Tag Archives: alfa romeo

Ariel Atom 4
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10 lightweight sports cars you can buy today

Anyone looking for pure, svelte driver’s cars that are fun to whip around on weekend trips up and down PCH should look no further.  The beautiful idea of well-balanced power-to-weight ratios is usually best represented in lightweight sports cars. From 2+2s to roadsters, they provide a lightweight chassis, balanced handling, and a thrilling driving experience. Every day driving through crowded intersections, windy roads, or the track on weekends, the versatility of these modern machines offers a unique fun-to-drive factor. 

Nowadays, many lightweight sports cars provide approachable driving characteristics and price points that won’t absolutely break the bank. However, there are some that will push your driving skills and bank accounts to new limits. Anyone interested in the lightest sports cars that can be purchased this year should look no further. 

Mazda MX-5 Miata (ND)

Weight: 2,341 pounds

What’s hot?

  • Undoubtedly the most nimble drive on sale
  • Impressive fuel efficiency

What’s not?

  • A bit cramped for the average American
  • Can get expensive as you climb the trim ladder

The Mazda MX-5 Miata has spent decades maintaining its reputation for giving nothing less than a spirited driving experience. For those who can fit comfortably within its front mid-engine layout, there’s so much to appreciate with the classic yet modern feel. Top-down in the convertible option or closed in, there’s nothing like Mazda’s little roadster.

“ND2” variants and newer pack a 2.0-liter engine with about 181 horsepower and deliver a zippy yet smooth ride. The recently revealed ND3 adds updated tech and a retuned steering rack geared for improved precision and feel. Its manual or automatic transmission options ensure quick acceleration in approximately six seconds from 0 to 60 mph, although magazines have extracted even better test numbers from such a spritely car. Built for rear-wheel drive and agile handling, it promises overwhelmingly enjoyable driving.

Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86

Weight: 2,815 pounds

What’s hot?

  • Powerful engine for the price 
  • Awesome, track-capable handling 

What’s not?

  • Most hot hatches are quicker nowadays
  • Not the most practical entry-level performance car

Behold a fan favorite here at Acceleramota and one our editor has recently had the opportunity of road-tripping. The Toyota and Subaru collaboration has left the BRZ as the surviving and thriving of the two, at least in the wake of the GR86’s reportedly out-of-wack markups. Its agile handling, rear-wheel-drive dynamics, and precise steering are becoming just as recognizable as its boxer engine. The 86’s and BRZ’s balanced performance, affordability, and enthusiast-focused design captivate drivers seeking a truly engaging ride.

The second-gen Toyobaru platform continues its legacy with a 2.4-liter naturally-aspirated boxer engine, producing 228 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a choice of a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission, it boasts rear-wheel drive, a lower center of gravity, improved handling, and a refined chassis for an exhilarating driving experience. 2024 BRZ models now launch with EyeSight safety assists and a hot new tS model, while GR86s gain their own suite of similar safety tech and an Initial D fanboy-spec Trueno model.

Honda CR-Z

Weight: 2,639 pounds

What’s hot?

  • Sporty look and handling 
  • Fantastic hybrid fuel economy 

What’s not?

  • Rear visibility is a bit poor
  • Tiny size means it’s not for hoarders or Ubers

Discontinued in 2016, the Honda CR-Z was a sporty hybrid coupe that blended efficiency with style.  Its innovative design featured a 1.5-liter engine paired with an electric motor, offering a modest 122 horsepower. The CR-Z is now appreciated in the used market for its unique hybrid concept and agile handling.

The 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine coupled with a hybrid electric motor generates a combined output of 122 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque (123 pound-feet in CVT cars). Inventive for its time, the Honda CR-Z was one of the rare hybrid sports cars to be equipped with a six-speed manual alongside its CVT transmission. They weren’t fast! But they were spritely enough. And to have a sporty, manual hybrid econobox that could zip to 60 in under ten seconds in the early 2010s was something to brag about. I guess. Maybe. Supercharged CR-Z HPD, anyone?

Alfa Romeo 4C

Weight: 2,487 pounds

What’s hot?

  • Efficient yet powerful engine 
  • Great mini-supercar handling 

What’s not?

  • Lacks good rear-view visibility and cargo room
  • What in the heck is that 2 Fast 2 Furious radio radio unit?

Lightweight design, turbocharged power, and exceptional agility make the Alfa Romeo 4C as legendary as it was divisive… Like, really divisive. Still cool, though! And still a featherweight worthy of this list. With striking aesthetics and racing DNA, it captivated enthusiasts. Offering a unique blend of performance, analog purity, and style, its departure leaves a void in the realm of iconic sports cars.

The Alfa Romeo 4C features a 1.7-liter turbocharged engine producing 237 horsepower, paired with a dual-clutch automatic transmission. With a carbon fiber monocoque chassis, it weighed merely 2,487 pounds. This mid-engine sports car could sprint from 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds, boasting impressive performance and agile handling, granted you can get to grips with that manual steering rack.

Lotus Exige

Weight: 2,593 pounds

What’s hot?

  • Top-tier sports car performance
  • Great fuel economy

What’s not?

  • May be difficult to get in and out of
  • The very definition of having a spartan interior

Discontinued in 2021, the final Lotus Exige epitomized automotive excellence. With its lightweight design, remarkable agility, and supercharged engine, the Exige offered an unmatched driving experience. Its aerodynamic finesse and track-focused precision made it a legendary icon among sports cars, capturing enthusiasts with its raw performance.

