Italian auto manufacturer Alfa Romeo are known for producing exciting, affordable and very attractive Italian sportscars. Those of us that aren’t fortunate enough to get our hands on a Ferrari or Lamborghini, usually turn to Alfa Romeo and the Italian manufacturer usually has a model in their range to suit everyone’s wants and needs. Over the years, we have seen Alfa Romeo produce drop-top sportscars, performance oriented coupe’s and sporty saloons/sport wagon’s, but this much loved Italian manufacturer had never produced an off-roader or an SUV. However, that all changed when Alfa Romeo pulled the covers off of their very first SUV, the Stelvio at the Los Angeles Auto Show back in 2016.
Naturally when I heard that Alfa Romeo were developing an SUV, I thought the worst but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is a trendy and very good looking front-engined, four-wheel drive, luxurious SUV and if I were in the market for a vehicle in this segment, the Stelvio would be my first choice. Of course, I wouldn’t just opt for any ‘normal’ Stelvio though, because the one I’d go for is the high performance, fire breathing Stelvio Quadrifoglio (QF) version and who could blame me?
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is the range topping model in the Stelvio line-up and it comes standard with a Ferrari derived 2.9 litre, twin-turbocharged V6 engine which has an overall power output of 505 hp (375 kW) and 600 Nm of torque. As a result of it’s fire breathing V6 engine, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio can sprint from 0 – 62mph in just 3.8 seconds and it will keep on accelerating until it reaches an impressive top speed of 176 mph. In fact, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is so good it claimed the title of ‘Worlds Fastest Production SUV’ when it lapped the legendary Nurburgring Nordschleife in a very impressive time of 7 minutes, 51.7 seconds.
So then, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio is quite an impressive vehicle especially in QF guise, but what if you want something that sports the Alfa Romeo badge but is a little smaller than the Stelvio? Well there might just be a such a vehicle, although Alfa Romeo have not confirmed if it will or won’t make production as yet. This is it, what you are looking at ladies and gentlemen is the Alfa Romeo Tonale Concept and it was revealed to the automotive universe in concept form at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. In fact, the Alfa Romeo Tonale Concept has received quite alot of attention from the worlds automotive media and for a good reason too.
Just like it’s larger sibling the Stelvio, the Tonale also gets its name from a famous Alpine pass. As expected, the automotive universe has been abuzz with rumours and what if’s regarding a production spec Tonale, with some reports suggesting that the Tonale is based on the same FCA small-wide platform as other FCA products like the Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X. Although the automotive universe expects the Alfa Romeo Tonale to enter production sometime next year, Alfa Romeo have not confirmed anything yet and as a result information regarding the Tonale is still rather scarce.
However, if the Alfa Romeo Tonale is indeed based on the Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X then it is highly likely that if the Tonale makes production, it will most likely adopt some of the engines which power it’s distant relatives. That got us thinking, if the Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X are powered by a range of three and four cylinder petrol and diesel engines, then what would power the performance version of the Tonale if FCA had to build one? Although we can’t answer that question yet, considering the Tonale’s bigger, high performance brother, the Stelvio QV is powered by a twin-turbocharged V6, would it be wrong of us to assume that a possible performance version of the Alfa Romeo Tonale would probably be powered by a turbocharged, four cylinder unit?
I like the idea of a performance version of the Alfa Romeo Tonale, and it seems I am not the only one. Recently, well known automotive designer Nikita Aksyonov provided the automotive universe with two official renderings of what an Alfa Romeo Tonale QF could look like. As you can no doubt see from the renderings featured in this article, designer Nikita Aksyonov has borrowed some of the visual enhancements from the bigger Alfa Romeo Stelvio QF and Alfa Romeo Giulia QF and applied them to the Alfa Romeo Tonale Concept and the end result is a genuine baby Alfa Romeo Stelvio QF. Despite being based on the Tonale Concept, I think these renderings look fantastic and I can’t wait to see the Tonale and maybe the Tonale QF in finished production form, if FCA put it into production that is.
If FCA do go ahead and put the Alfa Romeo Tonale into production it will be a great rival to the BMW X1/X3 and Audi Q3, while a hardcore, high performance Tonale QF model will rival the likes of the hight performance versions from it’s rivals, and because it’s an Alfa Romeo it will be the best of them all. As I said earlier in this article, I feared the worst when Alfa Romeo announced plans to produce the Stelvio but I have been proven wrong. If the Alfa Romeo Tonale does make production, and even if it is half as good as the Stelvio, it should be top seller for Alfa Romeo.
Steve & Chris Parry are contributors from stevespeedza.blogspot.com