The latest Alfa Romeo creation makes its début at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, in Quadrifoglio guise: launched under the name Stelvio, it is the brand's first SUV in over a century of history.
Set to become the benchmark for the segment, the new model encapsulates the authentic Alfa Romeo spirit, incorporating the five ingredients that make it one of the world's most desirable brands on the automotive stage: distinctly Italian styling; innovative, state-of-the-art engines; impeccable weight distribution; unique technical solutions; and an outstanding power-to-weight ratio.
Developed in Alfa Romeo's prestigious engineering centre in Modena, in the heart of Italy's Motor Valley, the Stelvio SUV will be manufactured in the recently overhauled Cassino plant on a production line dedicated exclusively to the latest Alfa Romeo models - including the stunning Giulia, which launched the brand into a new era in 2015, with its revolutionary styling, sports handling and technology. The same ingredients, tailored to a new class of car, are now back, in the ground-breaking Stelvio SUV, which offers pure-bred Alfa Romeo sports styling, top-class performance and technical and technological equipment levels without equal in the premium small SUV segment.
The Stelvio's proportions, in particular, express strength, dynamism and compactness, as witness its modest length of 468 cm, height of 165 cm and width of 216 cm
The Alfa Romeo styling also finds expression in the high-quality surfacing, which involves creating rich, harmonious reflections across the volumes. The end-result is a sculptural shape, which on the flanks of the Stelvio, for example, gives rise to stark contrasts between the surfaces that catch the light and those that remain in shadow. Basically, the "musculature" of the car's sides accentuates its front and rear wings.
The Quadrifoglio version unveiled in Los Angeles, also features a body-coloured side-skirt with a carbon insert that further accentuates the car's sporting character. These features, combined with the front and rear bumpers and powerfully styled wheel-arches, all in the same colour as the bodywork, make the Stelvio Quadrifoglio more like a sports saloon than a traditional SUV in this segment.
Exhilarating performance from the 510 HP 2.9-litre V6 BiTurbo Petrol Engine
State-of-the-art, innovative engines are another hallmark of a genuine Alfa Romeo. That's why the Stelvio Quadrifoglio mounts a unique power plant in terms of both technology and performance: a 510 HP 2.9-litre V6 BiTurbo petrol with 8-speed automatic transmission.
Drawing inspiration from Ferrari technologies and technical know-how, the 6-cylinder BiTurbo petrol engine is made entirely of aluminium to reduce the weight of the vehicle, especially over the front axle.
What's more, despite its phenomenal torque and horsepower, the 510 HP 2.9-litre BiTurbo Petrol is also incredibly efficient in terms of fuel consumption, thanks to its electronically controlled cylinder deactivation system. And like all Alfa Romeo's next-generation engines, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio's 2.9-litre V6 BiTurbo petrol unit will, of course, deliver that distinctive Alfa Romeo engine note to complement the performance.
Lastly, the 8-speed ZF automatic transmission is specifically calibrated to make gear changes in just 150 milliseconds in Race mode. The transmission also features a lock-up clutch to give the driver a powerful feeling of in-gear acceleration once the gear is engaged. Depending on the mode you set with the AlfaTM DNA Pro selector, what's more, the auto box optimises fluidity, comfort and ease of driving in all environments, including around town, and further improves fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Steering-column-mounted, aluminium paddle shifters also feature as standard.
As well as this 510 HP unit that's exclusive to the Quadrifoglio guises, Alfa Romeo has confirmed that the other engines in the Stelvio range will include the 280 HP 2.0-litre Turbo petrol with 8-speed automatic transmission. This is an all-aluminium 4-cylinder unit that puts out 280 HP at 5,250 rpm and maximum torque of 400Nm at 2,250 rpm. In addition to the MultiAir electrohydraulic valve actuation system, the distinctive features of this engine include the "2-in-1" turbo system and the 200-bar high-pressure direct injection system, which deliver a particularly quick response to accelerator inputs across the rev range, plus first-class fuel-efficiency.
The Stelvio Quadrifoglio is also equipped with the new Alfa DNA Pro selector, which modifies the car's dynamic response according to which mode the driver selects: Dynamic, Natural, Advanced Efficiency (energy-saving mode) and Race (ideal for maximum performance).