Latest News: Alfa Romeo launches into the electric car world with the Tonale mid-sized SUV concept. The Tonale is the first plug-in hybrid and the first mid-size utility vehicle from Alfa Romeo. It rewrites the rules of today's fastest growing segment using the manufacturer's trademark combination of unique Italian style and unparalleled driving pleasure. The design of the Tonale is an expression that looks fondly into the future. Its compact dimensions embody unique Italian design and the unmistakable Alfa Romeo style, showcasing the future evolution of the brand. Its design recalls a number of time-honoured design elements that are synonymous with the rich history of the brand, with an execution that excites a modern approach to the new Alfa Romeo anatomy. An element that echoes the tradition of the Alfa Romeo DNA is the 21-inch telephone dial wheels with exclusive Pirelli tyres. The lineage of the telephone dial wheels dates back to the 1960’s, worn proudly by the iconic 33 Stradale. The bold, elegant volumes of the body make reference to a seemingly distant past, recalling the stylish qualities of the Duetto and the Disco Volante Spider, while the Tonale’s “Linea GT” interprets the confidence and stance found on the beloved GT Junior. The front end sports the Alfa Romeo signature “Trilobo” and the distinctive “Scudetto” grille that serves as the central point of strength, driving the speed and fluidity that moves throughout the Tonale. Completing the front end is the “3 plus 3” headlights that evoke the proud gaze reflective of the SZ and Brera. The rear of the Tonale is elegantly defined by an enveloping window volume, complemented by the suspended wing that enhances the continuity between the transparent roof and the rear window itself. Alfa Romeo holds dear the essence of Italian art and sculpture, through the timeless “artigianale” experience of hand sculpting. As every Alfa Romeo design is cared for through the human touch, the rear lighting is reminiscent of an artistic signature, rather than an optical lighting element, a sort of luminous signature born directly from the artist’s hand. With the inspiration of Alfa Romeo’s history of racing at the core, the Tonale interior design conjures the passion associated with providing a spirited drive through dynamic form and pure sculpture. The interior of the Tonale is very driver oriented, but not egoistic, as the layout is designed comfortably for 4 passengers. The hand-drawn gestural lines stretch throughout the environment to create a muscular tension, as if what surrounds you is poised for action. The emotional significance of the Tonale interior is also generated by the contrast of rich materials, such as the cold solidity of aluminum combined with the soft and welcoming warmth of the leather and Alcantara. Inside there are translucent backlit panels, such as the central tunnel, providing the perfect location for the Alfa Romeo DNA drive mode selector. The Tonale interior is immersive and welcoming, with the dynamic attributes appreciated by those who love to drive. The Tonale concept vehicle is equipped with the highest standards of technology to ensure a connected, comfortable and dynamic user experience, while keeping the pleasure of a sporty drive at the forefront. The driver's attention will remain on the road, with the peripheral focus on a 12.3-inch full digital cluster and a 10.25-inch touchscreen central head unit. The new infotainment features a seamless and fluid multitasking interface that allows the driver to have all the latest features and functionality readily available at their fingertips. The Tonale allows the driver to be fully connected to the Alfa Romeo lifestyle and social communities, realised and presented through the new infotainment features, “Alfista” and “Paddock”. "Alfista” is an immersive Alfa Romeo lifestyle experience, providing a fully connected interface with select Alfa Romeo clubs and community events, such as gatherings, drives and meets. This in-vehicle app allows the driver access to live news and updates about the current happenings of the Alfa Romeo brand. “Paddock” is the Alfa Romeo Tonale in-vehicle garage and market for real-time viewing and purchasing of the latest interior and exterior performance upgrades and equipment. The Paddock app also enables the customer to scroll through the latest offerings from the Alfa Romeo merchandise and apparel collection, which can be ordered direct with the touch of the screen. The Tonale marks the debut of the brand in the mid-size utility vehicle segment and does so in line with the characteristics that have always identified each Alfa Romeo model. The goal is to deliver the best driving dynamics in the segment and to apply electrification in perfect Alfa Romeo style. It is the natural evolution of the brand on the way towards propulsive synergy capable of enhancing performance and driving dynamics. Rather than simply adapting to new standards, with the Tonale concept car Alfa Romeo is reinterpreting its own DNA to capture the new idea of beauty, energy, harmony, efficiency and driving user-friendliness. The electrification of Alfa Romeo comes at the service of sportiness and emphasises the famous "Mechanics of Emotions" mission