Concept in red, on an angle
The Tonale Concept gives us an idea of what the final Tonale will look like. (Image credit: Alfa Romeo)

After months of rumors and speculation, we finally have confirmation that Alfa Romeo's upcoming Tonale crossover will leave the automaker's Italian factory with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. 

Alfa Romeo's CEO publicly verified the vehicle in a recent meeting between senior management and company suppliers.

Alfa debuted the Tonale concept vehicle at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show and immediately drew attention for its futuristic and dramatic style. 

Spy photos of pre-production models obtained by Motor1 have shown a strikingly similar shape to that of the concept vehicle, but the interior remains a mystery. The concept's cockpit is over-the-top and will likely be tamed down a bit before the Tonale is ready for showtime.

Vehicle launches have been delayed several times over the past year for various reasons, ranging from a global pandemic to an ongoing microchip shortage, but Alfa delayed the Tonale for a different purpose.

The strikingly futuristic interior dash and steering wheel of the Alfa Romeo Tonale Concept

The Tonale Concept's interior is striking, but may be paired down for the production car (Image credit: Alfa Romeo)

More power required

Recently installed CEO Jean-Phillipe Imparato pushed for better performance from the crossover's PHEV powertrain, which extended its development and testing timeline.

When it is eventually released, the Tonale will slot into the Alfa Romeo catalog beneath the larger and more expensive Stelvio crossover. 

The automaker's lineup is otherwise tiny, at least in the United States, with only the Giulia on offer. There is no word on Alfa's plans for future models and whether or not it will offer a plug-in option for its other vehicles.

The Tonale is Alfa's first PHEV and comes as the brand's corporate parent advertises its overall plans for electrification in the coming years. 

Earlier this month, parent company Stellantis announced that all 14 of its brands would offer BEVs or PHEVs in the coming years and notes that it is targeting over 70 percent of its sales in Europe and over 40 percent in the United States for low-emission vehicles by 2030.

Via Motor1

Chris Teague

After working in the technology and software industry for several years, Chris began writing as a way to help people outside of that world understand the sometimes very technical work that goes on behind the scenes. With a lifelong love of all things automotive, Chris turned his attention to writing new vehicle reviews, detailing industry trends, and breaking news. Along the way, he earned an MBA with a focus on data analysis that has helped him gain a strong understanding of why the auto industry’s biggest companies make the decisions they do.