Alfa Romeo CEO Delays Tonale SUV Because It Does Nothing Well

The long-awaited Alfa Romeo Tonale has been delayed until 2022. The reason is new CEO Jean-Phillippe Imparato is highly unimpressed. He’s demanding a number of improvements to bring it up at least to the specs of the lesser Peugeot 3008 plug-in hybrid. For all of its development time, it looks like the Alfa Romeo Tonale does nothing well. 

Imparato only took over Alfa in January. The new Stellantis group is on record as wanting to infuse Alfa with better vehicles and the marketing to elevate the brand. In January Stellantis Carlos Tavares said it recognizes ‘the high value for Stellantis of both the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands.” Alfa has been doing poorly. There was talk that after the Stellantis merger it might be on the chopping block. So, for fans of the marque, this was welcome news. 

How bad is the Alfa Romeo Tonale?

2022 Alfa Romeo Tonale crossover in red in dark background
2022 Alfa Romeo Tonale crossover | Stellantis

But now Alfa needs to have products that live up to its rich heritage. The US will get the Tonale. This delay means it probably won’t reach our shores until the latter part of 2022. Stellantis says that the Tonale will be “the first milestone in Alfa Romeo’s future.” In a statement to Reuters, it said, “We want to be on the market with the most updated electrified offer, leveraging on the Stellantis technology and know-how. Our teams in Pomigliano are strongly working to update the production line.” Pomigliano is where the Tonale will be assembled, outside of Naples. 

Based on the Jeep Compass platform, the Tonale is to be a plug-in hybrid. The powertrain is a 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a 60 hp electric motor. It gets power from an 11.4 kWh battery. Both a 190 hp and 240 hp version will be available. But Peugeot’s 3008 has a larger engine, more horsepower, and better range. 

The lesser Peugeot 3008 has much better specs

2022 Alfa Romeo Tonale crossover rear 3/4 view
2022 Alfa Romeo Tonale crossover | Stellantis

The Alfa Romeo Tonale Is the Automaker’s First Attempt at a Hybrid

The 3008 has a 1.6-liter engine pushed by an 81 kW motor on the front axle and an 83 kW motor in the back. The combined power is 300 hp. The range of battery power alone is 37 miles. To top off the comparison the 3008 has lower CO2 emissions. It comes in at 29 grams per km to 41 g/km, while the Compass emissions are 44 g/km to 47 g/km. 

The Tonale is coming at a good time. The compact crossover segment is hot right now. And it can’t come soon enough for Alfa Romeo dealers because the brand has only two models currently available. Plus, the Stelvio and Giulia sedan are the sole offerings. They have seen reduced sales in both Europe and the US. Also, the Tonale is the first all-new Alfa since the Stelvio appeared in 2016. So this has been quite a dry spell for Alfa dealers.