First Look | Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV

First Look | Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV

The latest addition to the Alfa Romeo family, a new Sports Utility Vehicle made its début today at the Los Angeles Auto Show, in Quadrifoglio guise: launched under the name Stelvio, it is the brand’s first SUV in over a century of history.


Aiming to become the benchmark for the segment, the new model encapsulates the authentic Alfa Romeo spirit, incorporating five ingredients: distinctly Italian styling; innovative, state-of-the-art engines; impeccable weight distribution; unique technical solutions; and an outstanding power-to-weight ratio.


Developed in Alfa Romeo’s prestigious engineering centre in Modena, in the heart of Italy’s Motor Valley, the Stelvio SUV will be manufactured in the recently overhauled Cassino plant on a production line dedicated exclusively to the latest Alfa Romeo models – including the stunning Giulia, which launched the brand into a new era in 2015, with its revolutionary styling, sports handling and technology. The same ingredients, tailored to a new class of car, are now back, in the Stelvio SUV, which offers pure-bred Alfa Romeo sports styling.

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio
2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio


The Stelvio pass is the highest mountain pass in Italy (and the second highest in Europe), and the 20 km road that crosses it boasts over 75 bends, possessing breath-taking views and a rapid rise in altitude, up to 2,758 metres. Over the years, champions of cycling and motorsport have don battle on the pass, adding to the route’s sporting legend. An important transport artery during the wars of the last century, this winding road is now revered by tourists worldwide.

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is a blend of heritage, speed and beauty; and its alchemy forms an integral part of the brand’s history, dating back over a century. The dynamic SUV combines three special ingredients of Italian design: proportion, simplicity and top-quality surfacing. These same ingredients spawned the Giulia – the new Alfa Romeo benchmark and precursor of the brand’s future – and have been comprehensively reworked to adapt them to the altogether different carnation of a Sports Utility Vehicle.







The side view confirms this impression, with an outline that suggests a compact car, starting at the front and developing towards the rear, and a cabin that ends on a steeply raked rear hatch, topped with an spoiler for maximum aerodynamic performance.

The Stelvio’s proportions, in particular, express strength, dynamism and compactness, as witness its modest length of 468 cm, height of 165 cm and width of 216 cm.

The Alfa Romeo styling also finds expression in the high-quality surfacing, which involves creating rich, harmonious reflections across the volumes. The end-result is a sculptural shape, which on the flanks of the Stelvio, for example, gives rise to stark contrasts between the surfaces that catch the light and those that remain in shadow. Basically, the “musculature” of the car’s sides accentuates its front and rear wings. The Quadrifoglio version unveiled in Los Angeles, also features a body-coloured side-skirt with a carbon insert that further accentuates the car’s sporting character. These features, combined with the front and rear bumpers and powerfully styled wheel-arches, all in the same colour as the bodywork, make the Stelvio Quadrifoglio more like a sports saloon than a traditional SUV in this segment.

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio
2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio


The third aspect of Alfa Romeo style is the “simplicity” that masks one of the most complex creative processes in the industry: designing a car. Because styling has the job of concealing the long, complex task of creating the simple, natural lines that highlight the shapely elegance and tasteful sophistication of Italian-made products. And this same approach pervades the entire history of Alfa Romeo design, which has always expressed itself through clean, taut lines. That’s why the Stelvio has such a strong identity, built around a few select features, like the cloverleaf front end.

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio
2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio


The front end of the Stelvio Quadrifoglio also embodies a strong hint of power and aggression, thanks chiefly to the specific air vents for the intercoolers and the classic apertures around the shield-shaped grille, combined with “sinewy” surfacing. The back end of the Stelvio is eye-catching, mainly due to the sporting appearance it gets from its lower portion, characterised by the four exhaust tips, and from the “Kamm tail” styling that gives the car a ‘unique’ character, while also paying tribute to Alfa Romeo’s history.

The same sporting inspiration makes another appearance in the Stelvio SUV’s clean, uncluttered, interior, designed to be driver-centric, as you can see from the grouping of all the controls on the small, direct steering wheel, designed to suit all driving styles. But that’s not all. The driving position has been forged around the driver, with a diagonal tunnel and slightly undulating dashboard; and it has been “tailored” like a bespoke suit, with painstaking craftsmanship and premium materials: the carbon fibre, wood and fabrics have all been chosen for their visual and tactile appeal and assembled to give a palpable sense of human artistry.


Innovative engines are another hallmark of a genuine Alfa Romeo; the Stelvio Quadrifoglio mounts a unique power plant in terms of both technology and performance: a 510 HP 2.9-litre V6 BiTurbo petrol with 8-speed automatic transmission.

Drawing inspiration from Ferrari technologies and technical know-how, the 6-cylinder BiTurbo petrol engine is made entirely of aluminium to reduce the weight of the vehicle, especially over the front axle. What’s more, despite its phenomenal torque and horsepower, the 510 HP 2.9-litre BiTurbo Petrol is also incredibly efficient in terms of fuel consumption, thanks to its electronically controlled cylinder deactivation system. And like all Alfa Romeo’s next-generation engines, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio’s 2.9-litre V6 BiTurbo petrol unit will, of course, deliver that distinctive Alfa Romeo engine note to complement the performance.

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio
2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

And finally, the 8-speed ZF automatic transmission is specifically calibrated to make gear changes in just 150 milliseconds in Race mode. The transmission also features a lock-up clutch to give the driver a powerful feeling of in-gear acceleration once the gear is engaged. Depending on the mode you set with the AlfaTM DNA Pro selector, what’s more, the auto box optimises fluidity, comfort and ease of driving in all environments, including around town, and further improves fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Steering-column-mounted, aluminium paddle shifters also feature as standard.

As well as this 510 HP unit that’s exclusive to the Quadrifoglio guises, Alfa Romeo has confirmed that the other engines in the Stelvio range will include the 280 HP 2.0-litre Turbo petrol with 8-speed automatic transmission.This is an all-aluminium 4-cylinder unit that puts out 280 HP at 5,250 rpm and maximum torque of 400Nm at 2,250 rpm. In addition to the MultiAir electrohydraulic valve actuation system, the distinctive features of this engine include the “2-in-1” turbo system and the 200-bar high-pressure direct injection system, which deliver a particularly quick response to accelerator inputs across the rev range, plus first-class fuel-efficiency.

While we can currently confirm that Alfa’s new creation is (once again) visually on point, we will follow up with a full review of the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio SUV in due course – we’ll keep you posted.

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio
2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio
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