Alfa Romeo's Sexy New SUV Will Make You Want a Small Crossover

And it may have the world's first useful NFT.

2023 alfa romeo tonale veloce european spec

Alfa Romeo has been silent on the new model front since launching the Stelvio SUV in 2016. But the storied Italian brand has finally launched its follow-up vehicle, the Tonale. As expected, it's a tiny SUV. But Alfa Romeo believes it will kick start the "La Metamorfosi" transition that will see Alfa Romeo go all-electric by 2027.

2023 alfa romeo tonale european spec "trefoil" grille
2023 alfa romeo tonale european spec tail lights

The Tonale offers two powertrains with standard all-wheel drive. One of them is a plug-in hybrid. The PHEV Q4 AWD offers 272 hp combined from its 1.3-liter four-cylinder and electric motor, and Alfa Romeo says it will deliver more than 30 miles of EV range. That power unit will use a six-speed automatic. The other powertrain will be a Q4 AWD with a 2.o-liter four-cylinder putting out 256 hp and 295 lb-ft with a nine-speed automatic. There won't be a bonkers Quadrifoglio version, at least for now.

The Tonale may also have the world's first worthwhile application of a non-fungible token. The NFT that comes with the Tonale serves as a digital certificate for the car's purchase that evolves with the car's data and is non-modifiable. Given Alfa Romeo's spotty record for reliability, having objective documentation for all of the maintenance performed on the vehicle should ease matters for buyers and sellers.

How will buyers react to the Tonale? Beyond the niche buyers who like fancy Italian cars, we're not sure. Alfa Romeo's traditional appeals have been looks and engaging driving dynamics. The handsome Tonale at least seems to hit the first part of that equation. But we suspect a 1.3-liter PHEV won't tug at the heartstrings the way the Giulia Quadrifoglio's V6 does.

Alfa Romeo will launch the Tonale as a 2023 model year vehicle. The brand says it will arrive in dealers in the first quarter of 2023.


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