Alfa Romeo Unveils Powerful Stelvio SUV

Published November 18, 2016 by Elizabeth Jeneault

The all-new Alfa Romeo premium mid-size sports utility vehicle is sharp, powerful and has an incredibly catchy name. Some are calling it the Ferrari SUV that Ferrari will never build. It’s the 2018 Stelvio! It was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 16. It can go from 0-60 mph in just 3.9 seconds. Alfa Romeo says it epitomizes the company’s spirit. “The all-new Stelvio, named after one of the greatest driving roads in the world – the Stelvio Pass in the Italian Alps – sets a new benchmark for the segment,” said Reid Bigland, head of Alfa Romeo. “Stelvio is uniquely engineered to challenge two-door sports cars on the track, without sacrificing any of the characteristics you would expect from a premium SUV, resulting in the perfect mix of high performance, capability and Italian design.” There are three Stelvio models to choose from. They are the Stelvio, Stelvio Ti and Stelvio Quadrifoglio. All are crafted by Alfa Romeo artisans at the Cassino plant in Italy. cxajlmduqaaeoru

Exterior & Interior

The Stelvio has Italian style written all over it. Owners are able to customize their performance SUV with up to 13 exterior colors. There are also seven wheel choices, ranging from 18 inches to 21 inches. The company also says there’s an almost endless selection of interior color and trim choices. A Formula One inspired steering wheel helps enhance the high performance feel of the vehicle. It features a thick-rim profile that the company says, “transmits the chassis’ direct-steering feel and neatly groups the vehicle controls and the engine start button.” Behind the wheel are available all-aluminum column-mounted paddle shifters and a standard 7-inch color cluster display. The display is straddled by two large analog gauges. You’ll find two rotary dials in the center console. The first controls the vehicle’s DNA drive mode system with Dynamic, Natural and Advanced Efficiency modes to choose from in the Stelvio and Stelvio Ti. Alfa Romeo says the different modes can be used to fine tune the driving experience by adjusting throttle response, boost pressure and suspension settings. The Stelvio Quadrifoglio gets a fourth Race mode with its exclusive DNA Pro drive mode system. The second rotary dial controls the high-resolution 6.5-inch or 8.8-inch infotainment system. It features 3-D graphic navigation that recognizes handwritten gestures on the top of the rotary pad. How cool is that? When it comes to audio, the Stelvio certainly does not disappoint. It features a refined Harman Kardon Premium Audio System. At the heart of the system is a 900-watt 12-channel class D amplifier that distributes sounds through 14 speakers. Talk about loud! afph60_7329-1

Performance

All Stelvio models are powered by best-in-class all-aluminum engines. They also all get the Q4 all-wheel drive system, which Alfa Romeo says provides additional driving confidence and superior control. The system is able to transfer up to 60 percent of the engine’s torque to the front axle. It’s linked to the Stelvio’s Chassis Domain Controller and driver-adjustable Alfa DNA or DNA Pro drive mode system. As a reminder, the Stelvio and Stelvio Ti models get the DNA drive mode system while the Quadrifolgio gets the DNA Pro. The Stelvio and Stelvio Ti models get a 2.0-liter direct-injection 16-valve, turbocharged and intercooled engine. It delivers 280 horsepower and 306 lb.-ft. of torque, allowing it to achieve a top speed of 144 mph. The Stelvio Quadrifoglio’s engine packs the most power. In fact, it’s the most powerful Alfa Romeo production engine ever. It’s the same engine that’s in the Giulia Quadrifoglio. The 2.9-liter direct-injection bi-turbo V-6 churns out 505 horsepower and 443 lb.-ft. of torque, allowing it to achieve a top speed of 177 mph. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds. The engine was designed to optimize the vehicle’s lightweight architecture and features a compact 90-degree layout. The company says it was holistically designed for a low center of gravity within the chassis. It also features a Cylinder Efficient Management deactivation system for improved fuel efficiency. It enables the engine to run on three of its six cylinders. During lateral acceleration, torque vectoring makes it possible for the Quadrifoglio to achieve higher performance. Also standard on the Quadrifoglio and available on the Stelvio Ti is the Alfa Active suspension system. It allows for a setting of softer shock absorbers for a smoother ride or a more rigid setting for more accuracy in sports driving. alfa-romeo-stelvio-la-2016

Safety

Safety features are more than necessary in a vehicle as powerful as the Stelvio. It offers full-speed forward collision warning-plus, adaptive cruise control-plus with full stop and lane departure warning. Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross path detection and front and rear-park assist sensors are available. The Stelvio also features an advanced air bag system.

Trims

Let’s delve a little further into what the different trims have to offer. In addition to the list of standard features we mentioned earlier for the all-new Stelvio, the Stelvio Ti adds even more luxury and convenience including 19-inch wheels. There are also wood interior accents and an 8.8-inch widescreen infotainment display. Customers can choose to add Sport and Lusso packages to the Stelvio Ti. There are also ultra-high performance options for the Stelvio’s highest level trim. Drivers can choose to add ultra-lightweight carbon fiber shell racing seats to the Quadrifoglio. They’re designed to provide maximum support during extreme cornering and comfort for long drives. Customers can also choose to add an ultra-high performance carbon-ceramic material brake system to their Quadrifoglio. ar018_025st2o7rjj026ful1g7c21a6im0id5-1200x520

Our Take

With its power, technology and style, the Stelvio is certainly an impressive SUV and one that could make a big splash on the luxury SUV market. It will compete with the likes of the Jaguar F-Pace and Porsche Macan. Alfa Romeo didn’t reveal when the Stelvio will arrive at dealerships, but many are hoping the vehicle will arrive soon. The company also did not give an estimate for pricing.

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