Okay, so it ended up not being just a re-badged Jeep Renegade as some Geneva Motor Show pictures seemed to imply. That’s a good thing. Equally good is that the Alfa Romeo Tonale Concept, which previews the storied Italian brand’s first compact crossover, ended up looking pretty solid.
Even more interestingly, this concept is said to be a plug-in hybrid, although Alfa Romeo is totally mum on any technical specs or what sort of engine said hybrid powertrain would even be mated to. It is said to have a full electric performance mode, though. But as far as concepts go, it definitely seems far along.
The car is named for the Tonale Pass, which is near the Stelvio Pass in the Alps, and as you know that latter name does duty on Alfa’s current existing (and bigger) SUV. It does unfortunately sound like “Toenail” in English, which is gross, but it’s said to have plenty of design cues that hark back to older Alfas. Via a press release:
The front end sports Alfa Romeo’s signature “Trilobo” and the distinctive “Scudetto” grille that serves as the central point of strength, driving the speed and fluidity that moves throughout the Tonale. Flanking the iconic “Scudetto” and completing the front monographic is the “3 plus 3" forward lighting that evokes the proud gaze reflective of the SZ and Brera.
It does look a bit like the 1990s Brera, come to think of it, and I always liked that design.
I’ve been of the opinion lately that as long as crossovers are taking over the world they may as well be fun to drive in their own way. If the Tonale drives as good as it looks when it comes to production—and odds are it probably will—I won’t have much to complain about.