Before the end of its run, the final-generation Lotus Exige boasted impressive specs. It featured a supercharged Toyota-derived 3.5-liter V6 engine producing up to 345 horsepower. The Exige Cup 430 went even further, pushing roughly 430 horsepower. Weighing around 2,500 pounds, it sprinted from 0 to 60 mph in about 3.5 seconds, although earlier four-cylinder variants were even lighter than that, tipping in at a hair beneath one ton. Its aerodynamics, coupled with a six-speed manual gearbox, ensured exceptional handling and track performance.

Ariel Atom

Weight: 1,349 pounds

What’s hot?

  • Unique go-cart x Formula car design
  • Wicked fast and impossibly nimble, given its design

What’s not?

  • Not very practical for daily drivers… like, at all
  • Rare and expensive

The Ariel Atom’s thrill lies in its “no-frills” design, boasting crazy speed and handling. Its lightweight structure and powerful engine make it feel like driving a rocket. It’s an open-air, Formula 1-like experience, an adrenaline rush for anyone seeking pure, unadulterated driving joy or to show the Spec Miata club racers that it is not they who have been chosen to wield one of the UK’s finest.

Sourcing a Honda 2.0-liter i-VTEC or supercharged 2.4-liter mill, depending on the model, the Ariel Atom can hit 60 in under three seconds. However, should you yearn for more, the newly-minted Ariel Atom 4 sports a turbocharged Civic Type R motor, and yesteryear’s limited Ariel Atom 500 rocked a firebreathing 3.0-liter 500-horsepower V8. Other features include a six-speed gearbox and finely tuned suspension. Goggles or eyeglasses, not included, but you’ll need them.

McLaren 600LT

Weight: 3,099 pounds

What’s hot?

  • Blistering supercar speed
  • Agile handling

What’s not?

  • Questionable McLaren reliability 
  • Probably the most expensive car here

McLaren’s limited Longtail series production might have shifted focus recently, but the McLaren 600LT excels due to its potent 592-hp twin-turbo V8, track-focused Longtail design, and exceptional handling. Introduced in 2018, this model showcased McLaren’s racing heritage like no other in the form of a lighter, more ferocious iteration of its Sports Series 570S model.

The McLaren 600LT features a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine producing 592 horsepower, enabling it to hit 60 mph in approximately 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 204 mph. Sporting a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, it flaunts a track-focused design with advanced aerodynamics, carbon fiber components, and precise handling.

Audi TT

Weight: 3,197 pounds

What’s hot?

  • Awesome, baby supercar design
  • Matches handling with true sports car acceleration

What’s not?

  • Back seats are pretty useless
  • Not as engaging as other cars in its class

Sleek style and turbocharged performance make the Audi TT an outstanding coupe. It’s a dandy little sports car with the look and handling of performance cars far more expensive. Baby R8, maybe? You’re right. Too far-fetched.

The 2024 Audi TT boasts a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, delivering around 228 horsepower. Its lightning-quick seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel drive system offer superb handling. Hotted-up S variants turn up the wick further to 292 horsepower, while a 400-horsepower, turbo five-cylinder TT RS model sits atop the food chain as a bonafide baby supercar. 

Mini Cooper John Cooper Works

Weight: 2,892 pounds

What’s hot?

  • Punchy powertrain
  • Handling is top-tier

What’s not? 

  • Expensive for a hot hatch
  • Not so “mini” anymore

The 2024 Mini Cooper John Cooper Works epitomizes thrilling performance in a compact package. With its turbocharged engine, precise handling, and iconic design, this model offers an exhilarating driving experience. Its fusion of style, agility, and power makes it an outstanding choice for car enthusiasts seeking an extraordinary ride.

Boasting a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that produces around 228 horsepower, the Mini Cooper John Cooper Works is paired with a six-speed manual or optional automatic transmission. However, should you wish, older variants with a 1.6-liter supercharged four-banger deliver their own kind of raucous fun. The current model’s enhanced suspension, Brembo brakes, 18-inch wheels, and sport-tuned exhaust system ensure agile handling and a thrilling driving experience, granted you can live with the lofty price tag new Minis are capable of.

Porsche 911 S/T

Weight: 3,056 pounds

What’s hot?

  • Perhaps one of, if not the best, driver’s car on sale today
  • Delightfully premium interior 

What’s not?

  • Could still be too hardcore for some, despite its road-oriented bias
  • Forget what I said about the McLaren’s price. This will make the dreamers cry

The 2024 Porsche 911 S/T kills for many reasons, as the lightest model from the hallowed German company one can purchase today. Its sleek design, coupled with a robust twin-turbo engine, delivers unparalleled performance. Cutting-edge technology seamlessly integrates with luxurious comfort, making every drive an exhilarating experience, setting a new benchmark.

Based on the 911 GT3 and copying the homework of the acclaimed 911 R, the S/T boasts a naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six engine and pushes around 518 horsepower. It accelerates to 60 mph in approximately 3.5 seconds. Equipped with God’s gift, a wonderfully analog six-speed stick managing power to the rear wheels, it’s as pure as a modern sports car driving experience can be. Good luck getting your hands on one, even if you have the dough.

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Ram 1500 REV being recharged
News

Stellantis teams up with Orano to recycle Fiat-Chrysler EVs

Sustainable mobility is an “ethical responsibility,” according to Stellantis, the multinational conglomerate you probably knew as Fiat-Chrysler before the UAW strikes began. Now the Italian-American automotive conglomerate Stellantis is turning those words into action, announcing a partnership with French nuclear fuel cycle company Orano for all future EV battery recycling plans. All in the name of the Stellantis “Dare Forward 2030” plan to reduce carbon in the atmosphere as a net-zero company by 2038.

