By Ken Chester Jr., — Motor News Media
With the curves of a seductive Italian passenger car and the alluring power of a boutique Italian performance car, Alfa Romeo has introduced its take on the American SUV. Named Stelvio, the premium Italian SUV is the second of a new generation of vehicles built on an all-new platform. The new Alfa Romeo epitomizes the automaker’s La meccanica delle emozioni (the mechanics of emotion) spirit, delivering race-inspired performance, real-world driving confidence, state-of-the-art technologies, seductive Italian style and an exhilarating driving experience to the premium mid-size SUV segment.
“The all-new Stelvio, named after one of the greatest driving roads in the world – the Stelvio Pass in the Italian Alps – sets a new benchmark for the segment,” said Reid Bigland, Head of Alfa Romeo. “Stelvio is uniquely engineered to challenge two-door sports cars on the track, without sacrificing any of the characteristics you would expect from a premium SUV, resulting in the perfect mix of high performance, capability and Italian design.”
To be available in Stelvio, Stelvio Ti and the powerful Stelvio Quadrifoglio models, base power is generated by an all-aluminum, 2.0L direct-injection turbo engine joined to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Stelvio Quadrifoglio is equipped with all-aluminum, direct-injection 2.9L bi-turbo intercooled V-6 engine. Advanced technology features unique to the Stelvio Quadrifoglio include a four-mode Alfa DNA Pro selector with Race mode, torque vectoring differential, Quadrifoglio-tuned adaptive suspension, Quadrifoglio instrument cluster with 200 miles per hour (mph) speedometer and cylinder deactivation system.
The intelligent Q4 all-wheel-drive system – standard on all Stelvio models – delivers all-season traction and performance capability, thanks to the system’s ability to transfer up to 60 percent of the engine’s torque to the front axle. The innovative Q4 AWD system is linked to the Stelvio’s Chassis Domain Controller (CDC) and driver-adjustable Alfa DNA or DNA Pro (Quadrifoglio exclusive) drive mode system – enabling the driveline’s next-generation integrated actuator to adapt to changing ground conditions or driver need in milliseconds, and instantly optimize the required torque to each wheel.
The Stelvio’s architecture extensively integrates lightweight, state-of-the-art materials that enable and deliver near perfect 50/50 weight distribution, segment-leading torsional rigidity and the most direct steering available. Alfa Romeo engineers designed a lightweight rear-wheel-drive platform with a low center of gravity. The aluminum front and rear vehicle frames, front shock towers, brakes, suspension components, doors and fenders also help shed weight compared to conventional steel. For example, the rear cross member features an extensive use of lightweight materials, including aluminum and composite.
Control hardware consists of an exclusive double wishbone front suspension with semi-virtual steering axis guarantees rapid and accurate steering feel. At the rear, a patented Alfa-link rear axle design with vertical rod ensures top performance, driving pleasure and passenger ride comfort.
Inside, the intuitive passenger cabin is fully committed to the driver’s every need, offering easy access to vital and next-level technologies. A Formula One-inspired steering wheel features a thick-rim profile that transmits the chassis’ direct-steering feel and neatly groups the vehicle controls and the engine start button. Behind the steering wheel, the Stelvio features available all-aluminum column-mounted paddle shifters and a standard full-color seven-inch thin film transistor (TFT) cluster display straddled by two large white-on-black face analog gauges. Conveniently located in the center console are two simple rotary dials. The first controls Alfa’s DNA Drive Mode system with three unique driver selectable modes (Dynamic, Natural, Advanced Efficiency), which can be used to fine tune the driving experience by adjusting throttle response, boost pressure and suspension settings in Stelvio and Stelvio Ti. Stelvio Quadrifoglio adds a fourth mode – Race – with its exclusive DNA Pro Drive Mode system.
The secondary rotary dial controls the high-resolution 6.5-inch, or 8.8-inch, wide-screen infotainment system with real-time vehicle performance pages and telemetry, plus 3-D graphic navigation that recognizes handwritten gestures on the top of the rotary pad (late availability), allowing the driver to easily interact with the 3-D Navigation system.
While the Stelvio and Stelvio Ti boasts a wide-ranging list of standard features, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio is infused with Alfa Romeo’s performance and motorsport pedigree as the “halo” model in the lineup. The Stelvio Quadrifoglio adds exclusive high-performance and functional exterior design elements, plus unique performance suspension, brakes and wheels. Inside, high performance leather and Alcantara front seats, featuring 12-way power and adjustable thigh support, provide the optimal control center. Additional features include a Quadrifoglio-exclusive leather-wrapped steering wheel with accent stitching and performance contours, leather-wrapped instrument panel with accent stitching and carbon fiber interior trim.
Engine: 2.0L bi-turbo four-cylinder – 280 hp/306 lbs-ft of torque; 2.9L bi-turbo V6 – 505 hp/443 lbs-ft of torque.