Stelvio: The New Italian SUV From Alfa Romeo | MHH International
Historically, Alfa Romeos have always been gorgeous to behold, if often flawed, and are a perfect blend of heritage, speed and beauty. Owners have loved them and hated them in equal measure. Fortunately, the mechanical gremlins of the past have been eliminated now and, as shown by the recent Guilia, automotive beauty and technical excellence can go hand in hand. There are high hopes for the Stelvio.
The Italian manufacturer’s latest offering was launched recently at the Los Angeles Motor Show, in Quadrifoglio guise as shown in our images. The company believe that the Stelvio is set to become the benchmark for the SUV segment when it is launched in Europe next year. It is expected to start at around £35,000 UK.
True to form the new model encapsulates the authentic Alfa Romeo spirit (or soul, as it is known to the more poetic fans) and incorporates the five ingredients that make Alfa one of the world's most desirable brands: distinctly Italian styling; innovative, state-of-the-art engines; impeccable weight distribution; unique technical solutions; and an outstanding power-to-weight ratio.
The stunning new Alfa Romeo has unique styling and clean contours. The side view confirms this impression, with an outline that suggests a compact car, starting at the front and developing towards the rear, and a cabin that ends on a steeply raked rear hatch, topped with a spoiler for maximum aerodynamic performance; a crucial consideration on a car that packs some punch.
On the flanks of the Stelvio, for example, there are stark contrasts between the surfaces that catch the light and those that remain in shadow. Essentially, the musculature of the car's sides accentuates its front and rear wings. The Quadrifoglio version shown here also features a body-coloured side-skirt with a carbon insert that further accentuates the car's sporting character. These features, combined with the front and rear bumpers and powerfully styled wheel-arches, all in the same colour as the bodywork, make the Stelvio Quadrifoglio more like a sports saloon hustling into the SUV sector.
The back end of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio is instantly eye-catching too, because of the sporting appearance it gets from its lower portion, characterised by the four exhaust tips, and from the "Kamm tail" styling that gives the car a unique, unmistakeable character, paying tribute to Alfa Romeo's history.
Inside, the same sporting inspiration makes another appearance in the Stelvio SUV's clean and uncluttered cabin. The small, direct steering wheel, designed to suit all driving styles, combines with a slightly undulating dashboard forged around the driver; tailored like a bespoke suit. The carbon fibre, wood and fabrics have all been chosen for their visual and tactile appeal and assembled to give a palpable sense of luxury. An 8.8-inch infotainment system is housed in the centre of the dash and operated via the control wheel on the console. The overall cabin architecture is carried over from the Giulia, with the hooded instrument binnacles, undulating dashboard and driver-focused controls.
As you would expect from this marque, the Stevio is guaranteed to deliver an exhilarating driving experience. Alfa Romeo have confirmed a new 276bhp 2.0L turbo will be available in the Stelvio; although at this time its not known whether this engine will be made available in the UK. The company’s new 148bhp and 178bhp 2.2L diesels and lesser-powered 197bhp 2.0L turbo should be offered, as a large range of engines is expected for the European market.
At the top of the range is the exhilarating performance of the 2.9L V6 BiTurbo Petrol Engine driving through an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The 6-cylinder BiTurbo petrol engine is made entirely of aluminium to reduce the weight of the vehicle, especially over the front axle. The options are there for power or economy.
Model dependent, there’s an innovative all-wheel drive system with Q4 technology, designed to manage drive distribution in real time, so as to deliver top-notch performance, efficiency and safety. In a nutshell, the Q4 system on Alfa Romeo's new SUV provides all the advantages of all-wheel drive incorporating torque vectoring technology, plus good fuel economy, responsive performance and all the driving pleasure of a rear-wheel drive car.
All the attributes of an Alfa Romeo, coupled with mechanical excellence, come together in this striking new car. Born to rule the Stelvio pass.