The Tonale crossover literally can’t come soon enough for Alfa Romeo. The Italian brand is struggling to meet expectations when it comes to the larger Giulia and Stelvio models, and the Tonale is seen as a savior. Unfortunately, its launch will be delayed, according to a new report.
The sub-Stelvio SUV was previewed with a concept about two years ago and it was expected to arrive in Alfa showrooms in Europe in November of this year. It looks like it won’t, because Automotive news reports that the company’s new CEO, Jean-Philippe Imparato, wants the model’s PHEV system to perform better.
Imparato took the helm of Alfa following the merger between FCA and PSA and reportedly saw Tonale for the first time in January. According to “a source familiar with the matter”, he demanded better performance from the vehicle’s plug-in hybrid powertrain, which will entail some modifications. Separate supplier sources said the changes would delay the launch of Tonale by about three months.
The new Alfa crossover will be based on the existing Jeep Compass platform. The refurbished version of this model received a plug-in hybrid powertrain, available in two versions – with 190 horsepower (142 kilowatts) and 240 horsepower (179 kW). The system uses a 1.3-liter turbo engine supported by a 60 hp (45 kW) electric motor on the rear axle. Electric range is rated at 49 kilometers on a single 11.4 kilowatt-hour battery charge.
Having been at the head of Peugeot before moving to Alfa, Imparato knows that a compact SUV can offer even better performance. The French brand’s 3008 PHEV combines a larger 1.6-liter engine and two electric motors for a combined output of 300 hp (224 kW). The SUV also has a slightly larger battery of 13.2 kWh for 59 km in electric mode.