The joint venture capitalizes on Orano’s innovative, low-carbon technology, which breaks with existing processes, allowing the recovery of all materials from lithium-ion batteries, and the manufacturing of new cathode materials. The joint venture will produce materials also known as “black mass” or “active mass.” This can be refined in Orano’s hydrometallurgical plant to be built in Dunkirk, France so that the materials could be re-used in batteries, thus closing the loop of a circular economy.

Stellantis and Orano Press Release

This deal means that Stellantis brands like North American brands like Fiat, Chrysler, and Dodge will have access to reclaimed battery materials. Orano claims an up to 90% metal recovery rate from lithium-ion batteries and can manufacture new battery cathode materials. This will be done at existing Stellantis facilities and is the first time a major automotive player has involved itself in the value chain in this way.

The sought-after material here is black mass. Black mass is the material that comes from dismantling and shredding an EV battery. Through chemical processes, high amounts of lithium, manganese, cobalt, and nickel metals can be recovered from dead batteries and reused for new ones.

Image Credit: AutoWeek

Are electric vehicle batteries recyclable today?

China is currently a major recycler of EV Battery materials – with the largest being Ganfeng Lithium. The country averages over 20,000 tons of waste lithium iron phosphate batteries and 14,000 tons of waste ternary lithium batteries per year. As of October 2022, China has 61 existing lithium-ion battery recycling plants. However, there are some serious competitors closer to home too:

  • Umicore: Belgian-French multinational materials battery recycling and materials company.
  • Ecobat LLC: U.S.-based company specializing in the collection, recycling, production, and distribution of energy storage solutions and other commodities.
  • Glencore plc: Swiss multinational trading and mining company.
  • Ganfeng Lithium Group: Chinese conglomerate with a focus on lithium recycling and raw material supply.

Reclamation of lithium and cobalt is especially important as the International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that supply shortages could be a reality as early as 2025.

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2024 Alfa Romeo Stradale 33 front end
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Alfa Romeo’s 33 Stradale supercar sold out before it was announced – here’s what to buy instead

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On a livestream previously thought to be an announcement for a new 6C, Alfa Romeo unveiled, well, something not that far off. Based on the old 33 Stradale from the ’60s, which itself was based on the Tipo 33 Alfa racing prototype, the 2024 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale is a mid-engine, two-seat Italian supercar that’s also available as an EV, making it the first true Alfa Romeo electric car, for the purists who don’t count plug-in hybrids.

I know what you’re thinking, “Hell yeah, brother! Sign me up!” However, I regret to inform you the new Stradale sold out before it was even announced. Oh, and only 33 of them will be made. Ever. Then again, if you think about it glass half full, that’s a 3200% increase over the production volume of the single Giulia SWB Zagato Alfa sold to a German car collector in late 2022. But unlike the Giulia Zagato, all 33 customers who purchased the 2024 Stradale were pre-selected by Alfa Romeo to create their own personalized renditions of the car in collaboration with an internal team of designers. For that reason, no two Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale will be exactly alike. Because consistency is the enemy of Italian engineering.

While the novelty of reviving a classic sports car from half a century ago with today’s tech is an attractive premise, the 33 Stradale is little more than a concept car for billionaires to hold hostage in a garage and never drive. Or maybe I’m just jealous. Who can say? Whatever the case may be, Alfa says more like this is on the way. I can only hope that means more high-performance sports coupes with timeless interiors, mid-mounted engine layouts, and a low center of gravity – not just more limited-run special editions for the uber-rich and SUVs for everyone else. At least with the proliferation of EVs, those last two bits are all but guaranteed.

2024 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale price and release date

Prior to the reveal of the 33 Stradale, Alfa confirmed in an email to Acceleramota that all 33 units had already been sold. To be more precise, they were sold at the end of 2022. The affluent 33 Stradale customers paid more than €1.5 million (roughly $1.6 million USD) apiece, according to Automotive News Europe. Alfa says 2-3 units will be produced every month, with the first delivery slated for December 17, 2024. That just so happens to be the 57th anniversary of the 1967 car of the same name.

ModelStarting price
2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio$81,855 USD
2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio$87,770 USD
2024 Maserati GranTurismo Modena$174,000 USD
2024 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore$205,000 – $215,000 USD (estimated)
2024 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale (ICE)$1.6 million USD (estimated)
2024 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale (EV)$1.6 million USD (estimated)
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio vs Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio vs Maserati GranTurismo vs Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale prices

2024 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale specs and performance

2024 Alfa Romeo Stradale 33 driving from behind
Image credit: Alfa Romeo

If we’re being honest, though, the purpose of the Stradale isn’t to profit from its sales directly but to raise Alfa Romeo’s profile and sell more cars at the dealership. It’s a glorified concept car for a select few members of the wealthy elite, so that you, too, will covet an Alfa Romeo. The Giulia, Stelvio, and Tonale – the only three Alfa Romeo sells in the United States – share similar styling to the 33 Stradale, and the Quadrifoglio (QV) models even have a more potent version of the same engine.

While, in many other ways, the 33 Stradale has a lot more in common with the 2024 Maserati GranTurismo, the Stradale powertrain is based on the Giulia QV’s Ferrari-derived 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6, according to Motor1.com, as opposed to Maserati’s Nettuno engine. Still, the displacement is about the same and both twin-turbo V6 engines are found in supercars from Italian brands owned by the same company. The comparable spec sheets are no strange coincidence.

