2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale: New Styling, Hybrid Performance, ‘NFT Certificate’

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By Car Brand Experts

If you’ve ever pondered, “I desire an Alfa Romeo Stelvio but it’s slightly oversized”, or perhaps you’re seeking a vehicle akin to a Mercedes-Benz GLC but with an Italian flair, Alfa introduces the 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale. This compact crossover, Alfa’s second in this category, is 6.3 inches shorter in length and three inches less in height compared to the Stelvio, positioning the Tonale just below its larger sibling in Alfa’s lineup.

Upon release, it will offer a selection of two powertrain options: plug-in hybrid or gasoline-only. The plug-in version of the Tonale employs a 180-horsepower, 1.3-liter turbo-four engine matched with a 90-kW electric motor propelling the rear axle for a total output of 272 hp. With a 15.5-kWh lithium-ion battery, this plug-in Alfa is claimed to deliver over 30 miles in electric-only mode in the “Advanced Efficiency” driving setting. Alfa asserts that this model will be the most fuel-efficient plug-in crossover in its segment. In contrast, the non-electrified variant houses a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine producing 256 hp and 295 pound-feet of torque. Both models come standard with all-wheel drive, with the hybrid utilizing a six-speed automatic transmission while the gasoline-only variant opts for a nine-speed gearbox.

Digital Ownership Proof

Despite the plug-in powertrain and Alfa’s distinctive design elements (such as the SZ Zagato-inspired “3+3” lights), the most captivating aspect involves the Non-Fungible Token (NFT) digital certificate introduced with this car.

Indeed, those. Quoting Alec Baldwin’s character in The Departed: “I don’t know what they are, you don’t know what they are, who cares.”

“The Tonale NFT certifies the car at purchase, then evolves to document its usage throughout its lifespan, offering significant advantages in preserving residual value,” explains Alfa’s official statement. For those currently puzzled, you’re not alone, but the essence of Alfa’s approach appears to focus on digitizing maintenance records rather than using NFTs solely for counterfeit protection.

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Is this an NFT?, Alfa Romeo

“The concept behind the technology revolves around the idea of a ‘blockchain card’, an encrypted and unalterable log detailing the key milestones in the life of a specific vehicle. This unique feature, which operates externally, embodies the cutting-edge essence of Alfa Romeo. By obtaining the customer’s approval, the NFT will document the vehicle’s data, creating a certificate that can be utilized to validate that the car has received appropriate upkeep, thus positively influencing its resale value. In the used car market, NFT certification provides an extra layer of trust for owners or dealers. Consequently, potential buyers can make their vehicle selection with greater confidence.”

Therefore, envision it as a unique identifier affixed to each Tonale, housing specific details and maintenance records of the car. Instead of a standard identifier, it takes the form of an NFT. No need to store oil change receipts in a physical folder anymore. Simply deciphering the data on an Alfa NFT will suffice. It’s that straightforward, isn’t it?

Infotainment and Autonomous Features

Regarding more comprehensible technological components, the Tonale will showcase a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen (despite the preference of Alfa’s chief executive for minimal screens in their vehicles) operating on Uconnect 5. It features a customizable home screen, wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto, standard wireless charging, and integrated Amazon Alexa functionality.

With bundled standard features like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, low-speed traffic assistance, blind-spot monitoring, and traffic sign recognition, Alfa Romeo asserts Level 2 autonomous driving capabilities with the Tonale. This means the vehicle can self-accelerate and steer but requires a human presence in the driver’s seat for oversight and immediate intervention when necessary.

Continuing the Alfa Tradition

When you take charge of your Tonale, it appears to promise an enjoyable driving experience with Alfa Romeo also claiming industry-leading driving dynamics. This is facilitated by superior weight distribution in its segment and the most responsive steering ratio of any compact luxury crossover at 13.6:1. Equipped with fixed aluminum shift paddles akin to a Ferrari, the vehicle boasts an Integrated Brake System featuring Brembo calipers and ventilated front discs, ensuring exceptional braking performance to match its cornering prowess.

Frequency Selective Damping, in contrast, continuously monitors the velocity at which the tire impacts the suspension system and modifies damper rigidity dynamically to provide the stability of a sports car when navigating curves and the comfort of a luxury crossover on uneven roads. If the wheel experiences a sudden and forceful impact like when encountering a pothole, the system adjusts to maintain a cozy ride. On the other hand, extended gradual compressions, such as those occurring as the Tonale maneuvers through a sweeping turn, trigger the dampers to strengthen.

Offered in three variants (Sprint, Ti, Veloce), the 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale is set to hit the market in the first quarter of 2023, with reservations opening in the final quarter of 2022. This grants everyone approximately a year to finally decipher the intricacies of this NFT phenomenon.

If you have a lead or inquiry regarding the new Tonale, how can you contact the writer? Email: chris.tsui@thedrive.com

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