As a fairly new parent, one who thought a 3 Series Touring would work for child and hound but is finding an X3 even more agreeable (sorry), baby-focused car news does grab the attention where it never, ever used to. Especially SUV news. PHers without babies, look away now and gawp at the TVR instead; those with a sprog or two might be interested by Alfa’s latest thing, the Tonale Edizione Bambini.
Alfa says it’s the ‘perfect car for style-conscious parents’, which is probably still up for some debate given a few of the Tonale’s odder details. But the new equipment introduced for this one-off will surely hold more universal appeal. Apparently 86 per cent of parents have had to do an emergency change in the car (who are the 14 per cent that haven’t?!), which can be a right mess in every sense. So the Edizione Bambini has a changing unit in the boot; no good if doggy needs to come as well (as it’s part of the parcel shelf), but a far nicer way to do a quick baby pit stop than usual. Its Alfa branding looks cool, too.
According to Alfa’s research, 43 per cent of parents find it stressful if they can’t see what baby is doing while they’re driving. So the Edizione Bambini gets a baby monitor, which has a smartphone app for whoever’s in the passenger seat. And for those driving solo, it’ll be no more distracting than a sat-nav. Probably.
Those with older, even messier, even more prone-to-boredom kids (apparently I've got all that to look forward to) are covered by a toy tidy on each seat, tablet holders, and even provisions for a middle (seat) child to keep their stuff in order. Apparently, children typically kick the back of front seats 3.5 times per journey (how do they get this research?), so the grey leather tidies have protective panels to protect the hide.
Some of the stats revealed by Alfa’s research are eye-opening to say the least, especially to those of us that like to keep a fairly clean car even with a baby around. 56 per cent of the 2,000 parents surveyed said they would feel embarrassed having another person in their car because it was so messy, while 59 per cent reckoned it was important ‘the interior of their car retains a sense of style’. But the same amount said that was harder to do with a little one around. To help, the Edizione Bambini comes with a 12V-rechargeable vacuum, a six-litre touchless bin behind the centre console and a boot organiser complete with cleaning products. Those without children will see all that as needless junk to carry around; hopefully some other parents out there are wondering where they could buy such useful kit…
It does seem strange that Alfa Romeo would go to this effort for a one-off car, so perhaps a few branded, family-friendly accessories will make it to the options list in future. And if they’re being made for the Tonale, it would make sense to get Stelvio equivalents for larger broods as well; a Quadrifoglio with an incorporated changing mat could be all the family car a PHer would ever need!
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