ModelPowertrainPerformance outputTransmission0-60Top speedWeight / DimensionsChassisWheels
2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio2.9L twin-turbocharged V6505 hp, 443 lb-ft torque8-speed automatic (ZF)3.8 seconds191 mph182.6x 73.8x 56.1″ (LWH); 3,806 lbsDouble wishbone suspension (front), five-link suspension (rear), anti-roll bars, anti-roll bars (front and rear), cast iron Brembo brakes245/35ZR19 (front), 285/30ZR19 (rear); 111.0″ wheelbase
2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio2.9L twin-turbocharged V6505 hp, 443 lb-ft torque8-speed automatic (ZF)3.6 seconds191 mph110.9×77.0x66.3″ (LWH); 4,309 lbsDouble wishbone suspension (front), five-link suspension (rear), anti-roll bars, anti-roll bars (front and rear), cast steel Brembo brakes255/40ZR20 (front), 285/35ZR20 (rear); 110.9″ wheelbase
2024 Maserati GranTurismo3.0L twin-turbocharged V6542 hp, 538 lb-ft torque8-speed DCT automatic transmission (ZF)3.8 seconds202 mph195.2–195.5×77.0x53.3″ (LWH); 3,844 lbsDouble wishbone suspension (front, five-link suspension (rear), anti-roll bars (front and rear), steel Brembo brakes245/35ZR20 (front), 285/35ZR20 (rear); 115.3″ wheelbase
2024 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale (ICE)2.9L twin-turbocharged V6612 hp, torque TBD8-speed DCT automatic transmission (ZF)<3 seconds206 mph<3,307 lbsFull double wishbone suspension, virtual steering axle, anti-roll bars, carbon ceramic Brembo brakes245/35R20 (front), 305/30R20 (rear); 106.3″ wheelbase
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio vs Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio vs Maserati GranTurismo vs Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale specs

The same goes for the battery-electric version of the 33 Stradale, which houses the same tri-motor configuration as the GranTurismo Folgore while making about the same power. At any rate, if you’ve got deep pockets but not, like, $1.9 million deep, the Maserati GranTurismo Folgore is right around the corner – for a lot less money if the $205,000$215,000 estimates turn out to be true.

ModelPowertrainPerformance output0-60Top speedElectric rangeBattery capacityWeightDimensionsChassis
2024 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore3 electric motors761 hp, 995.7 lb-ft torque2.7 seconds202 mph240 miles (est.)83 kWh4,982 lb195.2-195.5 x 77.0 x 53.3 in (LWH);255/35ZR20 (front), 295/30ZR20 (rear)
2024 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale (EV)3 electric motors750 hp, torque TBD<3 seconds192+ mph280 miles90 kWh<4,630 lbs182.6 x 77.4-85.5 x 49.8 inches (LWH)245/35R20 (front), 305/30R20 (rear); 106.3″ wheelbase
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio vs Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio vs Maserati GranTurismo vs Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale specs

2024 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale design

As I noted earlier, the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale takes us back to a simpler time, 1967, when the world treated our global fuel supply as if it were endless. Gas prices were of no concern, and we didn’t yet fully understand the environmental impact of slapping a naturally aspirated V8 on just about anything with a chassis.

Nevertheless, on the outside, the 33 Stradale stays true to its roots, with sharp yet functional styling, minimal body lines, and an Italian design ethos that is distinctly Alfa Romeo. And it wouldn’t be an Alfa without the scudetto grille prominently on display, as every model has done since the 6C 2500 in the late 1930s. Because of its low center of gravity and wide stance, it should be able to cut through wind, generating enough downforce to corner at speeds that would lift most cars off the ground. Thanks to its active shock absorbers, the 2024 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale’s double-arm suspension automatically adjusts to the terrain, making it as comfortable to drive on the road as it is on the track. In fact, that’s where its name comes from: ‘stradale’ translates from Italian to ‘road-going’ or ‘street-legal’.

Although the original Stradale weighed merely 1,543 pounds, modern safety and CAFE standards, as well as the inclusion of electronic luxuries in every vehicle have seen to it that even the lightest sports cars exceed 3,000 pounds. It’s probably for the best, though. Imagine pushing 612 horses in a 0.75-ton car with no modern safety features. No thanks!

Known for its unique, vibrant paint colors, it comes as no surprise that Alfa gave 2024 Stradale customers a decent-sized palette to choose from, most of which won’t be found on Alfa’s other current cars. The three standard options are Villa d’Este (tinted clearcoat red), a refashioned Royal Blue, and the classic Rosso Alfa (Alfa Red). Alternatively, nostalgic 33 Stradale buyers had the choice to outfit their ride in a white and red livery, a retro throwback to the Tipo 33 design.

2024 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale interior and tech

Here’s where the Stradale will be polarizing among people who weren’t the target demographic anyway: the interior isn’t quite as high-tech as many consumers have grown accustomed to. You won’t find a giant tablet in the center stack as you would in a Tesla Model X, nor does it claim any sort of ‘auto-pilot’ mode. Inside, it’s more Bugatti Chiron than Mercedes EQS.

As I’ve quoted countless times, and I’ll continue to quote countless times more, Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato has gone on record saying, “I don’t sell an iPad with a car around it, I sell an Alfa Romeo.” Still one of the most badass things the head of a car company has said since Enzo Ferrari argued, “The client is not always right.” (Although, Fiat discontinuing the color gray because it’s boring is a strong contender.)

