From sporty heart to efficient sportiness. This is the path that Alfa Romeo begins with the Tonale Plug-in Hybrid Q4, which will go down in history as the first Alfa Romeo car with a plug. The Milanese brand is about to make a real revolution “from zero to zero”, that is, it is about to move from the current range without electric models to a completely zero-emission one and in just five years. Farewell to heat engines in favor of electron ones is expected for 2027, with a speed unknown to any other manufacturer, also due to an offer that now has only three models, two of which (Giulia and Stelvio) are heading towards retirement. A speed that is inversely proportional to that needed to create and take a compact crossover on the road, bearing in mind that Alfa Romeo was the first European brand to think of one. It was 2003 and the Kamal was presented at the Geneva Motor Show, a rather sporty SUV with a breathtaking line based on the architecture of the 147.
A book could be written on why it never became a mass-produced product, but given the futility of regrets, we focus on the present which is called Tonale Q4. Its plug-in hybrid system derives from that fitted to the Jeep Compass and Renegade, but has been modified to have a larger battery and a more powerful engine, so that now the overall output is 280 HP. Having performance in line with Alfa Romeo’s history has been one of Jean-Philippe Imparato’s priorities since the first day he took over the reins of the brand. , tank, software and mass distribution. I had never seen such a performance” said Imparato, then dwelling on its importance in terms of business “The Tonale Q4 allows us to lower the emissions of the range by 40% and to be more attractive to fleets, which will represent 50% of the sales mix. La Tonale can close the year with 30-35,000” orders.
As we approach the Tonale Q4, we appreciate the dark green and electric blue hues, a nice touch of color in a world of gray cars. Even the first impact with the passenger compartment is good: the ergonomics of the seat are almost perfect, there is plenty of space on board even for those sitting behind and the architecture of the bridge is the right mix between modernity and tradition. The instrumentation reinterprets the shape of the historic telescopes, but unites and fills them with a single 12.3-inch digital display. At the center of the console, on the other hand, there is the horizontal touchscreen (10.25”) which integrates all the infotainment functions, while the buttons for managing the climate control are located just below. Further down is the knob on the Alfa DNA with the button for adjusting the trim independently of the three driving modes. These, in addition to changing the character of the car, also modify the behavior of the hybrid system. If in “Natural” both engines are used to consume less, in “Advanced Efficiency” the use of electricity is favored and in “Dynamic”, the powertrain gives its maximum.
The total performance is the combination of the 180 HP of the 1.3 4-cylinder turbo petrol engine and the 120 HP of the electric engine, which however deactivates at 180 km/h. For this reason, the top speed is “only” 206 km/h – in any case in line with that of the competitors – while acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (6.2 seconds) is worthy of a true sports car. In full electric mode, on the other hand, 135 km/h are reached and the range in the combined cycle is 69 km which becomes 80 in the urban one, thanks to the 15.5 kWh battery. It takes less than two and a half hours to recharge, thanks to the 7.4 kW on-board charger. Finally, speaking of driving, the Tonale Q4 offers the sensations of a true Alfa Romeo, thanks to a well-calibrated steering and set-up composed and supported at the right point. When the asphalt is slippery, the action of the four-wheel drive can also be felt, which, being without a transmission shaft, is even more reactive when activated.
Alfa Romeo Tonale Plug-in Hybrid Q4, the card
What is that: the plug-in hybrid version of the Alfa Romeo medium crossover, which fits into the C-SUV segment
Dimensions: length 4.53 meters, width 1.84 m height 1.60 m, wheelbase 2.64 m
Trunk: 385 litres
Motor: plug-in hybrid, 1.3 turbo petrol + 2 electric motors power 280 HP, torque 270 Nm (heat only)
Exchange: automatic, with torque converter, 6-speed
Traction: integral without drive shaft
Please: driving pleasure, style, on-board technology, comfort
Defects: dashboard upper plastic, small trunk
Production: Pomigliano d’Arco, Italy
Prices: the price list of the Tonale Q4 starts at 51,600 euros for the Special trim level