Alfa Romeo Tonale Speciale

We Drove It: Alfa Romeo Tonale Speciale 1.5L Hybrid Delivers Italian Sportiness

Welcome to the future, where Italian passion and electrification merge into a motoring masterpiece – the Alfa Romeo Tonale Speciale 1.5L Hybrid.


  • Alfa Romeo is known for its noble Italian sportsmanship since 1910, and now, they have taken a bold leap into a new era of connectivity and electrification with the Tonale.
  • This is more than just an evolution; it’s a metamorphosis for the brand, promising state-of-the-art technology, electrification, and innovative customer-focused services.
  • Let’s dive into the captivating world of the Tonale Speciale.
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The Tonale’s design is an unmistakable representation of Alfa Romeo’s prestigious heritage with a dash of modernity. The Sandton Times took the Alfa Romeo Tonale Speciale 1.5L Hybrid for a drive and thoroughly enjoyed an electrified week together.


Taking inspiration from the concept car, the Tonale embraces Italian styling with a distinctive ‘light signature’ through its innovative ‘3+3’ headlights and sine-curve rear light clusters. The GT Line running from the rear to the headlights and the iconic ‘telephone dial’ design of the alloy wheels pay homage to Alfa Romeo’s racing history.


Step inside, and you’ll be greeted with a sporty, dynamic interior designed for the driver and passengers. The combination of aluminium and leather exudes a metropolitan and dynamic vibe, while the ‘telescopic’ instrument panel, Alfa Romeo stylistic matrix, and sports steering wheel with aluminium shift paddles deliver an immersive driving experience like no other.


Alfa Romeo Tonale Speciale
With ‘e-Boosting’, ‘Energy Recovery’, and ‘Silent Start’ features, the Tonale offers various driving scenarios using only the electric motor, promoting energy efficiency and environmental consciousness. Image: Alfa Romeo

Inside the Tonale, the focus is on the driver, providing an environment that ignites passion and creates an exhilarating driving experience. The slim central air conditioning vents and distinctive turbine side vents, along with the diamond texture theme, add to the sophistication of the cabin. The ergonomically designed seats offer comfort and support, making everyday use a pleasure – and the seat heating is decadent in winter!


The Tonale boasts top-level connectivity with its fully digital 12.3″ TFT screen and innovative 10.25″ touchscreen, delivering a ‘smartphone-like’ user experience, although we would’ve liked a smoother and more intuitive navigation experience. The infotainment system allows for customization, offering a personalized homepage and easy navigation through various features. The cockpit is tailored to the driver, providing easy access to controls and ensuring an engaging driving experience.


Safety is a top priority, and the Tonale is equipped with cutting-edge Alfa Romeo Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) for Level 2 autonomous driving. With features like ‘Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control’, ‘Lane Centering’, and ‘Autonomous Emergency Braking with Vulnerable Road Users’, the Tonale delivers a safe and secure ride without annoying alerts, sounds or unexpected jerking steering.


Drawing from historical references and inspirations, the Tonale stands out with its captivating Italian styling. The extended curve along the sides, known as the “GT Line,” adds character to the body, while the ‘Trilobo’ on the front creates an iconic Alfa Romeo look. The rear lights’ sine curve becomes the Tonale’s unmistakable ‘light signature’, further emphasizing its unique presence.


Alfa Romeo Tonale Speciale
The 1.5L Hybrid powerhouse deserves great shoes, and the Tonale delivers with stylish alloy wheels, available in 18″, 19″, and 20″ options, enhancing the car’s silhouette. Image: Alfa Romeo

The Alfa Romeo Tonale Speciale 1.5L Hybrid unleashes the brand’s unique and exclusive hybrid technology, enhancing the car’s DNA and performance. The 118kW four-cylinder 1.5-litre Hybrid VGT engine paired with the 48-volt 15-kW, 55-Nm ‘P2’ electric motor ensures optimal power delivery and impressive efficiency. The hybrid propulsion system allows the Tonale to move with the internal combustion engine off, providing a true electrified driving experience.


Alfa Romeo’s driving dynamics shine in the Tonale Speciale, thanks to its perfect weight distribution and the most direct steering in the segment. The Integrated Brake System (IBS) ensures instant brake response, while the independent MacPherson suspension with Frequency Selective Damping (FSD) technology guarantees road-hugging performance and comfort.


The Tonale features an Alfa Romeo electronic self-locking differential, maximizing traction and minimizing understeer for an exhilarating driving experience. The Tonale Speciale 1.5L Hybrid comes in at a competitive price of R799’900, offering five years or 100’000 km warranty and maintenance plans for added peace of mind.


The Alfa Romeo Tonale Speciale 1.5L Hybrid is more than just a car; it’s an embodiment of Italian style, electrification, and innovation. With its beautiful design, impressive technology, state-of-the-art electrification, and outstanding driving dynamics, the Tonale Speciale sets a new tone for sportiness in motoring.


For those who seek an authentic and exhilarating driving experience without compromising on the environment, the Tonale Speciale 1.5L Hybrid promises to be a good choice.


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Sandton Times Correspondent

Curated content from The Sandton Times newsroom desks.


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