The Stradale is intended as a true driver’s car, unencumbered by a dizzying array of touch screens and scroll wheels. There’s a digital instrument cluster behind the wheel, a small UConnect-based infotainment display, and an aluminum control panel in the center console. Above the rotary gear shift are a mishmash of knobs and dials for changing drive modes, adjusting the suspension, and even controlling the sound of the exhaust – you know, so you can tone it down a bit while your neighbors are sleeping. From the photos, you’ll notice a set of extra physical controls positioned along the center of the car’s interior roof. Unfortunately, the only one I can see is the hazard light switch. I’ve reached out to Alfa Romeo for clarification on the other overhead inputs.

The best Alfa Romeo cars you can actually buy, used and new

Don’t have $2 million and a time machine?

Because it’s impossible to buy a Stradale, not to mention prohibitively expensive for most people to begin with, those interested in driving a modern Alfa Romeo might want to take a peek at used listings on CarGurus. While the 2024 Giulia‘s 505-horsepower Quadrifoglio (QV) trim sells for north of $80K, you can pick up a lightly driven one for less than $50,000 if you’re willing to travel for it. I should know – back in May, I drove six hours each way to trade in my BMW 4 Series for a 2018 Alfa Red Giulia QV and haven’t looked back.

After putting another 5,000 miles on the odometer, so far the only major problem I’ve had was when one of my blinkers went out and I had to replace the headlight. Granted, that was an expensive and time-consuming fix that resulted in me taking it to the dealer, but so long as you opt for a bumper-to-bumper extended warranty, you’re golden (I recommend Mopar Maximum Care, which covers my Gabagiulia for up to 96,000 miles).

Though it’s not quite the same as pushing a relatively lightweight-for-2023, four-door super sedan with a low center of gravity, you can squeeze the about same power out of a Stelvio Quadrifoglio SUV, the only way to get a QV with all-wheel-drive. In some cases, the Stelvio is even cheaper. Even if it still handles more like an SUV than a sports car, it’s just as fast off the line as the Giulia QV – both can accelerate from 0-60 mph in under 4 seconds.

Not all Alfas are equal, though. Some models are less about performance and more about making that timeless Alfista style and handling to the everyday driver. Maybe you don’t need 505 horsepower and you’d rather have better fuel mileage and save some money on your lease. In that case, you can find a secondhand Alfa Romeo Giulia without the Ferrari V6 for less than a new Nissan Altima, and it’s probably just as reliable, if not more so because CVT. Plus, unlike the Quadrifoglio trim, which is built for the track, the

You can also get an Alfa Romeo Stelvio with a 2-liter turbocharged four-banger. It’s basically the same thing as the four-cylinder Giulia except it’s an SUV. Not to sound like a broken record, but if you are considering a new Stelvio, I strongly encourage you to at least test drive an Alfa Romeo Tonale. I know it’s a lame mom car or whatever and the Dodge Hornet is the same thing but cheaper if you don’t buy the PHEV and make false equivalencies between trim levels – but trust me on this! The torque hits different in a hybrid.

Why do Alfa Romeos depreciate so much?

2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio Quadrifoglio 100th anniversary models with 1923 RL Quadrifoglio
Image credit: Alfa Romeo

Truth be told, the answer is complicated. No, they’re not as unreliable as the haters make them out to be. Or at least no less reliable than their German counterparts. Before 2014, when the mid-engine 4C was released, Alfa Romeo had been absent in the United States since 1995. Sure, there was the Alfa 8C in 2008, but between the Competizione grand tourer and the Spider convertible, only 125 units made it stateside. So even though Alfa led the pack in JD Power’s initial quality survey in June 2023, repairs and maintenance are mostly relegated to a limited network of dealers.

Although its sales and service presence has grown 40% since its reintroduction to the States almost a decade ago, there are still only 130 dealerships open across the entire country, according to ScrapeHero, an online data collection and aggregation service. That includes the 107 Fiat and three Maserati dealerships that also sell Alfas. All 130 are spread across just nine states, the vast majority of which are concentrated in major metropolitan areas in states like Florida, California, and Texas. 18 of these locations are within 100 miles of where I live in New York City.

Regardless of badge or nameplate, cars today are more difficult than ever to service yourself. This is due in part to the sheer number of components required to increase performance while simultaneously reducing emissions. As a result, carmakers are forced to get creative with the engine bay layout, adding things like turbochargers to keep improving performance despite housing fewer (or no) cylinders. Moreover, the technology we now take for granted – built-in navigation, backup cameras, parking sensors, and heated seats – are all nice to have, but it also means more parts to break… parts that can obstruct other parts, making it harder to replace them yourself.

Take your Alfa to an independent repair shop, and most mechanics will look at you puzzled for a minute before sending you back to the dealership. And when you only have 130 to choose from, chances are you’ll have to travel. Even here in Manhattan, the Maserati dealership where I would’ve gotten my Alfas serviced closed the same month I bought the Giulia. Fortunately, there are about eight others I can reach in an hour or less by car. But I’m in the minority. The next time you see a suspiciously good deal on a Giulia in Nebraska, bear in mind that in a state with 1.9 million people scattered across nearly 80,000 square miles, there is only one Alfa Romeo dealer.

Back to the question, for those asking whether an Alfa Romeo is worth it after seeing the 33 Stradale in all its glory, remember, you can’t be a “true petrolhead” without having owned one. Just kidding.

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New Car Reviews

Alfa Romeo Tonale plug-in hybrid review: Green looks good on you

As I drove the 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale over the past couple of weeks, I finally understood America’s infatuation with SUVs. I rode high on my steel throne, as my feet sat 6 inches from the ground and the tip of the brim on my cap hit the ceiling 5 feet in the air. My head was in the clouds, and no pothole in Queens was a match for my all-wheel drive (AWD) subcompact crossover. But unlike most vehicles in its class, the Alfa Romeo Tonale pops out like a peacock in a flock of pigeons.

