(Pocket-lint) – There’s no shortage of tech behind the new Alfa Romeo Tonale, the company’s compact SUV that comes in smaller than the existing Stelvio.
Offering a range of hybrid powertrains, you might be surprised to learn that this isn’t full electric, despite the headline tech that Alfa is packing in.
Of course, the thing that probably caught your eye won’t actually be in the car, it will be decentralised and out there on web 3.0. Yes, Alfa is claiming that the Tonale is the first car to come with an NFT.
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) have hit the headlines recently, as companies scrabble to jump on this latest bandwagon, amidst what seems like a mad scramble to buy pictures of apes with crypto currency. But Alfa Romeo might be trying to offer something a little different.
“Upon customer’s consent, the NFT will record vehicle data, generating a certificate that can be used as a guarantee of the car’s overall status, with a positive impact on its residual value,” says Alfa. It sounds like an online service book. Alfa says it will give buyers confidence in the second-hand market, but exactly how that process will be handled, remains to be seen.
Coming back to the real world the Tonale reflects Afla’s sporty heritage and there are hallmarks of Alfa design in that nose and those wheels, with a sporty stance that reminds us of the Jaguar E-Pace.
Certainly, this compact SUV segment is hugely popular, especially in European markets where it gives you practicality through tighter city streets with enough space for a week away.
The interior retains a sporty look, with tri-spoke steering wheel and huge aluminium paddle shifters, while the driver display tries to cling on to the idea of dials from the past. The start button on the steering wheel is a nice touch, evocative of high-end sports cars.
Of course, the displays are all digital with a 12.3-inch driver display and 10.25-inch centre display, running on Android and offering touch interaction and customisation. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also supported.
Amazon Alexa is baked in, meaning you can ask for things like the weather, add to your shopping lists or have the Alfa as a delivery location for your latest Amazon purchase. While at home you can check on the status of your car through your Amazon Echo.
Turning to the power and we know that some will be disappointed to learn that this isn’t a pure electric car – but there is a plug-in Q4 hybrid version, which is described as best-in-class.
That model will pair 1.3-litre petrol engine driving the front wheels, with an electric motor driving the rear wheels for that combined output of 275hp. That also means its all-wheel drive, with a 15.5kWh battery, which is said to deliver up to 80km (50 miles) of emission-free city driving.
It sounds like it might be similar to the system to the Jeep Renegade PHEV, but with a larger battery.
There will also be conventional hybrid options, with 130hp or 160hp, both front-wheel drive. Alfa says that the electrification of the Tonale will mean that you can do things like park, creep and launch on electric only, without using the engine.
Prices and exact availability are still to be confirmed, but we’re sure we’ll learn more in the near future.
Writing by Chris Hall.