Unveiled at the Alfa Romeo museum in Arese, driven on the shores of Lake Como: the Tonale is at the same time the first model launched by the brand under the aegis of Stellantis and the heir of a historical tradition capable of thrilling car enthusiasts all over the world like few other brands (try to mention Alfa Romeo to the designers of any brand and you will have the proof).

Why Como? Not just because on the winding – and narrow! – roads that surround the lake, where we drove the 160 HP 1.5 hybrid version, it is possible to appreciate the agility of the Tonale’s body, but also because Como is the birthplace of Alessandro Volta, inventor of the voltaic pile and eponym of the volt unit of measurement. A tribute to Italy’s historical and scientific heritage and a return to the origins of the battery, therefore, at a time when electrification is a process inseparable from mobility.

The Tonale is the first Alfa Romeo unveiled since Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos took over as the brand’s design director last summer. “When I arrived on July 1st the car was finished, so we did together with the team a work of refinement of small details,” he told Auto&Design during the preview at the Alfa Romeo Museo Storico in Arese, Milan.

The compact SUV’s final design has remained faithful to the concept car and features several stylistic codes that will remain fixed points in the development of Alfa Romeo’s future range: from the 5-hole wheel rims, to the cluster in the “telescope” digital instrument cluster with a 12.3-inch screen, to the three-spoke sports steering wheel, to the sine-shaped headlights and the Trilobo badge at the center of the front. For the interior of the Veloce version Alfa Romeo has chosen Alcantara. The workmanship of the seat is carried out by a new Alcantara department, which is able to develop different customizations. On the seats, black Alcantara with round laser perforations degradé, combined with a contrasting red backing, alternates with black Alcantara plain for a technical effect with a final result in the name of sportiness.

The compact SUV architecture (4.53 metres in length, 1.84 in width and 1.6 in height) is unique in the history of the brand, but there are several stylistic features that recall history, such as the “GT Line” that runs from the rear to the headlights, evoking the shapes of the Giulia GT and alternating with the full, elegant volumes that recall iconic cars such as the 8C Competizione.