In the last season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, there’s a scene where the Weissman family is sitting down at the table eating breakfast. Midge, reviewing color swatches for her new bathroom fixtures, decides she’s going to buy a pink toilet. Her father, Abe, isn’t having any of it though, insisting toilets should only ever be white. But Midge, being Midge, doesn’t back down. Mildly annoyed, she quips, “A pink toilet is still a toilet, just a little more fun!”

Growing up as a kid in the early aughts, the master bathroom in our house had a pink toilet with a matching shower, tub, and double vanities. The half bathroom near the kitchen was furnished with a toilet and sink in dark green. Around the time we stopped drinking skim milk with dinner, colorful bathrooms went out of fashion I guess, seeing as all our stuff was replaced with the same stuff but in a more neutral white. Soon thereafter, it seemed the world had turned monochromatic and sterile.

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2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale design

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As Frank Markus said for Motor Trend, the Alfa Romeo Tonale is “being pitched to women and millennials.” Not the enthusiast type, but the “taking your kids to soccer practice” type. Its goal is to steal market share from the BMW X1 and Mercedes GLA-Class, and it may very well do that.

With every new BMW seemingly competing for the Most Repulsive Grille Award, its aversion to change works to Alfa’s benefit. The self-serious marketing copy on its website might be slightly hyperbolic (see the graphic I made below for the Greatest Hits), but the Alfa Romeo Tonale is a better-looking SUV than just about every other crossover on the market, not that it’s an especially high bar considering every car looks the same now.

A compilation of hyperbolic marketing quotes
Graphic: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

The tasteful V-shaped Scudetto (Italian for “little shield”) grille is unwavering, practically identical to the one on the 8C Competizione that brought Alfa back to the States in 2008. The appearance will differ slightly from trim to trim. It’s gloss black on our Veloce, whereas the midrange Ti sparkles silver, and the Sprint’s grille is a more subdued black than the Veloce’s, outlined in a more economical plastic material. As Top Gear said in its review of the U.K.-spec Alfa Romeo Tonale, the “elegant shield grille makes you wonder why rivals are making such a horlicks of their increasingly pugnacious frontal styling.” How very British of them.

The only substantial change to the front end from the Alfa models before it is the Marelli 12-zone adaptive headlight system. Rather than burning the retinas out from the skull of the driver in front of you, each zone responds independently to your outside driving conditions. When you’re cruising through town at low speeds, for instance, it reduces power consumption as well as glare by only utilizing the necessary lighting zones for optimal visibility. It kinda reminds me of how OLED TVs work, in a sense.

Don’t hold your breath for a Quadrifoglio like the Giulia and Stelvio before it, though. Because it’s PHEV (plug-in hybrid)-only in the United States, I doubt we’ll see a Tonale with a Ferrari-derived engine, as is the Alfa CEO. (Sorry, losers, no four-leaf clover this time!)

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale (left) parked next to a red 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
Photo credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

More so than previous Alfa Romeo models, the 2024 Tonale won’t let you forget where its assembly plant is based. Three Italian flags brazenly appear throughout – two on the side mirrors and one prominently displayed below the gear shift. Perhaps it’s to distract you from the DNA it shares with red-blooded American muscle cars and 4x4s, thanks to its absorption into Stellantis, which also owns Jeep, Ram, Chrysler, and Dodge. Because found on the driver’s side window, brake calipers, and even in the engine bay are the obligatory Official Mopar® stamps of approval.

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale colors

Parked on the street, I was sitting in the car one morning queueing up music on CarPlay when I saw a teacher walk by chaperoning a group of young elementary school kids. “Wow, look at that car. What color is that?” she asked one student.

The child, who could not care less, ignored her question.

“Green, right! Emerald green. Can you say emerald?” The student did not respond.

More recently, I nearly pulverized a pedestrian as he was crossing the street while the traffic light was green. I slowed down, of course, so he could cross. He, too, complimented the car. It seems no matter who you are or how you drive, the Alfa Romeo Tonale will stop people in their tracks, pausing for a moment to stare in awe. Not because it’s an Alfa – New York has plenty of Giulias and Stelvios in black and white and gray. But because it’s green… excuse me, verde fangio.

It isn’t subtle either, calling to mind the shade Aston Martin uses for its Formula 1 cars and has since made its way to production vehicles including the DBX 707 SUV and the new DB12.

Alfa knew what it was doing when it exclusively showcased the green Tonale in just about all of its marketing. Because the green Tonale comes at a $2,000 premium. But even if you, like me, believe an eye-catching color is well worth the added cost, it’s no longer available to order from the Alfa Romeo site as of this writing. Instead, you’ll have to check in with a local dealer and see if they have any in stock.

Otherwise, you can be boring and get yours in Alfa White without spending another dime – or shell out a little more for a lot more visual appeal. Whatever you do, just don’t buy gray or Stellantis will dunk you in a vat of orange paint.

Exterior paint colors

  • Alfa White (white): $0
  • Alfa Rosso (red): $500
  • Alfa Black (black): $500
  • Grigio Ascari Metallic (gray): $660
  • Misano Blue Metallic: $2,200

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale price

Like most cars, the Alfa Romeo Tonale’s price isn’t one-size-fits-all. It comes in three different trim levels, each with its own packages and options. While it starts at $42,995, chances are slim you’ll find a vanilla Sprint model with no additional toppings sitting on the lot of the Maserati dealership near you (where most Alfa Romeos are sold). And, even if you do, there’s a $1,595 destination charge on top of the base price regardless of which configuration you choose.

