All-new 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV surfaces
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio, the Italian company’s first ever SUV is finally here! The all-new premium compact luxury SUV was unveiled to the general public at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday.
The SUV has been christened after a small township located in the Alps of northern Italy, close to Switzerland’s border, whose name itself came about because of its proximity to the famous Stelvio Pass, which is reckoned to be amongst the best driving roads in the world, one that mixes hairpin bends with elevation changes…and ofcourse, a gorgeous landscape.
Th Alfa Romeo Stelvio will be based the rear-wheel-drive Giorgio platform equipped in the Giulia sedan. It will be characterized by lightness of mass, a low center of gravity and, as observed from by the record-snatching performance by the sedan at the Nurburgring, some quality chassis technology. All-wheel drive will be standard across the Stelvio range.
The Stelvio makes its debut in high-performance Quadrifoglio guise. The top-spec variant will take on the BMW X3 M, Jaguar F-Pace SVR, Audi SQ5 and Mercedes-AMG GLC63. Propulsion comes from the same twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 as in the Giulia Quadrifoglio and peak output will remain the same at 503 hp and 600 Nm of torque. Transmission duties will be shouldered by an 8-speed automatic, the ratios of which can be swapped via paddle shifters located behind the wheel. Thanks to this highly potent powertain, the Italian SUV to get from 0-100 kph in under 4 seconds and will help fight wind resistance upto a top speed of 285 kph.
The range will also consist of a standard Stelvio and Stelvio Ti (Turismo Internazionale) models. Both come powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre inline-4 engines putting out 280 hp and 414 Nm of torque; and will share the a similar if not the same 8-speed automatic with its beastly brother. Amongst the options, are wheel sizes that range from 18 to 20 inches, a carbon-fibre driveshaft, leather trim, a power liftgate, parking sensors and a rearview camera.
The lower centre console will house three salient rotary controllers – one of which is the driving modes selector through which the SUV’s dynamics can be switched between Dynamic, Natural or any of the Advanced Efficiency modes. The Quadrifoglio will have an additional Race mode, which dials up the dynamic prowess a notch. The second rotary controller is for the dash-mounted infotainment screen, which in base trim can be used to navigate through the on-screen functions on a 6.5-inch diagonal or 8.8-inches with the wide-screen option. A presence of a rotary pad with handwriting recognition capabilities will also help with the various multimedia, phone and navigation functions. In terms of instrumentation, all Stelvios will also get a 7.0-inch screen located in the main instrument cluster.
Production of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio is poised to begin at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Cassino plant in Italy, sometime towards the end of 2016. First examples are expected to be seen in showrooms in mid-2017 in most markets. When it will be available to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other GCC countries remains to be seen.