Initially, the Alfa Romeo Tonale was slated to offer a variety of engine options in America. But now, Automotive News Europe reports that the automaker’s CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato said Alfa changed its mind. Now the Tonale plug-in hybrid will be the only version it sells here.
An Alfa Romeo spokesperson reportedly said the decision was motivated by the need to reduce emissions in California and other CARB-aligned states. California introduced its proposed Advanced Clean Cars II Regulations in August of this year, which are still awaiting an official sign-off. Under the new regulations, automakers’ share of non-CO2-emitting vehicles will have to increase to 35 percent by 2026 and 100 percent by 2035.
As Imparato put it, the Tonale PHEV “is not just another powertrain; it’s an existential need.”
The Tonale with the now-canceled 2.0-liter turbo engine would have made 256 hp and had all-wheel drive, which probably would have made it a fun little crossover. But, the PHEV will make even more power, producing a total of 275 hp from a 177 hp turbocharged inline-three and a 122-hp electric motor.
That said, if you still want a Tonale that’s not a hybrid, Dodge will still be happy to sell you a new Hornet. It’s so closely related to the Tonale, the decision to sell it reportedly upset Alfa Romeo. And while you can definitely see a few differences, the two look so similar, we kind of understand why. Then again, it’s hard to imagine there’s going to be much overlap between prospective Dodge and Alfa Romeo buyers.
Alfa started taking orders for the plug-in hybrid Tonale this week, first arriving in Europe in the first quarter of next year. U.S.-spec Tonales will arrive a few weeks later.