Trim levels (before taxes and fees)

  • Sprint: $42,995
  • Ti: $44,995
  • Veloce: $47,495
Photo credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

With that in mind, I do recommend leasing a Tonale as opposed to financing, for a number of reasons. The first is that while the list of cars you can buy that qualify for the EV tax credit is getting smaller and smaller, it’s still the wild west for lessees. That’s one of the main reasons you may have noticed a sudden influx of lease deals, even in our own coverage. As long it can be driven using the electric powertrain by itself, at least some of the time, any leased car is eligible for the full $7,500.

In theory, leasing a V8-powered BMW XM could net you the credit, but the mild-hybrid Toyota Prius will not. (I haven’t tried it, but if you do, please report back to me). Ironic considering the XM gets an estimated 13 mpg in the city while the Prius can achieve upwards of 50 mpg. All because the BMW XM is a PHEV, which can travel a whole 30 miles on battery alone, and surely Americans will only use the gas engine as a backup in that ungodly gas guzzler.

Unfortunately, leasing a vehicle means the dealer still holds the title, so the tax credit goes straight to them. Gold Coast Maserati was kind enough to pass the savings on to us, lowering our monthly payment. That won’t always be the case, of course, so make sure you ask your salesperson about the tax credit before signing any paperwork. Remember, walking out is the best negotiation tactic when visiting any car dealership.

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale interior and tech

The interior of any Alfa Romeo is going to be divisive, and the Tonale is no exception. Starting with the high notes, the heated seats and heated leather steering wheel come standard, as do eight-way adjustable front seats, a 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster display, a 10.25-inch center touch display, a built-in universal garage door opener, and wireless phone charging.

In making the most of its subcompact frame, Alfa literally outdid itself with the Tonale’s interior. Despite its smaller dimensions on the outside, the Tonale beats the Stelvio when it comes to legroom in both the front and rear cabins. Of course, the Tonale falls short on headroom in comparison to its mid-sized sibling, but only by less than an inch in the back and just under 2 inches in the front. And while it lacks the cargo space of the Stelvio with the back seats down, the Tonale has 4.4 cubic-feet more storage when the seats are up. Yet, despite offering less space, the Stelvio is taller, wider, and longer than the Tonale, making the 2.0L Stelvio’s place in the market all the more confusing.

In addition to the standard interior and tech trappings, the 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale has a handful of premium options, but keep your expectations in check, especially if you go for the base trim.

For an extra $1,200, you can add a power moonroof with a matching black shade you can open or close using electronic overhead switches. We outfitted ours with the moonroof, and apart from getting it in a strong color, it’s the only other must-have on the list. Not that it’s a particularly special sunroof. Alfa calls it “semi-panoramic,” which I guess is semi-true. The shade can retract fully, but the moonroof itself stops about halfway. So while your rear-seat passengers can see the sky above them, they won’t be able to recreate this scene. For safety reasons, that’s for the best.

Speaking of safety, an optional $1,895 Active Assist package introduces a few more bells and whistles to reduce the chance of collision. The active driving assist system enables Level 2 autonomous driving, employing an array of sensors to accelerate and brake for you while maintaining your lane position in keeping with the traffic flow. Not self-driving, but certainly more robust than old-school cruise control. On top of the auto-dimming rear-view mirror inside the car, the Active Assist package also dims the side mirrors, an unfortunate necessity given the increasingly blinding headlights on newer cars.

While we did get the full suite of Active Assist features with our Tonale, in retrospect, it was mostly overkill. The main reason we wanted it was for the parking assist features. Living in NYC, as you can imagine, we have to pull into a lot of tight spaces, whether it’s on the street or in a garage. Sometimes those spaces are so tight we give up halfway through to find another spot. Even if we can pull off the tricky maneuver, the cost-benefit analysis we do in our heads advises us against it.

Again, using tiny cameras all around your car to create a 360-degree map of its exterior, the surround-view system eliminates the guesswork. And holy shit does it let you know when you’re too close to something! The incessant beeping drives me to madness, but it’s better than driving me to the body shop. Unless you do a lot of city parking, you can probably skip Active Assist. The standard features will be more than enough for most drivers.

Tech, safety & infotainment

  • Uconnect 5 navigation w/ 10.25-inch touch display
  • 12.3-inch full TFT LCD color display
  • 6-speaker audio
  • Universal garage door opener
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Alfa DNA drive mode system
  • Automatic e-brake
  • Blind spot and cross-path detection
  • Driver attention alert
  • Enhanced adaptive cruise control
  • Forward-collision warning + full stop
  • Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA)
  • Lane-keep assist
  • LED daytime running headlights
  • Front and rear park assist
  • ParkView backup camera
  • Passive speed-limiting device
  • Remote start
  • Tire pressure monitoring display
  • Traffic sign recognition

Comfort

  • Sport cloth heated seats
  • Heated leather sport steering wheel
  • Door panel bottle holders
  • Consoles and storage
  • Console with armrest
  • Overhead console
  • Sun visors with illuminated vanity mirror

Climate control

  • AC w/ dual-zone temperature control
  • Rear air vents
  • PTC heater

Windows and locks

  • Power front and rear windows with 1-touch up/down

Interior mirrors

  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Floor mats
  • Front floor mats

Interior design

  • Black headliner
  • MPH primary speedometer
  • Vinyl door trim panel
  • Vinyl instrument panel

