Finally, after months of spy shots, internet rumours and teasers, Alfa Romeo's eagerly anticipated SUV has been revealed. Let's meet the Alfa Romeo Stelvio.
Named after the famous mountain pass in Italy made famous by BBC car show Top Gear, the Stelvio is the next big product reveal from Alfa Romeo. It marks Alfa Romeo's entry into the premium crossover/SUV segment and it evokes those famous Alfa cliches like "timeless style" and "passionate performance". On paper at least, the Stelvio looks credible. It shares powerplants with the forthcoming Giulia sedan and the range kicks off with a turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine. The headline act in the range in the Quadrifoglio model which boasts the same twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 as the sedan and that will be taking the fight straight to the Porsche Macan, upcoming Jaguar F-Pace SVR and Audi SQ5.
Alfa Romeo is claiming the Stelvio Quadrifoglio will get to 100 kph from standstill in 3.9 seconds! Power reaches all four wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission. The performance version features a torque-vectoring rear differential as well as a sporty adaptive suspension. Both the standard and performance versions feature aluminium assembly, 50/50 weight distribution, independent suspension and just look it. It's unmistakably an Alfa Romeo!
The cabin is not too dissimilar to that of the Giulia sedan. There's a tidy 7-inch display screen nestled between the rev counter and speedometer, the latter going all the way to 320 kph in the Quadrifoglio derivative. The standard Stelvio get a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system in the fascia, while the Ti and Quadrifoglio gets the expanded 8.8-inch unit. All Alfa Romeo Stelvios have leather seats, with the Quadrifoglio gaining Alcantara trim and carbon fiber shell seats. It's also well covered in the onboard technology and safety departments, with a 14-speaker audio system from Harman Kardon and safety features such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, lane departure warning and optional front parking sensors.
Production kicks off at Fiat Chrysler's factory in Italy towards the end of this year and it will reach the first customers in the middle of 2017. It'll hopefully reach the South African market by the end of 2017.
Update for April 2017
In early April 2017, FCA announced the Alfa Romeo Stelvio engine range would be expanded to include a base-spec diesel motor as well as a lower-spec turbocharged petrol engine. The 2.2-litre diesel is the first all-alluminium motor and features 130 kW and 450 Nm. It'll reach 100 kph in 7.6 seconds and will go onto a top speed of 210 kph. Power reaches the rear wheels via an automatic 8-speed gearbox. Alfa claims a fuel consumption figure of just 4.7 L/100 km. Meanwhile, on the petrol front, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo motor with 147 kW and 330 Nm will be available. Power goes to all four wheels via Alfa's Q4 system and an 8-speed automatic gearbox. It'll do the 100 kph sprint in 7.2 seconds and tops out at 215 kph.