2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio Review - Italian Hustle
Following up on my previous review of the 2020 BMW X5 M Competition, I’ve got another luxurious “sporty” crossover in my crosshairs. Today’s target: The 2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio.
Except this one has at least some Italian heritage, instead of German. Trading schnitzel for stringozzi, so to speak.
Alfa Romeos Recalled for Cruise Control Fault
Fiat Chrysler is recalling around 60,000 Alfa Romeo models on the global stage to prevent the adaptive cruise control system from taking owners on an unwanted ride.
The recall covers the entire lifespan of the Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV (2017-2019). Due to a software error, the cruise system in those models could continue operating, and even accelerate, after the driver taps the brake.
Alfa Romeo Readying an SUV for the Nuclear Family: Report
We’re talking one of those 1950s Leave It To Beaver-type families, not those downsized 1980s-onward broods. Yes, the range-topping utility vehicle under development by Fiat Chrysler’s sporty Alfa Romeo division will likely boast three rows and seven seats, according to UK publication Autocar.
It’s far removed from the diminutive Alfas of yesteryear, such as the 2000 GT Veloce driven by the titular character in Shaft In Africa, but it’s necessary to seduce the space-hungry American market. It’s also just one of several new products expected to be announced by FCA boss Sergio Marchionne next month.
Fashion Crime? Alfa Romeo Introduces 'Nero Edizione' Giulia and Stelvio
We may be giving Europeans more credit for pioneering fashion than they deserve. Dress shoes without socks? The Italians started that heinous trend and it’s unforgivable. But Italy also gave us Alfa Romeo, a brand that persists solely because of the warm feeling it evokes in a specific subset of the motoring population. Someone who owns an Alfa probably cares about style and they’ll happily discuss the merits of being fashionable while wrapped in designer clothing.
That’s why we were surprised when the brand introduced black editions of the Giulia and Stelvio at the New York International Auto Show. Officially called “Nero Edizione,” the appearance package removes every square centimeter of shiny trim and replaces it with a flat black alternative. While the murdering out of cars feels distinctly American, it isn’t. The trend spilled over into nearly every automaker with a global footprint and is now appearing in showrooms worldwide.
Still, it feels more than a little odd for Alfa to chase the de-chromed trend this late in the game.
2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport Review - Flawed but Fun, the Italian Way
A long-running stereotype of Italian cars is that they’re fun to drive and sexy in style, but also flawed and expensive. Not to mention unreliable – and expensive to repair.
Allow me to extend that stereotype to an SUV of Italian descent, the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio.
At first glance, this compact luxury crossover is one of the best-looking out there, one of the few that’s actually attractive to my eye. After a week with it, my opinion of its looks remained the same – it’s a head turner.
I’m not the only one who thinks so. I was picking up lunch at a chain fast-food joint in a local strip mall and a gaggle of teenaged dudes went gaga over the Stelvio. I guess today’s youth have different cars postered on their bedroom wall than I did.
Alfa Romeo Isn't Going to Meet Its 2017 Sales Targets - Blame China
Alfa Romeo is on track to sell between 130,000 and 140,000 vehicles around the globe in calendar year 2017, a far cry from the 170,000-unit performance Sergio Marchionne expected Alfa to put together.
U.S. sales remain predictably low by the standards of rival brands but are rising quickly now that the Stelvio SUV is in action. But on the other side of the Pacific, new rules that limit automobile manufacturers from forcing dealers to accept stock, Automotive News Europe reports, has sorely limited sales in China. Thus, rather than the 2,666 Alfa Romeo Stelvios shipped to China in July, only 227 landed in China in August.
The result? Alfa Romeo is cutting back production of the Stelvio and Giulia in Cassino, Italy.
Alfa Romeo Giulia Sales Jumped yet Again in July 2017
Critics love the Alfa Romeo Giulia.
And they hate it.
American luxury car buyers, however, are increasingly interested. The Alfa Romeo Giulia lineup has been available since the tail end of 2016. And every month, right through the spring and into the summer, stories of breakdowns and limp-home modes and on-track failures had no apparent impact on increased demand.
July 2017 was the Alfa Romeo Giulia’s best month on the U.S. market to date.
Sergio Marchionne and Analysts Have Very Different Outlooks on Alfa Romeo's Sales Future
Alfa Romeo’s long-awaited Giulia sports sedan is finally trickling down to U.S. buyers in larger numbers and a performance-oriented Stelvio SUV should arrive this summer. You’d think cautious optimism for the re-introduced brand would be the order of the day. Instead, there’s massive optimism coming from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Stergio Marchionne and nothing but caution from industry analysts.
There’s also plenty of disagreement on how well the two vehicles will sell, and reality is leaning increasingly towards the analysts.
Alfa Romeo Simply Does Not Know What To Do Next
What will Alfa Romeo’s next vehicle be? According to Autocar, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Alfa Romeo, and Alfa boss Reid Bigland have not yet made a decision about what the segment in which the next Alfa Romeo will compete.
The Mito and Giulietta will remain in Alfa Romeo’s lineup indefinitely despite their limited appeal. Timing for their replacements, which Alfa says must have global appeal, is unknown.
Alfa Romeo’s next vehicle, therefore, will likely be an SUV, Bigland told Autocar.
But bigger than the Stelvio? Or smaller?
FCA: Why Build an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sport Wagon When You Already Have an SUV?
Alfa Romeo has bragged that it will have nine new cars on the market by 2021 ever since brand boss and arm-day workout expert Reid Bigland announced a plan to “ absolutely to go toe to toe with the Germans.”
A big part of that plan included a Giulia Sport Wagon to compete with the Deutsche estate cars. Apparently, this was a big fat lie and Bigland should meet me in the parking lot after school because Alfredo Altavilla, Fiat Chrysler’s CEO for Europe, Africa and Middle East, now says the model is off the table.
“We have decided not to make a Giulia Sport Wagon,” Altavilla explained to journalists in Europe. “Do we really need it if the SUV Stelvio handles so well? Probably not. With our fine tuning, Stelvio can interest all those people who might have been interested [in the wagon].”
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.