Marking the dawn of a new era, the eagerly- awaited and much anticipated Alfa Romeo Tonale is guaranteed to light up the senses as it is finally revealed.

It pretty much speaks for itself with its compact SUV lines and its thoroughbred, Italian styling.

The Tonale is not only the first model to be launched in this era for Alfa Romeo but also its first foray into electrification, which will rapidly take centre stage for the brand.

Like the Stelvio, the Tonale is named after a famous Italian mountain pass, albeit a lower one than of its bigger SUV sibling.

Initially, the Tonale core range will be made up of two electrified variants : a mild-hybrid powertrain with a choice of 128bhp or 158bhpand a plug-in hybrid. Alfa said “electrification must serve ‘the brand and its DNA’ whilst at the same time ‘reinventing sportiness for the 21st century.”

Both mile-hybrid variants use a four-cylinder 1.5 litre petrol engine paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and a 48V electric motor, which is active in start-up, low-speed driving and cruising in electric mode.

The most powerful model in the line-up is the plug-in hybrid,

Setting a benchmark for driving dynamics, the Tonale uses MacPherson suspension with frequency-selective damping. It achieves 50:50 weight distribution and adopts a brake-by-wire system that promises “instantaneous response”, while the steering is said to be the most direct in the segment. It also has all the technology you would expect in a premium SUV: a digital 12.3in screen plus a 10.25in touchscreen with a customisable home screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, over-the-air updates and a host of driver assistance systems, including adaptive cruise control and traffic-jam assistance.

It's also the first car in the world to have non-fungible token (NFT), which links a car to a digital certificate based on blockchain technology. With the customer’s consent, it creates a confidential and non-modifiable record of the main stages of a car’s life, which acts as a guarantee that the car has been properly maintained, thus helping to improve residual value.

Following the Tonale’s introduction, the brand will launch a new car every year until 2030, according to its CEO, Jean-Philippe Imparato.

Alfa’s first fully-electric model, a small SUV understood to be called the Brennero, will arrive in 2025.