Alfa Romeo boss delays Tonale crossover, demanding 'better performance'

Better performance can mean a lot of things, but we hope it means it'll be a faster little plug-in hybrid.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt

The Tonale crossover is set to be the third Alfa Romeo model in the lineup in the US, but now it's being delayed.

Andrew Hoyle/Roadshow

Alfa Romeo doesn't have the most diverse product line right now, and by that, I mean it produces two models: the sedan and the SUV. What it needs right now is another model, perhaps a smaller, more affordable crossover like the Tonale concept that debuted back in 2019.

By all accounts, Alfa was on track to bring the Tonale out this year, but according to a report published Thursday by Automotive News, that isn't looking like it's going to happen anymore, and it's for kind of a compelling reason.

That reason is that it's not quite exciting enough. Specifically, Alfa boss Jean-Philippe Imparato has demanded that the company make the Tonale's plug-in hybrid powertrain perform better. Now, it's not clear precisely what that means -- more power or torque, or better economy or even a more exciting sound -- but what is clear is that it will delay the European launch of the Tonale until early 2022 and the US launch until late 2022.

That's a bummer, to be sure, but if the production version is half as handsome as the concept with its wafer-thin taillights and very coupe-like body shape, then it will have been worth it. 

Alfa Romeo didn't respond to our request for comment in time for publication.

Alfa Romeo Tonale concept is a tiny Italian SUV

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