10 giugno 2022
by Manuela D’Alessandro

Alfa Tonale, the hybrid that roars

Alfa Tonale
Alfa Tonale

“History” and “engine”. The new Tonale, the first model with a Hybrid engine for an Italian manufacturer that began in 1910, has to navigate a decisive bend to enter the 'New World' without losing an inch of the crazy love of the Alfa enthusiasts. And it is a dizzying limbo, as dizzying as the bends in the roads overlooking the sweetness of morning on Lake Como, where Alfa fans and professionals have come to witness its first time on the road. The road drive comes after the presentation of the SUV in the Tempio Voltiano, which celebrates the spark of the inventor of the battery (Alessandro Volta), the first generator of dynamic electricity, and which for the first time in almost a hundred years opened its doors to the press, also welcoming the CEO of Stellantis, Carlos Tavares. 

“History” and “engine” are the words heard multiple times in the neoclassical building, because everyone knows that the Alfisti, scattered throughout a world galaxy of clubs, are afraid of losing the thrill of the roar. Francesco Paolon, who represents the Biella club, explains with a romantic analogy, “It is very hard to adapt to the idea that the ‘lung’ that strikes the heart is missing. We are used to the old powerful rumble of historic Alfas. In our group of around a hundred, everyone has this nostalgia.” However, he concedes, “Aesthetically, it is a very nice car; it’s high tech, with all the accessories. And we are curious to try it soon, on the road.” “Alfa Romeo enters the era of electrification while remaining one hundred percent faithful to its DNA of Italian sports car,” is the reassurance. “The performance is outstanding: it goes from 0-100 km/h in 8.8 seconds and the maximum speed is 210 km/h. Its behavior on the road is 'typically' Alfa Romeo: safe, comfortable and fun.” 

Alfa Romeo Tonale

The other record of the Tonale is that it is the most technological Alfa ever. Daniel Tiago Guzzafame, head of Alfa Romeo Product: “It is manufactured at our Pomigliano site, in the factory where the brand’s top models were produced from 1972 to 2011, and the technology is also Italian, developed by our companies. Tonale has an ‘Italian’ NFT (Non-Fungible Token) digital certificate based on the blockchain concept. A classified and non-modifiable register on which the main information on the individual car is recorded. It is the first time that a car manufacturer has used a certificate of this kind.”  The “headlights designed and produced together with Marelli and the Brembo brakes, which are unique on the market” are also Italian, says Guzzafame. Alcantara, which designs the interior, is a Carbon Neutral company, also Italian, with a net zero balance of CO2 emissions.

Alfa Romeo enters the era of electrification while remaining one hundred percent faithful to its DNA of Italian sports car.

At the FCA Bank, “Tonale is available from EUR 249 per month” in its four versions: Super, Sprint, Ti and Veloce. Carlos Tavares, the CEO of Stellantis, was the special guest in Como: “Alfa Romeo is in profit and aims to increase profitability, which has already reached the level of premium brands. In twelve months, the business model has been improved, cleaned up and made more rigorous, and this shows that operations could be improved and there is still room to do so. Alfa Romeo is proof that we can combine passion, emotion and rigor and have a profitable business.”

The market? What a question: global! “We aim to be everywhere: in Europe, Asia, America and even China to support the sales and storytelling of our brand. To bring the value of the Made in Italy label to Chinese customers, the Tonale manufactured in Pomigliano will be exported to that market.” The most difficult to win over will be the Biscione-lovers at home in Italy. 

In Varese, there is an association called 'Amici Alfisti Biuke'. It was founded by Luciano and Daniela, the parents of Luca, known to everyone as 'Biuke', who died prematurely in 2011. “We created it to carry on his passion, says his dad, who as a policeman drove Alfas for 22 years. “Members, about seventy of them, have to have a vintage car to join. Our meetings are an opportunity for friendship and for cultural discovery of the cities we travel to.” Luciano is not a fan of the hybrid version: “Engines were created with internal combustion and must be with internal combustion. I love Alfas designed by a human hand, not by a computer.” But he too says he will give it a try. That too is amore.      

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