Exclusive First Edition model initially available
In November 2016, Alfa Romeo revealed its first production SUV, the Stelvio, at the Los Angeles Motor Show in its asphalt-crunching Quadrifoglio model. The base model, revealed in the First Edition guise, will be initially made to order this year for the European, Middle Eastern and African markets, but pricing has yet to be announced.
Revealed ahead of its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, the entry-level Stelvio now lacks aggressiveness from the performance oriented Quadrifoglio (cloverleaf badge included), but is still as eye-catching as any other Alfa Romeo. It is built on the same Giorgio platform as the Giulia, which explains the design of the front fascia resembles that of its saloon sister. Also borrowing the design language of the Giulia are the muscular fenders and the tail lamps.
Inside, the racy feel of the Quadrifoglio has been replaced with lush leather and wood cabin on the base model, giving it a relaxing feel and drive. The leather seats are electrically operated and are heated, and compliments the luxurious feel of the base model. Also highlighting the interior are the leather wrapped steering wheel with aluminium paddle shifters, 7-inch TFT instrument display and a 8.8-inch navigation display on the center console, co-developed by Magnetti-Marelli.
Exclusive to the First Edition are advanced safety equipment such as forward collision warning, autonomous emergency brake and lane departure warning, rear parking camera, and front and rear parking sensors.
While the Quadrifoglio model sports the same Ferrari derived 2.9-liter twin turbo petrol V6 found in the Giulia that produced 503 hp, the base model (including the First Edition) has a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder with a carbon propeller driveshaft and Fiat’s Multi-Air electro-hydraulic valve actuation system, accounting for 276 hp at 5,250 revolutions per minute, and 400 Newton-meters of torque at 2,250 rpm, mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. This will enable it to sprint from zero to 60 mph (96 kph) in 5.7 seconds, enough power to compete against other luxury SUV offerings such as Porsche’s Macan or Jaguar’s F-Pace, while delivering better fuel efficiency.
As with the range-topping Quadrifoglio, it features Alfa Romeo’s Q4 all-wheel drive system, in which it is rear wheel drive at normal driving conditions but becomes all-wheel drive the moment it senses wheel spin, distributing 50 percent of the brute force to the front wheels.
The Giorgio platform involved a significant investment in a new eight-car line-up, with production sales targets reaching up to 400,000 units in 2018 from 74,000 units in 2013. There is also a plan to open many more dealerships all over the world. The Stelvio was the second car and the first SUV to be built on this platform, and when it was first announced promised a 50:50 weight distribution as with its saloon sister with the Quadrifoglio model.
The Stelvio’s name is derived from the second highest mountain pass in Europe and the highest in Italy, with a rapid altitude change all the way up to 2,758 meters in height.