Alfa Romeo unveils a new electric-hybrid SUV with

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Italian car brand Alfa Romeo brings NFTs, which have recently become popular in digital art, to its new Tonale SUV, the company said on Tuesday for the vehicle’s unveiling, according to CNBC.

NFTs (non-fungible chips) are unique digital assets that cannot be replaced by anything else and are verified and stored using blockchain technology, making it difficult or impossible to change, hack or cheat the system.

NFTs have become commonplace with digital artwork, but they can be used for anything from music to a website domain, and now cars.

Alfa Romeo – owned by Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler) – says that, claiming to be the first in the industry, it certifies the car when purchased, then records and essentially stores the data during the life cycle of the car.

“Digitization is a key factor in our metamorphosis. Tonale is the first car to ever keep a blockchain token, non-fungible. NFTs are based on the same logic of distributed information that protects Bitcoin, “said Francesco Calcara, head of Alfa’s marketing and communications department, during a media briefing. “Record all blockchain data.”

Alfa Romeo said that NFT will record the vehicle’s Tone data to NFT, generating a certificate that can be used to ensure that the car has been properly maintained, with a positive impact on its residual value. However, the machine must be serviced by an authorized Alfa Romeo dealer in order to record the data.

The Tonale 2023 subcompact SUV is the beginning of the end for Alfa Romeo vehicles with a traditional internal combustion engine, according to Larry Dominique, the company’s head of operations in North America.

The 110-year-old brand plans to sell exclusively electric vehicles by 2027. Between now and then, Dominique said Alfa Romeo plans to launch five new or replacement vehicles, including the first battery-powered electric vehicle, or BEV, for the brand. . for North America in 2025.

For the US, the Tonale will be offered with a basic 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine, rated at 256 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. A hybrid electric plug-in version with a 1.3-liter four-cylinder turbo engine, 272 horsepower and an electric range of over 30 miles will also be available.

The vehicle has some of the design features of today’s Alfa Romeo vehicles. It is largely based on a concept vehicle that the company unveiled with the same name in 2019.

Alfa Romeo said orders for Tonale open in the fourth quarter, followed by availability in the first quarter of 2023. The company did not announce the price.

Tonale is just the fourth product from Alfa Romeo since its return to the US, after a hiatus of about 20 years in 2014. Since then, the brand has struggled to gain momentum due to the lack of new products.

The luxury carmaker has sold less than 19,000 vehicles a year since 2019, down from a peak of 23,800 cars in 2018. BMW, with which Alfa Romeo should have competed, has sold 93,000 vehicles in the fourth last quarter in the US.