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Design Exhibition: Alfa Romeo Tonale

Alfa Romeo is a brand with a rich history but while it has produced many premium exotics like the 33 Stradale and 8C Competizione, its bread and butter products are easy sedans and hatchbacks. more accessible like Alfasud and MiTo.

The new one Alfa Romeo Tonale represents the Italian brand’s second foray into the booming SUV market, and is a smaller, more affordable affair than its larger, Porsche Macan-rivalling siblings, Stelvio.

Launching in Australia in the first half of 2023, Tonale is aimed squarely at key competitors including BMW X1, Audi Q2, Lexus UX, Volvo XC40 and other compact premium SUVs.

Front and rear design

Since the post-World War II 6C 2500, almost all Alfa Romeos have been distinguished by the iconic scudetto-shaped or triangular grille.

The Tonale is no different, with the scudetto in this interpretation lying slightly proud of the air intakes below.

The LED signatures also have a link to the past, with the Tonale featuring what Alfa Romeo calls ‘3 + 3’ headlights. Creating a three-eyed look on each side, these LEDs are inspired by the three square headlights used on SZ and RZ sports cars in the early 1990s.

Their focused, almost glaring look also bears a striking resemblance to the iconic Alfa Romeo Montreal of the 1970s, with the headlights located beneath a wooden visor, while this motif has also been used. used on more contemporary Alfas such as the 159 and Brera.

Like the front end, Alfa Romeo claims the Tonale’s tail is also inspired by past models. As for the shape of the rearview mirror, the Italian brand claims the lower contours with their subtle curves taken from the 8C Competizione supercar.

When drawn gently to a point just below the position of the rear windshield wipers, the more direct effect may also be on the glass like the Brera hatch’s fender, although Tonale uses a less severe taper. much more important.

Light bars are increasingly becoming a unifying design theme in today’s passenger cars, and with many attempts to create a simple, unbroken light strip on the rear doors, Alfa Romeo has revealed the own choice for Tonale.

Completing the design themes placed at the front of the car, the Tonale’s rear end features what it calls a three ‘sine wave’ design, which evokes the image of a heartbeat and captures the eye of the driver. viewers from the sides of the car to the central Alfa Romeo badging and the Tonale emblem. Like other light bars, this one also acts as an optical illusion to visually expand the vehicle.

Side profile

There are two prominent features that are said to be inside the side profile of the Tonale that Alfa Romeo used to distinguish the car as Alfa Romeo and emphasize its sporty appearance.

The first of these is the availability of classic dial wheels, as has been found on countless other Alfas, and the obvious identification to passersby of the car’s provenance.

Made famous by models such as the 33 Stradale mentioned above, the size of the ‘holes’ in this wheel design has gradually increased to suit modern styling tastes, as well as the need for better ventilation and reduced weight, and Tonale followed other modern. Alfa Romeos in adopting a ‘five-hole’ variation of the design.

The second is the presence of what Alfa Romeo calls the ‘GT-line’. This is a long body line, extending from above the headlights, uninterrupted through the doors and three-quarters of the rear of the vehicle. The brand claims that this line gives ‘definition to the bodywork and its lines, while conveying sensuality and sportiness on the bodywork.’

In fact, the GT series aims to provide a sense of power and help break an otherwise flat profile, while keeping in mind a design trait used on various GT cars (including the exterior stable Alfa Romeo, such as the latest line superformed Bentley Continental GT and Aston Martin DB11) to visually lengthen the vehicle.


With Giulia and Stelvio, Alfa Romeo has managed to revive the sporty heart of the brand. Both cars have a driver-focused interior, with features like an infotainment screen that integrates into the dashboard and curves toward the driver and a deep-design instrument cluster with traditional analog gauges. system.

They also feature a slim-rimmed steering wheel with a Ferrari-style start/stop button mounted directly on the wheel and large metal shift paddles fixed to the steering column.

Tonale tries to balance this approach with the fact that it is a compact, premium SUV that must also be practical and comfortable for other cabin occupants, while offering modern technology to match. with competitors in the fiercely competitive segment.

As such, Tonale continues to offer a slim-rimmed steering wheel with fixed gearshift paddles similar in design to its older Giulia and Stelvio siblings. However, while remaining recessed, the analog gauges have been replaced by a digital instrument cluster, bearing a heritage theme inspired by the instrument cluster of classic Alfa Romeos.

Meanwhile, the infotainment system has been upgraded to the latest generation of Uconnect 5 and equipped with technologies such as over-the-air software updates. The touchscreen is equally accessible to the driver and front passenger.

Dodge Hornets

While Stellantis often uses significant visual differences between vehicles on the same platform, Dodge Hornets like an old-fashioned uprising.

Developed for North America, the Tonale-based Hornet features revised front and rear styling, with a version of Dodge’s “mail slot” grille, vented bonnet and slim LED headlights at the front and full-length lights at the rear.

In a first for Dodge, the light bar features an illuminated version of the brand’s Rhombi logo in the center.

Inside, the cabin differs only in the shape of the air intakes, some small switches and graphics for the digital instrument cluster and infotainment system.

With a base price in the US expected to be thousands of units lower than the Tonale, the Hornet could diminish Tonale’s premium position – not ideal as Alfa Romeo tries to strengthen its presence in the market. American school.

A source inside Stellantis told American outlet CD driver The Italian marque is unhappy with Dodge, saying the Tonale started as an Alfa Romeo project but Dodge joined later to increase the average fuel economy of its fleet.

“Dodge took advantage of [Tonale] to create a compliant car — their Aston Martin Cygnet moment, if you will. Suffice it to say that internal politics won the day, and Dodge needed to increase their CAFE count, so Hornet was born. ‘ said the source.

THAN: Everything Alfa Romeo Tonale

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