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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.

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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 Giulia sedan and the Stelvio 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.

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