It’s finally here – the second model in the long-awaited Alfa Romeo renaissance – is also joining the SUV craze, with the new Stelvio crossover packing the Quadrifoglio flagship grade in front of the worldwide audience of the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Alfa Romeo has been the Cinderella of the FCA group for years but it’s finally looking up towards the princess status CEO Sergio Marchionne always envisioned. This is because next to the Giulia saloon the Stelvio SUV will cater to the crossover-loving audiences, complete with BMW X5 M capable Stelvio model that boasts 505 hp under the hood and 60 mph (96 km/h) sprint of just 3.9 seconds. The Alfa Romeo fans had a long time to prepare for the arrival of the company’s first ever SUV considering the idea has been touted ever since the Kamal concept appeared back in 2003.
The exterior design can easily be summed up by renaming the model into the Giulia SUV. The Quadrifoglio model is certainly enticing and we’ll have to wait a little bit longer to reserve first hand judgment on the more affordable and less powerful versions, such as the mid-range Ti trim. The interior is also a carryover from the Giulia and in the QV specification has sports seats, red stitching, carbon fiber trim, and other sporty amenities to bode well with the engine that has Ferrari DNA. Speaking of which, this is another Giulia affair – the biturbo 2.9-liter V6 with a beefy 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque delivered to an AWD system through an eight-speed automatic transmission. It also packs a torque-vectoring rear differential and a sporty suspension, alongside large brakes and even larger alloys. Optional goodies include Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes, carbon-fiber Recaro seats, and a 14-speaker, 900-watt Harman Kardon audio system.
The Stelvio QV needs 3.9 seconds to race to 60 mph (96 km/h) and will top out at 177 mph (285 km/h). But that’s not to say the base or Ti versions aren’t interesting when using the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with 280 hp and 306 lb-ft of torque, which is good for a maximum speed of 144 mph (231 km/h). Of course, every version has the proprietary Q4 all-wheel drive system, but even the entry-level version packs 18-inch wheels. The Ti trim goes for 19-inch alloys, real wood trim, an 8.8-inch infotainment screen (instead of the smaller 6.5-inch version) and the Lusso or Sport packages.