The new Alfa Romeo Stelvio is a compact SUV that extends this Italian luxury brand’s model range.
The 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show is underway, featuring dozens of North American and global debuts. Among the key models breaking cover is the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio, a sensuous all-wheel drive SUV based on the architecture underpinning the upcoming Alfa Romeo Giulia.
Named for Italy’s famous Stelvio Pass, which features 48 hairpin turns high up in the Italian Alps, the Stelvio is Alfa Romeo’s third product in an expanding portfolio, and it promises to be one of the brand’s fastest vehicles yet.
Indeed, when powered by an optional twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 engine with 505 horsepower, the Stelvio’s estimated 0-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds is just one-tenth of a second behind the pacesetting Porsche Cayenne Turbo S and ahead of the BMW X6 M, Bentley Bentayga and the Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio Trim Levels
The Stelvio offers a recognizable theme that is familiar to Alfa Romeo enthusiasts. At first glance, it looks like a tall wagon version of the Giulia, much in the same way the 2017 Jaguar XE and F-Pace share a common theme.
The new model will be available in Stelvio, Stelvio Ti and Stelvio Quadrifoglio editions. Quadrifoglio is Italian for “four-leaf clover” or “cloverleaf” and was the model introduced at the LA Auto Show. Our information focuses primarily on the top-trim model.
Exterior and Interior Highlights
The front fascia of the Stelvio is similar to the Giulia, with an elongated grille and tucked back lower sides among the differences. Muscular shoulders, a sweeping roofline and a rising beltline are evident. Deep body sculpting and alloy wheels add flair and distinction to the profile. At the rear, the clamshell liftgate features a pronounced hump that seems almost out of place. A liftgate spoiler and quad exhaust ports offer further amplification.
Inside, the 2018 Stelvio offers room for five. Slip behind the wheel and a Formula One-inspired flat-bottom steering wheel welcomes you. Genuine wood accents, available leather and Alcantara front seats, carbon fiber trim, and 6.5- or 8.8-inch widescreen infotainment displays are just a few of the standout features.
The standard Stelvio engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 280 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque.
All models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and an all-wheel drive system designed to send as much as 60 percent of the traction to the front axle. That system is tied to the Stelvio’s Chassis Domain Controller (CDC) and drive mode system, enabling the SUV to adjust to road conditions instantaneously and distribute torque to each wheel.
Alfa Romeo claims a near even 50-50 weight distribution for the SUV’s lightweight platform. A double wishbone suspension in the front is designed to enhance quick and precise steering feedback. Meanwhile, the rear suspension has been engineered to supply optimum performance, promote driving thrills and provide a comfortable ride.
For Stelvio drivers that want to maximize performance, certain upgrades are for the taking. A limited-slip differential is available to optimize rear-wheel traction. The differential is tasked with balancing torque on the rear axle and ensuring the correct amount is distributed to the wheels based on traction conditions.
Torque vectoring is another feature, ensuring that the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio provides excellent handling. An adaptive suspension system is also offered, allowing driver to set the Stelvio’s suspension for optimal handling, or a more comfort-tuned driving experience.
Alfa Romeo’s Portfolio
Alfa’s return to the U.S. market began with the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C. Production of the compact Giulia sedan is underway, with the first U.S. deliveries taking place before the end of the year. As for the Stelvio, a mid-2017 introduction seems likely. Pricing and specifications will be announced at a later date.