New 2020 Alfa Romeo Tonale images leak online

Images of the new Alfa Romeo Tonale compact SUV leak on Italian car forum ahead of its on-sale date in 2020

Images of what appear to be a production version of the Alfa Romeo Tonale have leaked online – and the good news is that the SUV due to go on sale in 2020 remains faithful to the styling of the original concept.

The three images, leaked first on an Italian car forum and then on Instagram, give us our clearest look yet at both the front and rear of the car. While one or two inevitable changes have occured, much of the design remains faithful to the show car that made its debut at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.

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Some details have inevitably toned down for the production car though: the alloy wheels appear to have shrunk slightly, the door mirrors are more conventional and the head and tail lights aren’t quite as delicate as those of the show car.

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Many other trademark Alfa Romeo details will feature on the Tonale, most notably the shield grile, the offset front number plate, and the rear door handles that are concealed into the car’s C pillar.

The Tonale is a compact SUV which should sit below the brand’s existing model, the Stelvio. Underneath, the Tonale should be based on the same platform as the Jeep Renegade, albeit with a range of chassis revisions, such as new suspension, upgraded brakes and a new plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Tonale will be Alfa Romeo’s first PHEV, debuting the technology ahead of its appearance on the Giulia saloon and Stelvio SUV.

Alfa Romeo is yet to reveal an official statement on the Tonale’s engines and specs but, speaking from the Geneva Motor Show, Alfa’s European boss Roberta Zerbi told us: “Clearly we are working on the plug-in technology for the range. Tonale will be the first.”

We expect the Tonale’s drivetrains will be pulled from elsewhere within the FCA Group, with likely options including the latest Firefly petrol engines from the mechanically similar Fiat 500X. Given how sharp the Stelvio is, the Tonale will probably be one of the better models to drive in its class.

The Tonale will be fitted with Alfa Romeo’s D.N.A. drive mode selector, updated to suit the car’s hybrid powertrain. ‘Dynamic’ mode becomes ‘Dual Power’ mode, which forces the petrol engine and electric motor to deliver maximum performance. ‘Natural’ mode maintains a compromise between efficiency and outright power, while ‘Advanced Efficiency’ mode will morph into ‘Advanced E’ mode, allowing all-electric running.

When it does go on sale, the Alfa Tonale will enter an exceedingly crowded SUV market at the very closely-fought small SUV end. The newcomer’s size pitches it alongside cars such as the BMW X2, Volkswagen T-Roc and Audi Q3, as well as being a premium alternative to more mainstream models such as the SEAT Ateca and Nissan Qashqai.

Why is it called Tonale?

The ‘Tonale’ moniker (pronounced ‘To-na-le’) follows on from Alfa Romeo’s ‘Stelvio’ nameplate, being also borrowed from a mountain pass in the Alps. At 1,883m the Tonale pass in Northern Italy is lower than the famous Stelvio; a suitable fit for Alfa’s more diminutive SUV model. The mountain pass is also a popular route to ski resorts in the region, further emphasising the car’s lifestyle aspirations.

Now read our review of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…

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