The Alfa Romeo Tonale Will Be PHEV-Only in the U.S., Cutting the 2.0L Turbo Option

Its Dodge Hornet sibling will still get the 2.0-liter, however

2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale Veloce PHEV
(Images: Stellantis)

The new Alfa Romeo Tonale is going PHEV-only for the U.S. market, in an effort to curb the brand’s CO2 emissions.

According to a new Automotive News Europe report confirmed by Stellantis, the Alfa Romeo brand is dropping plans to market a 2.0-liter Tonale SUV here in the United States. Now, when it arrives early next year, buyers will strictly be able to buy this new model with a 272 horsepower, 1.3-liter-backed plug-in hybrid model. The move, as laid out by the automakers’ recent statements, is to cut CO2 output in “CARB” states, or those following California’s tightening emissions rules over the coming years.

Effectively, the Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV sold here will be the same as what’s sold in Europe. The gasoline engine puts out 177 horsepower on its own, while the car also gets a 121-horsepower electric motor mounted on the rear axle. The 15.5-kWh battery allows more than 30 miles of pure electric driving range, while keeping the overall power figure a bit higher than what the 2.0-liter would have offered.

Per Alfa Romeo’s estimates, it should also substantially raise fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions to 26-33 grams per kilometer driven. As a more general figure, Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato contends the decision to only sell the Tonale PHEV will cut the brand’s average CO2 emissions by 40 percent.

2023 Dodge Hornet GT

What about the Dodge Hornet?

According to the AutoNews report, this decision only affects the Alfa Romeo Tonale. Its Dodge Hornet platform mate, built at the Pomigliano d’Arco plant in Italy alongside Alfa’s variant, will still launch with the 2.0-liter engine available on the GT.

For the time being, Dodge is making hay with internal combustion models until transitioning toward plug-in hybrid and pure EVs in the coming years. California’s Advanced Clean Cars II regulations, proposed in August 2022 and still awaiting final approval, would require automakers to achieve 35% zero-emissions sales in the state by 2026. Beyond that, companies will have to phase out internal combustion engines in their passenger vehicles entirely by 2035.

To that end, the 2023 Dodge Hornet will be the first model in the brand’s lineup to gain a plug-in hybrid model. So, buyers will inevitably be able to choose between the Dodge Hornet R/T or Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV (price differences notwithstanding). However, if you’re keen on getting a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine on its own, you will have to go with the Hornet.

The 2.0-liter-equipped Dodge Hornet should arrive in the coming weeks.