Alfa Romeo has officially entered the compact SUV market with the 2023 Tonale, making it's global debut as the next step in the brand’s evolution.

The Tonale is set to debut with three available trims: the Sprint, Ti and Veloce. Along with being the brand’s first compact crossover SUV, it will also feature two powertrains, one of which is an all-new plug-in hybrid (PHEV) system.

Dubbed the PHEV Q4 AWD, this power plant is comprised of a 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a 90kW electric motor, which draws power from a 15.5kWh lithium ion battery. Combined, they put out 272 horsepower and provide an EV-only range of more than 30 miles. It’s paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. A separate Q4 AWD 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is also available, rated at 256 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. It is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Suspension is made up of Frequency Selective Damping (FSD) shock absorbers and a fully independent MacPherson system. An available Dual Stage Valve active suspension features electronically controlled damping. An “Alfa DNA” selector allows the driver to select one of two pre-set damping curves: comfort and sport.

The Tonale is designed and marketed as a competitor in the compact SUV segment; as such, it comes in at 178.3 inches long, 72.4 inches wide and 63.0 inches tall. The front features the Alfa Romeo “Trilobo” and distinctive “Scudetto” shield, Trilobo-inspired “3+3” LED headlights and a “GT Line” that runs from the headlights to the rear, said to recall the forms of the Guila GT Junior of the 60s.

The rear lighting mimics the headlights by way of three “dips” on either side of the full line taillight encompassing the hatch. The large rear window is said to pay tribute to the 8C Competizione. The wheels reproduce the Alfa Romeo-style canon of a rotary telephone dial.

The interior is composed of unique patterns and colors across the sport seats and dash. In sample photos, the Alfa Romeo seal can be seen embroidered on the headrests; a Uconnect 5 10.25-inch infotainment screen sticks up front the crosshatched dash. Bits of leather and additional materials appear on various touchpoints.

The Uconnect 5 infotainment panel is kept up to date via over-the-air updates. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are compatible right out of the box, and included Alexa home-to-car and car-to-home functionality allows for greater control. Along with the aforementioned infotainment screen, an additional 12.3-inch instrument panel is also present. 

On the safety side, the Tonale comes standard with adaptive cruise control, Traffic Sign Recognition, Intelligent Speed Assist, Blind spot and Rear Cross Path detection, Forward Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection, and Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist. The vehicle also includes a Driver Attention Assist with a rear seat reminder. In addition to all that, level 2 autonomy with Traffic Jam Assist is also available.

Coming in as a world exclusive, Alfa Romeo has made the Tonale as the first car on the market equipped with a non-fungible token (NFT) digital certificate. Based on blockchain technology, the Tonal NFT certifies the car upon purchase and evolves throughout the vehicle’s lifecycle. In theory, this will help protect the car’s true value over time, as the non-modifiable record (with consent) collects vehicle data and ensures proper care and maintenance.

The Alfa Romeo Tonale is built at the Giambattista Vico Stellantis plant in Pomigliano d’Arco, Naples, Italy. Vehicles should begin arriving at North American dealerships in the first quarter of 2023.