2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio - Must-have Segment Gets an Italian Twist
Automakers have an easy way of determining which new model is guaranteed to make the company money. If the answer to the simple question “Is it an SUV?” is a clear, definite “yes,” well, that’s a good enough indicator for most.
Alfa Romeo knows that in this day and age, not including an SUV in its lineup would be the kiss of death, hence the need for the 2018 Stelvio. Revealed in images on the eve of its Los Angeles Auto Show debut, the Stelvio borrows the face, platform and performance characteristics of its midsize sedan stablemate, the oft-delayed Giulia.
Sporting Italian lines that make vehicles built north of the Alps look frumpy and bureaucratic in comparison, Alfa Romeo also hopes the Stelvio temps buyers with what’s underneath its dress.
Expect several Stelvio flavors when the model appears on U.S. shores in the middle of next year. At the low end, base and Ti trims receive a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 280 horsepower and 306 lb-ft of torque. Mated to an all-wheel-drive system, the entry-level mill should be good for a 144 mile-per-hour top speed. The only transmission offered is an eight-speed automatic.
All but the top-flight Quadrifoglio model contain a drive mode system offering three ranges – Dynamic, Natural, and Advanced Efficiency. Move up to the Quadrifoglio if you can’t live without a “Race” mode.
Buyers of the crème de la crème Stelvio stand to enjoy more than just an extra driving mode and upgraded content. Like the Giulia Quadrifoglio, the SUV’s top-tier trim also benefits from a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6, good for 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. Alfa claims the boosted mill should rocket the Stelvio to 60 mph in a scant 3.9 seconds. (There’s also a 177 mph top speed for the daring and brave to discover.)
Helping the Quadrifoglio remain planted during spirited are an adaptive suspension, torque-vectoring differential and wide rubber on 20-inch wheels. Ceramic brakes aid the less-exhilarating act of stopping, while the V6 can run on three cylinders if your right foot proves light enough on the highway.
Pricing has yet to be announced.
[Images: Alfa Romeo]
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