Of late, Alfa Romeo has been on a revival path, trying earnestly to resurrect its glorious past when its cars were considered among the best looking and best driving in the world. If the stunning 4C was a great start, the Giulia was a brilliant follow-up. Now, the Italian carmaker has cemented the revival with its first ever SUV, the Stelvio.
Built on the same architecture as the Giulia saloon, which Alfa says is an embodiment of the brand’s ‘La meccanica delle emozioni,’ or ‘the mechanics of emotion’ spirit, the new SUV will be available with two powertrain options in three different trims. The base Stelvio and the Stelvio Ti models are powered by an all-aluminium 2.0-litre turbo engine turbo engine delivering 276bhp and 415Nm of torque, and helping the SUV reach a top speed of 232kph. However, the trim we have our sights set on is the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, which packs the same Ferrari-derived 503bhp, 600Nm, 2.9-litre turbocharged V6. Mated to an eight-speed automatic that sends power to all four corners, the six-pot will help the Stelvio Quadrifoglio dash to 100kph from nought in just 3.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 285kph.
Apart from the extra performance, The Stelvio Quadrifoglio also gets a specially tuned suspension with a four-mode drive selector with Race mode, torque vectoring differential, adaptive damping, along with special brakes and wheels. Meanwhile, the cabin gets leather and Alcantara seats are 12-way power adjustable, while a leather-wrapped steering wheel with accent stitching and a leather-wrapped instrument panel and carbon fibre interior trim.
The intelligent Q4 all-wheel-drive system, which is the same used by Maserati in its Levante, comes standard on all Stelvio models, and is able to transfer up to 60 per cent of the engine’s torque to the front axle. And as is the norm nowadays, it comes packed with a host of safety features such as forward collision warning with braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, and airbags all around.
“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,” says 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.”