of the brand. For this reason, it has no need to express itself through signatures or decided livery, but just with small details such as the Alfa logo in hybrid optics, a small yet definitive detail that enhances the Tonale. The rear electric engine opens the way to new technological solutions that offer enhanced driving dynamics, to maximise the pleasure of sporty driving. The evolution is also evident in the drive modes managed by Alfa D.N.A. From the beginning on Giulietta, Mito and 4C, and through the development of Giulia and Stelvio, it has reached the Tonale and now implements specific energy management functions. With Tonale, the "Dynamic" mode evolves into "Dual Power" and guarantees the maximum output from the two engines. The infotainment touch screen features an E-mozione button, which offers specific throttle settings, sharper braking and more direct steering response. "Natural" mode continues to maintain the best performance optimisation, and the compromise between using electric and internal combustion engines is managed automatically. This translates into everyday energy and fuel savings, but not at the detriment of performance. The “Advance Efficiency” mode becomes “Advance E” for performance in full electric mode. So, in line with the principles of the brand, the plug-in hybrid propulsion enhances the beauty, sporty and dynamic driving characteristics of each Alfa Romeo model, taking them to a new level. In Tonale, electrification embraces performance and represents a new way to achieve high performance and outstanding driving fun. Alfa Romeo Tonale The Tonale embodies the adventure potential of a mid-size, dynamic sport utility vehicle capable of guaranteeing the adrenaline of sporty driving, inherent in the legend of the brand, in urban settings with the same ease. The hum of the electric motor accompanies the genuinely Alfa Romeo roar creating an efficient, exciting synergy at the service of driving pleasure. The energy switch to electric is the latest key page in the 109-year-long history of the Alfa Romeo legend and one which will propel the brand into the future. This is also behind the name chosen for the new concept car. The Tonale Pass, not far from the Stelvio Pass in the Alps, is a large natural amphitheatre famous for its majestic peaks, the natural spectacle of frothy waterfalls and snow all year round in a breath-taking natural setting.
THE NEW VEHICLE EXCISE DUTY SYSTEM IS ON ITS WAY
Massive increase in road tax charges from the 1st of April
Drivers of the lowest-emission petrol and diesel cars could be hit with a hike of £140 a year and those buying a car costing more than £40,000 will be forced to pay a £1,550 levy over the first five years of ownership. Yet the overwhelming majority of motorists don't know the changes are coming. More than 4,000 people took part in our online poll, which asked readers how up to speed they were about the new regime. Just 6% were fully aware of it. The survey also revealed that a mere 8% knew changes are coming – but a massive 86% were totally in the dark.
Under the current scheme, scores of different cars are exempt from road tax, or Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). That’s thanks to the fact they emit less than 100 grams per kilometre (g/km) of carbon dioxide (CO2). For cars registered after April, though, only those that produce no CO2 – fully electric and hydrogen cars – will be spared road tax. All other models registered from then will be liable for an annual road-tax bill of £140, regardless of CO2 emissions. While the first year of road tax will still be based on CO2 emissions and range from £10 to £2,000, this fee is almost always absorbed in a car’s on-the-road price – meaning it isn't usually seen as a running cost by consumers.
However, cars with a list price of more than £40,000 will also incur an additional £310 levy for the first five years of ownership, bringing their total annual VED bill to £450 during that time. The changes will affect many different models, from small city cars to large hybrid and electric SUVs.Because petrol engines generally emit more CO2 than their diesel counterparts, buyers have been incentivised to buy diesels for some time. In turn, carmakers have focused on driving down the amount of CO2 these cars emit.
The new system is also being brought in because while diesel engines emit relatively little CO2, recent research indicates other emissions – including mono nitrogen oxides and particulate matter – are more harmful than was once thought. Petrol engines, while emitting more CO2, tend to be cleaner in this regard.
It’s not all bad news, though: drivers who want to drive a petrol car but may have been put off by high tax rates are likely to find their engine of choice becomes more affordable under the new system, as the playing field between diesel and petrol becomes more level. And it'll provide another reason for buyers to consider an all-electric or hydrogen-powered car.
April's new scheme won't apply retrospectively, so whichever road-tax system was active when you registered your current car will continue to apply for as long as it's on the road.
CONSUMER CREDIT & GENERAL INSURANCE
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