Named after the notorious mountain pass in the Italian Alps, and based the same architecture as the Giulia sedan, the Stelvio not only sees the iconic brand entering the SUV market for the first time, but one it also claims sets a new segment benchmark.
Shown in flagship Quadrifoglio Verde (QV) trim like the Giulia, the Stelvio borrows a number of styling touches from its sedan sibling, with the interior receiving the same minimalist yet sporty touch with a 6.5-inch or 8.8-inch touch screen infotainment display, 14-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system and numerous safety tech.
In keeping with its sporty persona, the QV employs a revised version of Alfa's DNA system, which now features a Race mode in addition to the standard Dynamic, Neutral and new Advanced Efficiency settings.
Further changes underneath the skin include a double wishbone front suspension layout with semi-virtual steering axis to iron out bumps and provide a quicker response to steering inputs, and a unique four-and-a-half multi-link rear suspension setup patented by Alfa.
As well as boasting what Alfa calls Chassis Domain Control that controls the majority off the car's electronics, the Stelvio also employs an adapted version of Alfa's Q4 all-wheel drive system that features an active transfer case to distribute torque on time with the promise of better handling, performance and efficiency.
Power-wise, the QV uses the same 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 as the Giulia which delivers 375 kW and 600 N.m of torque. Top speed is pegged at 284 km/h with the 0-100 km/h dash said to take around four seconds. A less sporting version, which will carry the Ti moniker, will also be available with motivation coming from a 2.0-litre MultiAir turbo developing 206 kW and 400 N.m. As with the QV, only a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic gearbox will be offered.
Sales in the States are to set commence early next although South African availability remains unconfirmed.