With a significant rise in sales and popularity, the SUV segment has in recent years forced many manufacturers to reply to the trend, including from those we never expected would sign up.

British sports car brand Aston Martin with its DBX SUV is one of them as is Alfa Romeo, which finally dipped a toe in with the Stelvio.

The Italian brand has clearly shaken off its initial hesitation and is reportedly ready to bring its second SUV to market. This is the Alfa Romeo Tonale concept SUV that was revealed at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.  

According to media reports and leaked pictures, the swoopy compact four-door concept will be on sale as early as 2021.

FCA is yet to announce final technical details of the crossover vehicle — which will go up against rivals like the Audi Q3 and Merceces GLA — but did confirm the use of a plug-in hybrid drive.

THE TONALE IS NAMED AFTER A MOUNTAIN PASS IN NORTHERN ITALY

And because of industry efforts to save money at all cost through parts and technology sharing, it’s expected the new Tonale will be powered by an existing hybrid drive that already powers American cousin Jeep Renegade. 

Leaked images on an Italian car forum show what is said to be a production ready car with most of the motor show edges smoothed out, leaving a very handsome SUV that’s perched on classic Quadrifoglio Verde wheels with styling features like headlights that hark back to a number of the brand’s legendary cars like the SZ .

Local Alfa Romeo spokesperson Lesley Sutton says it’s too early to say whether the model will appear on SA shores. Just like the Stelvio, the Tonale is named after a mountain pass road in Northern Italy and we can expect it be as tidy as its larger cousin when the roads get twisty.

The Tonale is said to be the result of a two-pronged market offensive by FCA, owner of the Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Jeep brands. Whereas the more mainstream Alfa Romeo will unleash the Tonale to fight in the upper-luxury compact crossover segment populated by the likes of VWs T-Cross, Kia Seltos and Renault Captur, cousin Maserati is in the conversation with a new high-end compact SUV to chase after Porsche’s Macan.