The Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio performance brand produces two very serious cars: the Giulia Quadrifoglio and Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Both are powered by a potent 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 with 505 horsepower. Until recently, those were the only two cars it sold here, but with the introduction of the Tonale crossover, the brand suddenly has a car without a high-performance variant. And it might stay that way, according to the head of Alfa Romeo North America.
Larry Dominique, Senior Vice President and Head of Alfa Romeo and Fiat North America, told The Drive that if the automaker can't offer the same jump in power with the Tonale as it already does with its existing cars, he isn't interested in watering down the Quadrofoglio brand.
“If we can’t deliver the level of performance or delta of performance already found in our current models, we’re not gonna do it,” said Dominique, addressing a question about fielding a competitor to BMW's M-Sport or AMG's 43/53 models from The Drive's Deputy Editor Jerry Perez.
"[CEO] Jean-Philippe Imparato and I are open to it, but only with the right levels of performance," he added.
The base Tonale is no slouch, to be clear. Its plug-in hybrid powertrain offers 285 hp thanks to a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine and a rear-mounted electric motor driven by a 15.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which is roughly the same power as non-Quad Giulias and Stelvios. To get to Quadrofoglio levels of power, though, it would need about the same amount of power as the normal Quads, or in the neighborhood of 450 to 500 ponies.
So it seems like the real answer is that if they did a Tonale Quadrifoglio, it would be a super-crossover. I'm not saying that I don't approve, but that's about 20 gigatons worth of horsepower for a car shaped like a jellybean.
Dominique went on to say that the car was not developed under his or the current CEO's watch, which makes the platform's flexibility something they didn't have a direct say in determining.
"For Tonale, the basic premise of the platform and powertrain were defined before we both came into our roles, so we’re looking at and studying what we could do with Tonale, but right now we haven’t come up with an answer that we’re satisfied with.
“We will always try to offer slightly more enhanced versions of our more volume trims like Veloce and so on, but Quadrifoglio has to stand hand and shoulders over everything else,” he added. “I don’t want to be a poser. I don’t want to pollute the Quadrifoglio brand. I want to make sure we stay pure.”
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