Do you like the new Alfa Romeo Giulia but wished it rode higher off the ground? If so, there is now the Stelvio, Alfa Romeo’s first-ever SUV.
Essentially the crossover version of the Giulia, the Stelvio is based on the rear-wheel drive Giorgio platform of its sedan counterpart and competes directly with other compact premium models like the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Jaguar F-Pace.
If the name “Stelvio” sounds famaliar, that’s because it was borrowed from a small town in the northern Italian Alps best known for the Stelvio Pass, a popular winding road considered one of the best driving roads due to its fast switchbacks and elevation changes.
The model that premiered at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show was the flagship Stelvio Quadrifoglio (pictured), which sources it power from the same twin-turbocharged 2.9L V6 as the Giulia Quadrifoglio.
The V6 produces 505 horsepower and 443 lb-ft. of torque and, when mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission that channels all power to the ground via an all-wheel drive system, allows the performance-tuned SUV to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds on route to a top speed of 177 mph.
That of course means the Stelvio Quadrifoglio is quicker to 60 mph than the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and its 4.2-second benchmark.
lesser base Stelvio and Ti editions are motivated by a less powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 280 horsepower and 306 lb-ft of torque, and — to make them more apitizing — come standard with a carbon-fiber driveshaft, dual exhaust and 18-inch aluminum wheels, leather seating, and several other nifty features.
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio goes into production in late 2016, with the first models expected to arrive by mid-2017. Are you happy with the way Alfa’s first SUV turned out? Does it have a chance against the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC and JaguarF-Pace? Share your impressions in the comments section below.