Packages

  • High-performance driving: $1,500
    • Features: paddle shifters, aluminum pedals, Brembo brakes w/ Alfa Romeo script
  • Active assist advanced: $2,000
    • Features: intelligent speed control, traffic sign recognition, 360-degree camera, front, ParkSense park assist
  • Premium interior: $1,500
    • Features: leather-trimmed interior, ventilated front seats
  • Premium interior & sound: $2,500
    • Features: leather-trimmed interior, ventilated front seats, 12-speaker Harmon Kardon premium sound system

Interior options

  • Sport cloth seat with biscotto stitching: standard
  • Perforated black leather seat: $1,500 or $2,500 (depends on package)

2024 Alfa Rome Tonale design, performance and powertrain

Alright, here we go. The moment all you spec-heads have been waiting for. Lift the curtain and cue the drumroll, please! Commanding 285 horsepower (hp) and 350 lb-ft of torque, Alfa claims the Tonale can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 6 seconds with both the gas engine and electric motors turned on. I haven’t timed it, but that sounds about right, anecdotally speaking. Apart from the AMG version of the Mercedes GLA, the Tonale really does pack the best performance in its class. It might weigh 4,150 pounds at the curb, but in 2023 where everything is built like a tank, that’s less than some sedans.

Powering the rear wheels are two electric motors making 44 and 121 hp as well as 39 and 184 lb-ft of torque for a combined 165 hp and 223 lb-ft of torque with the engine off. Located under the front hood is a 1.3-liter turbocharged inline-4-cylinder Fiat FireFly-based internal combustion engine (ICE). Originally introduced in the South American market for the regional Fiat Uno, the FireFly was engineered to scale across a range of Stellantis (formerly Fiat-Chrysler) vehicles. You’ll find naturally aspirated versions of it in the Fiat 500 and Fiat Panda while the turbo variant is used in the Jeep Compass and Jeep Renegade, albeit without the electrified bits, at least in the U.S.

On battery power alone, you can drive for 31 miles without recharging. Plugging it into a Level 2 charger will get you a full charge in about 2 hours and 30 minutes. However, by default, the Alfa Romeo Tonale won’t charge in full swing without adjusting the charge speed on the infotainment first. On the default setting, it takes about 5 and 30 minutes to reach a full charge. Still faster than the 8 hours it takes to fully charge the 15.5-kWh battery using the included 120-volt Level 1 cable.

Photo credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

If you’re in the city, good luck finding a charger that isn’t blocked by an ICE or a Tesla taking up two spots. If you own a house, suck it up and get a Level 2 charger installed. Fortunately, it being a PHEV means the 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale never really needs to be plugged in, unless you plan to drive full-time on battery power alone. The DNA drive mode system you’ll find in all modern Alfas lets you toggle between three modes. As far as the Tonale is concerned, Dynamic (D) means the engine and electric motors are on all the time, Natural (N) relies primarily on the electric motors but fires up the engine when the extra power is needed, and Advanced Efficiency (A) runs purely on electric until it runs out of juice.

Driving the Alfa Romeo Tonale in Dynamic Mode will recharge the battery relatively fast. For every mile I drove, I gained one mile back in electric range. Regardless of the mode, you’ll always recoup some power thanks to the Tonale’s regenerative braking capabilities. That’s good news considering the dealer forgot to charge ours until we arrived to pick it up. As a result, my wife had to putter from Long Island to Manhattan on gas alone.

Folks, let me tell you. This is a fun car. Not just fun for a mom car. It handles like an Alfa, which is to say it handles like a BMW or any other German car, only quirkier. I would argue it’s even more fun to drive in EV mode because, without the gas engine powering the front wheels, it’s effectively a rear-wheel drive (RWD) sportback. Although you’re losing horsepower, you can corner like you’re in your favorite racing game. The driving dynamics are astonishingly similar to that of my Giulia Quadrifoglio, and yes, you can disable traction control in any of the three drive modes.

But… BUT – and let me preface this by saying, the Veloce model’s dual sport exhaust note is phenomenal for a 4-cylinder hybrid (I had to double-check to make sure the sound wasn’t playing through the speaker). BUT! When the battery dies down, the excitement dies with it. The Alfa Romeo Tonale running on gas alone sounds like a marathoner gasping at the final mile, desperate for electrolytic replenishment. The dedicated gas-only mode called e-Drive, Alfa-speak for “Grandpa Mode,” turns the Tonale into a front-wheel drive (FWD) boat making 180 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque. If you derive any enjoyment from driving, I suggest you never turn it on.

Photo credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale vs 2024 Dodge Hornet

Oh, you thought I wouldn’t bring it up, as if it’s the insect who shall not be named?

Believe me, I am well aware the Dodge Hornet sits on the same Jeep Compass platform as the Alfa Romeo Tonale. That they share the same powertrain. And before you say anything, I know it costs nearly $10K less to start. However! Let’s set the record straight. The Alfa Romeo Tonale is not an up-badged Dodge Hornet. The Hornet is a down-badged Tonale. This isn’t a cheap shot at Dodge – Alfa employees have that covered.

In all earnest, they’re two different cars, particularly at the base level where the pricing is at its most disparate. In fact, the $32,330 Dodge Hornet GT isn’t even a hybrid. It’s a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo making 268 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. That’s 6% less horsepower and 15% less torque than the Alfa Romeo Tonale Sprint. Premium features that come standard on the Tonale, like the heated steering wheel and seats, 18-inch wheels, as well as remote start are optional, so tacking them on the Hornet hikes up the price.

The Dodge equivalent of the $42,995 base model Tonale is the $42,530 Hornet R/T. Buying “American” saves you a whole $465. Congratulations, treat yourself to something nice for Prime Day.

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