Finally, it is here… I am talking about the all new SUV from the luxury automaker Alfa Romeo. The model made its debut at the ongoing Los Angeles Auto Show. True to the brand, the Stelvio SUV brings about the popular Italian flair and passion common with its other models. It is named after a small town located on a long stretch of winding road (Stelvio pass) which is considered one of the most attractive driving roads due to its elevations and switchbacks backed by beautiful scenery. The new 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV is based on the Giorgio platform that currently underpins the Giulia sedan.
The platform is characterized by a low center of gravity, low weight and excellent chassis technology. The SUV will debut in the high-performance Quadrifoglio’s guise; less powerful models will be offered later on. Read along for more information:
2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Exterior
The exterior of the Stelvio is heavily based on the Giulia. The model features a very aggressive front fascia that features a revised nose with a huge V-shaped Alfa Romeo shield. Below the shield is a split intake. The model also features stylish headlights. Unlike the Giulia, the Stelvio’s side intakes are narrower and vertically-oriented to enhance its SUV-like look. The engine hood is quite aggressive. It features protruding bulges on each side as well as a pair of black-painted vents.
The similarity with the Giulia continue on the sides where the Stelvio features a beefed-up character line that accentuates the door-handle line and then ascends to the muscular rear haunches. The flanks also features black window frames, blacked-out lower side mirror caps as well as round-spoke wheels along with huge brake discs and red brake calipers.
At the rear, only the taillights are adopted from the Giulia. The taillights are also slightly revised to feature LED strips while the reverse lights are mounted close to the upper edge. It also features coupe-like rear glass, a roof spoiler and a lip spoiler on the tailgate. The rear also features a trapezoid-shaped license plate recess, four small fins, a diffuser-like element that features black inserts and two gigantic exhaust tips on each side.
The Crossover SUV is available in 13 exterior colors. The model offers a somewhat unique body that looks more of a tall hot-hatch as opposed to a traditional SUV.
2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Interior
The cabin styling is also adopted from the Giulia. Similarities begin on the dash where both models feature a multi-layered element whose top part is wrapped in Alcantara. The dash also features a carbon-fiber trimmed middle and leather wrapped lower section. The crossover SUV also borrows the sedan’s A/C vents, steering wheel and center console design. However, the Stelvio has some unique features that tell its cabin apart from the sedan such as the addition of two small hoops on the area above its instrument cluster rather than the sedan’s arches design.
The steering wheel, which is customized for racing has optional paddle shifters that are made from aluminum. Behind the steering wheel, two gigantic analog gauges flank a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster. The digital cluster layout features Quadrifoglio’s specific speedometer that has a 200-mph mark. The Quadrifoglio also comes with two extra dials in the center console for controlling the DNA Drive Mode system. It also comes with an 8.8-inch infotainment system (standard models will feature a 6.5-inch system). The infotainment system displays telemetry data, performance information and 3D graphic navigation. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are offered as standard.
The Quadriflogio’s seats are very comfortable. They are upholstered in both leather and Alcantara. Front seats are 12-way power adjustable. All seats offer thigh support. There is also an option for carbon-fiber trimmed Sparco racing seats that have aggressive bolstering which the automaker claims are the lightest in the segment. The cabin surfaces are contrasted with a red stitching for a sporty look.
Audiophiles will love the model’s 14-speaker, 900-watt Harman Kardon sound system.
Safety is also well taken care of. The Stelvio features an advanced package of airbags and a host of driving aids such as Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus, Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus, Lane Departure Warning, Blind-Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
Engine specs and performance
Under the hood, the Stelvio also looks to the Giulia for inspiration. It uses the same 2.9 L, V-6 powerplant. The engine is all-aluminum and uses direct injection. The mill is produced jointly with Ferrari. It produces 505 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. This output makes the Stelvio the most powerful crossover in its segment. The awesome power is courtesy of its two turbochargers that are integrated into its exhaust manifold.
The engine is paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox or an 8-speed automatic transmission. The automaker’s Q4 AWD system is standard on all trims. The system can transfer up to 60% of the mill’s torque to the front axle.
The powerful mill helps the Stelvio to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and has a 177 mph top speed. The automaker has also optimized the model’s fuel saving credentials by the addition of a Cylinder Efficient Management deactivation system. The system enables the vehicle to run on only three of the six cylinders. Fuel consumption details are yet to be released. It also features a rear mechanical limited-slip differential for optimizing rear-wheel traction. This provides the ideal level of torque to the rear wheels depending on traction conditions.
The vehicle features four driving modes; they are Dynamic, Natural, Advanced Efficiency and Exclusive. However, the Quadrifoglio with the Alfa DNA Pro system gets the “Race” mode which activates the “over-boost” to open up the vehicle’s two-mode exhaust system, offers sharper brake and steeling wheel response, turns ESC off and enables a more aggressive throttle and transmission calibrations, factors that are important if you decide to try out your Stelvio on the tracks.
Price and release date
Alfa Romeo is yet to release pricing details of the Stelvio. However, considering its unique positioning, expect a price in excess of $70,000. It will be released to dealerships in the second half of next year as a 2018 model.
In terms of output, the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio does not have any rivals at the moment. However, it is only a matter of time before the market gets crowded upon entrance of more powerful versions of the Jaguar F-Pace SVR, BMW X3 M and Mercedes-AMG-GLC63.