At last, Alfa Romeo has stepped up to the plate and brought its iconic styling and legendary driveability to the SUV sector.
The all-new Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV was recently unveiled at the LA Motor Show, and the Stelvio’s hot Quadrifoglio range-topping model certainly turned heads.
Alfa has always been known for its heart-racing designs, and the Stelvio certainly carries on with this tradition. There’s none of the rugged, chunky corners that have characterised this sector for so long. Alfa’s SUV throws down the style gauntlet to key rivals, including Porsche and Mercedes, with smooth lines and fluid curves that perhaps give a nod towards the brand’s sports heritage. Beneath the swooping bonnet, Alfa’s Stelvio is primed for performance.
The top-of-the-range Quadrifoglio model is powered by a pulse-quickening 503bhp 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 all aluminium engine. Paired with the car’s paddle-shifted 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox (Alfa claims gear changes are made in just 150 milliseconds!!) this SUV can hurtle from 0-60mph in just 3.9 seconds.
Blistering top speed and Alfa’s legendary on-road performance
Top speed is an eye-blistering 177 mph; no wonder this car also comes fitted with carbon ceramic brakes and Alfa’s Integrated Brake System, which helps to reduce stopping distances.
Like all Alfa’s, the Stelvio has been made to be driven. It’s a philosophy which underpins all Alfa Romeos and a glimpse beneath this SUV’s skin reveals this shared DNA.
The car is built upon the same aluminium chassis as the popular Giulia saloon, with a double wishbone front suspension and four-and-a-half link setup at the rear, plus adjustable dampers. To keep the car weight down, Alfa have used light-weight aluminium throughout, including the engine, suspension, door, bonnet and boot lid.
This has clearly helped Alfa deliver what they claim is a perfect 50:50 weight distribution. When coupled with a low center of gravity, plus Alfa’s impressive chassis technology and all-wheel-drive as standard, the Stelvio delivers outstanding on-road performance.
In more down-to-earth realms, the Stelvio will also likely be offered with Alfa’s brace of 2.2-litre diesel engines and the 2.0-litre turbo petrol unit. There is also going to be a potent new 2.0-litre option with 276bhp on tap, but it is unknown whether this will come to the UK. Meanwhile, two-wheel drive will also be available with some engine variants.
Sophistication and innovation - the perfect SUV package?
Clearly, this car is built to be driven and this is further expressed by the minimalist, driver-focused cabin. A sophisticated 8.8” infotainment system is mounted in the centre of the dash. This is controlled by one of two main rotary controllers located on the steering wheel. There will also be an additional and innovative rotary pad located in the center console, capable of recognising handwritten gestures.
A second steering-wheel controller helps the driver get the most from each ride by selecting the appropriate driving mode; Dynamic, Natural or Advanced Efficiency. The potent Quadrifoglio model has an additional fourth mode Race, clearly included for those who prefer a more ‘enthusiastic’ drive.
Be first to see Alfa’s new SUV
So, when can you get behind the wheel and test drive Alfa’s bold new Stelvio SUV? The first models are due to roll off production and into our showrooms in mid-2017. Our specialist Alfa Romeo dealers in Chesterfield and Wolverhampton can’t wait. Can you?