New Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV: UK prices and specs revealed
Alfa's first SUV hits UK showrooms this autumn with a selection of four engines planned in time
With prices starting at £33,990, entry-level buyers get Alfa’s SUV with a 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine sending 178bhp to the rear wheels. The petrol range kicks off at £34,690, with a 197bhp, turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder mated to an all-wheel-drive system. Buyers will be able to order both of these engines at launch in September, but will have to endure a small wait.
The very first Stelvios set for delivery in the UK will make use of uprated, more powerful versions of these engines. The wick in the 2.2-litre diesel is turned up to 207bhp and all-wheel-drive is added. 58.9mpg and 127g/km CO2 is claimed, with performance figures of 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds and a top speed of 134mph.
The most powerful option at launch will be a 276bhp version of the 2.0-litre petrol. Alfa claims 400Nm of torque, as well as 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 143mph. Alfa claims it's capable of returning 40.4mpg, with CO2 emissions of 161g/km.
The diesel is priced from £38,490, while the 276bhp petrol starts from £43,690. All powerunits are mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, while the range topping six-cylinder Quadrifoglio model will follow at a later date.
We caught our first glimpse of the new Stelvio in Quadrifoglio trim at the 2016 Los Angeles Motor Show, and got our first drive some months later. The 2.9-litre V6 is derived from a Ferrari unit and develops 503bhp. As such, the Porsche Macan Turbo rival boasts stupendous figures, with 0-62mph dealt with in 3.9 seconds, reaching a top speed of 177mph. Alfa says it will be the fastest SUV around the Nurburgring.
Stelvio to become Alfa's biggest seller?
We’ve now got to grips with the car Alfa Romeo hopes will become its biggest seller the moment it hits the showrooms, and while a firm ride and steep price tag could make potential customers think twice, the Stelvio’s stylish looks, quality interior and sharp handling should ensure that it takes the fight to rivals such as the BMW X3, Audi Q5, Jaguar F-Pace and Mercedes GLC.
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is the second new model in what is set to be a big product charge for the Italian outfit. Alfa’s entire fleet will be overhauled by 2020, with eight new cars promised by the end of the decade. So we can expect to see six more Alfas over the coming years.
Against the tape measure, the new Alfa Stelvio comes in at 4,680mm long, 2,160mm wide and 1,650mm tall. That makes it almost identical in length to the Porsche, but significantly wider.
Its design is heavily inspired by the Giulia Quadrifoglio; borrowing key styling cues such as the narrow LED headlamps, trademark shield-shaped grille and gaping air intakes. Body-coloured side-skirts with a carbon inserts, blistered wheel arches and quad exhausts are also unique to the range topper. On the standard Stelvio this extrovert styling is toned down.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio: interior
Similarities with the saloon extend beneath the skin, with the Stelvio underpinned by the same aluminium chassis – made up of double wishbone front suspension and four-and-a-half link setup at the rear – and powered by the 503bhp 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 in Quadrifoglio form. The engine is paired with an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox as standard, which Alfa claims can change gear in 150 milliseconds in Race mode. Carbon ceramic brakes have also been fitted to help rein in all that power.
The minimalist, driver-focused cabin uses a mixture of wood and fabrics, though the Quadrifoglio gets carbon-fibre finishes. An 8.8-inch infotainment system is housed in the centre of the dash and operated via the control wheel on the centre console - standard equipment on every Stelvio. The overall cabin architecture is carried over from the Giulia, with the hooded instrument binnacles, undulating dashboard and driver-focused controls.
Four trim levels have been confirmed by Alfa Romeo for UK buyers. The standard Stelvio comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, while in the cabin the 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system is standard equipment, alongside an 8-speaker system. Safety features such as autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and forward collision warning make the cut, alongside conveniences like an electric tailgate, automatic lights and wipers plus parking sensors.
Stelvio Super cars build on this spec with design and finish tweaks. A partial leather interior is included with 18-inch alloy wheels and steel door-sill inserts. A Luxury Pack introduces full leather seats electrically adjustable seats and real wood inserts, while a Sports Pack brings Sports Seats and a racier look and feel to the cabin.
Speciale trim adds larger 19-inch ten-spoke alloy wheels with red brake calipers, chrome window trim, Bi-Xenon headlights and power folding mirrors. Cabin upgrades include heated, six-way adjustable front leather seats with four-way lumbar adjustment and aluminium gearshift paddles on the dashboard.
Finally, a launch edition model called the Stelvio Milano Edizione introduces 20-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, tinted windows, gloss black window trim and a reversing camera system.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio: 4x4 technology
Alfa’s Q4 four-wheel drive system and torque vectoring technology appears. Under normal driving conditions the Stelvio sends 100 per cent of its power to the rear axle, but the Q4 system continuously monitors torque split between the front and rear wheels. An active transfer case and front differential allow up to 50 per cent of the engines power to be transferred to the front axle.
Combined with torque vectoring technology – a first on any Alfa Romeo – torque can then be optimised between the rear wheels individually thanks to two clutches in the rear axle.
Alfa claims a perfect 50:50 weight distribution and the Stelvio tips the scales at 1,660kg. Aluminium has been used extensively on the SUV, with a platform, engines, suspension, door, bonnet and bootlid all made from the lightweight material.
The Stelvio is expected to be the first of at least two other SUVs from Alfa Romeo. Reid Bigland, Alfa CEO, previously expressed an interest in developing a larger SUV based on the Maserati Levante’s underpinnings. A smaller Audi Q3 SUV rival is also understood to be in the pipeline.
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