Alfa Romeo is slowly but surely beginning to look like a full model line here in North America with their latest reveal at the LA Auto Show this week, the 2018 Stelvio high-performance SUV.
One of the highlights of AutoMobility LA, the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio rolled out on stage with the pomp and circumstance of new vehicle reviews, lights, cameras and action. It’s Italian design and shape however has since earned it many accolades including Cars.com “Best of Show”.
Named after the famed Stelvio Pass road in Italy, the new SUV Alfa Romeo says epitomizes La meccanica delle emozioni (the mechanics of emotion) spirit. Marketing hocheekoo yes, but means its fun to drive and looks sexy too.
The looks sexy part doesn’t take a lot of explanation. A classic Alfa Romeo face attaches to a classic five-door sport SUV silhouette quite gracefully I think. It definitely looks like it will sit comfortably with the Porsche Macan, Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLC’s in the parking lot in which it will play.
Its styling language remains simple yet not bland, giving a stance that clearly says rear-wheel-drive. At the rear, the Quadrifoglio top-end model shown at LA has diagonally offset quad tailpipes that really add some flair.
Power will come from two engines across the model line starting with a new all-aluminum 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder good for a robust 280 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed transmission sends power to the rear wheels through a carbon-fiber drive shaft.
The top engine option will be a Ferrari derived 505 horsepower 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that will vault the Stelvio from 0-60 in a mere 3.9 seconds – best-in-class says Alfa Romeo. With 443 pound-feet of torque, the latter comes standard with all-wheel-drive.
With it comes an Alfa DNA Pro selector with Race mode, a torque vectoring differential, a fully adaptive suspension, all with a claimed 50/50 front to rear weight balance. Combine this with a torsionally stiff chassis and the Stelvio ought to really wow in the handling department.
Wheels will range from 18-inch alloys on base Stelvio models up to the 21-inch wheels you see here. Big brakes come across the board with optional Brembo carbon-ceramics available to those who want them bad enough to pay.
It does have effectively a brake-by-wire system which promises varying brake feel depending on drive modes which they promise we will like better than a traditional system. We’ll have to drive one to know better.
Lastly, the interior will cosset the driver and passengers with what you expect from Italy. Craftsmanship. Leathers and woods, carbon fibers and suedes are all on the palette of selectable options for the five seater.
You can option Sparco Sport seats to go along with the F1 inspired flat-bottom steering wheel, and a power opening lift-gate will help you at the grocery store. Strange bedfellows yes, but a necessary combination of features in this class.
The 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio will be built in Italy and comes to our shores later next year. We’ll bring you a far more detailed review when we get behind the wheel.