While the all-new 2023 Dodge Hornet comes standard with all-wheel drive (AWD), its Alfa Romeo Tonale sibling does not. The Tonale was launched in Europe with a front-wheel drive (FWD) configuration with both gasoline and diesel offerings thus far. But that is about to change for the Italian C-SUV.
The past week, Alfa Romeo pulled the covers off of its plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the new Tonale equipped with Q4 AWD. As the first electrified Alfa Romeo model, the Tonale PHEV Q4 makes a step forward for the Italian marque which plans an all-electric brand starting in 2027.
The Tonale’s PHEV Q4 powertrain integrates two electric motors and a 15.5-kWh battery pack (4.1-kWh bigger than the Jeep Renegade and Compass 4xe), with a fuel-efficient 1.3-liter turbocharged gasoline engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. This architecture provides two cars in one – a battery-electric vehicle featuring an electric motor and a high-voltage lithium-ion battery pack on the rear axle and a conventional vehicle with an internal combustion engine (ICE) fitted on the front axle, creating AWD.
The PHEV Q4 system delivers a total output of 275 horsepower and makes the PHEV Q4 system the sportiest offering in its class-leading 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 km/h) acceleration in just 6.2 seconds. The PHEV Q4 system allows the Tonale to have an all-electric range of up to 50 miles (80 kilometers) in the city cycle and 37.2 miles (60 kilometers) when city and highway are combined.
A full-battery charge for the Tonale PHEV Q4 takes 2.5 hours when using the 7.4-kW fast charger.
Driving Dynamics –
Tonale stands as a benchmark in the segment in terms of driving dynamics. It ensures sports car-like impeccable dynamic behavior, proven by the best weight distribution and the most direct steering in its segment (13.6:1 ratio), and the fact it is the only model in its class to be equipped with the Integrated Brake System (IBS) and available fixed aluminum shift paddles. The adoption of fixed calipers by Brembo, with four pistons and self-ventilated discs at the front and full discs at the rear, contributes to improved braking performance. The Tonale opts for the fully independent MacPherson suspension system with Frequency Selective Damping (FSD) shock absorbers.
The available Dual Stage Valve active suspension features electronically controlled damping. In short, sitting behind the wheel of the new Tonale equates to an engaging driving experience that becomes an invitation to travel.
DNA Modes –
The advancement of electric drive modes in Tonale is managed by the exclusive Alfa DNA system that delivers optimized maneuvering and performance.
In particular, “Dynamic” mode has been designed to get the most out of the vehicle’s performance with a specific calibration of the throttle, management of the transmission, and stability controls which have been combined with more direct steering wheel response. “Natural” mode sets hybrid driving to all-wheel drive to optimize performance. Internal combustion engine and electric motor use is automatically managed and allows for energy and fuel savings without giving up on performance.
Finally, “Advance Efficiency” has been calibrated to obtain maximum energy efficiency in full-electric driving mode. It is the ideal driving mode for trips to city centers as it makes it possible to fully respect traffic and emission limitations. In particular, when one takes a foot off the throttle, the car continues driving in Sailing. Meanwhile, when one is going downhill, the new eCoasting Descent Control is activated to maintain a constant speed of 31 mph or 50 km/h (adjustable with a light touch of the throttle or brake).
EV Features –
The numerous “EV Features” on the Tonale PHEV Q4 guarantee an even more efficient and relaxing driving experience. Specifically, E-Save allows one to recharge or maintain the battery level when the internal combustion engine is on; the regenerative braking system allows one to recover energy during the phases of deceleration and braking, storing it in the battery pack; and finally, by activating E-Coasting, energy recovery takes place even when slowing down with one’s foot off the brake pedal.
The EV Features can be controlled by the driver through specific screens on the instrument panel.
The Tonale PHEV Q4 offers safe, comfortable, and enjoyable road behavior with best-in-class agility, lightness, and driving dynamics. Its exclusive technical solutions enhance the vehicle’s sportiness and guarantee the customer an immersive and singular driving experience in full respect of the Alfa Romeo tradition.
AWD Capability –
In particular, the Tonale PHEV Q4 offers all the safety of AWD, with the rear axle powered by an 90kW electric motor and the front axle powered by a 180 horsepower gas engine, guaranteeing maximum stability off-road and on roads with little grip.
Moreover, the advanced 4×4 hybrid system, which does not physically connect the two propulsion systems but rather coordinates them in a purely “virtual” way via the electronics, makes the Tonale PHEV Q4 even lighter and unmatched in its handling.
New Alfa Connect Features –
Four new functionalities make their debuts on the Tonale PHEV Q4 and further expand upon the Alfa Connect Services:
- E-control: it allows the customer to control various functionalities based on the EV features—like charging and the climate control system—at a distance directly from the My Alfa Connect App.
- Dynamic Range Mapping: it allows drivers to travel with peace of mind as it shows them the destination they can reach based on the battery charge both on the navigation system map and the My Alpha Connect app.
- Charging Station Finder: it allows the customer to see the nearest public charging stations both on the navigation system map and the My Alfa Connect app.
- My eCharge: it allows for the use of the My Alfa Connect app to directly access Free2Move eSolutions services to manage public and private charging. In fact, it is possible to locate public charging stations, check the charging methods, make payments, visualize the charge history, manage one’s own Wallbox to decide how much electricity to use, and even increase, decrease, suspend, and reactivate the charge.
NFT Technology –
The Tonale PHEV Q4 has further built upon an ecosystem of Alfa Romeo services to offer a completely innovative customer journey: from online purchasing to an NFT (Non-Fungible-Token) certificate on the blockchain. Introduced on the Tonale, NFT technology is a brand-new feature in the automotive world, and Alfa Romeo is the first manufacturer to connect an NFT digital certificate to a vehicle.
This distinctive off-board, ready-to-use, and sustainable feature highlight the brand’s innovation. Specifically, based on the customer’s selection, the NFT generates a certificate that guarantees the identity and good maintenance of the vehicle and thus supports its residual value. The NFT certificate provides a further source of credibility on the used market and is even more reliable on the Tonale PHEV Q4 as it contains even more information.
Launch Edition –
The Tonale PHEV Q4 is now available for ordering in Europe. Upon launch of the new AWD model is the SPECIALE launch edition. Based on the performance-oriented and sporty Veloce trim, adds 20-inch aluminum wheels, metal pedals, Red Brembo brake calipers, aluminum shift paddles, as well as Black “SPECIALE” badges on front fenders and Tonale script on the vehicle.
Later on, customers will be able to order the PHEV Q4 powertrain on both the Veloce and Ti trims.
2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV Q4 Image Gallery: