Alfa Romeo’s new Stelvio SUV will boast 505 horsepower, a four-second zero-to-100 km/h time, and AWD, the automaker said mid-November at the vehicle’s unveil at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Despite what you might read elsewhere, the Stelvio is actually the second-ever SUV from Alfa Romeo. The first one was called the Matta, or “Mad Alfa,” and was built during the Second World War under orders from the Italian government.
While significantly less rugged than that ancestor – the Stelvio has a roof, and doors – it should at least have a bit of that Italian madness, thanks to a 505-horsepower V6.
Yes, that’s correct, the Stelvio in top-spec Quadrifoglio trim comes with the same twin-turbocharged all-aluminum direct-injected 2.9-litre V6 found in Alfa’s Guilia super-sedan. It’ll put out 443 lb-ft of torque through an eight-speed automatic, with paddle shifters.
It’ll do 0-100 km/h in around four seconds, and go on to a top speed of 285 km/h. (For the record, that’s enough to best Porsche’s Macan Turbo, with Performance Pack.)
Some less-mad engines will also be on offer. The Stelvio and Stelvio-Ti will come with an aluminum 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, good for 280 horsepower and 306 lb-ft of torque. Again, those figures compare favourably to the equivalent Porsche Macan.
All models will come standard with Alfa’s Q4 all-wheel drive system.
When Alfa Romeo announced its triumphant return to North America, nobody guessed it would take this long. The Alfa Romeo 4C was a wonderful statement of intent, but not a car many people would buy, let alone a car that could support a dealer network.
The compact Giulia sedan has the potential to do decent volume, competing against the likes of the Jaguar XE, BMW 3 Series and the like. But the Giulia has been met with delay after delay, and still hasn’t arrived in Canada.
The Stelvio SUV will be the brand’s volume-seller, and a brand ambassador as the car you’re most likely to see on the street. It can’t arrive fast enough.
The new SUV runs on the same platform as the Giulia sedan, so we have high expectations for its ride and handling. The Stelvio has selectable drive modes (the Quadrifoglio gets a “race” mode) and a torque vectoring system that can send up to 50 percent of torque to the front, and shuffle it between individual rear wheels as necessary.
The cabin is nearly identical to the Giulia sedan, which has some familiar Chrysler switchgear. Tech highlights include a digital dashboard, a 6.5-inch or 8.8-inch infotainment screen, and a forward-collision warning system.
The Stelvio will be a 2018 model in Canada, indicating it should arrive towards the end of 2017 or early 2018. Expect pricing to be roughly on par with rivals – Porsche Macan, Mercedes GLC, BMW X3, Audi Q5 and Jaguar F-Pace – somewhere in the $40,000 to 50,000 range.