ALFA ROMEO have taken the covers off their first attempt at an SUV, the Stelvio.
Unveiled at the LA Auto Show this week, the Stelvio’s flagship model will be the 375kW Quadrifoglio, or QV, and Wheels understands Australian customers will be able to drive the car by late-2017, with engine options that are the same, or very similar, to those available in the Alfa Romeo Guilia.
The Stelvio is inspired by the iconic Italian alpine pass which shares its name, and Alfa Romeo is keen to push the mid-size SUV’s sporting credentials.
The QV will be powered by a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6, while Alfa Romeo has also confirmed a 2.0-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder making 208kW.
The Bi-turbo V6 is an all-aluminium unit, designed to reduce weight over the front axle of the high-riding SUV.
Transmission options are limited to an 8-speed ZF automatic. However, there will be a lock-up clutch, and different transmission modes, including a ‘Race’ option.
Power will be sent to all four wheels through Alfa’s Q4 all-wheel drive system. Alfa claims the system provides the advantages of all-wheel drive, while offering improved fuel economy, responsive performance, and the “driving pleasure of a rear-wheel drive car”.
“The Q4 system continuously monitors numerous parameters to optimise torque distribution between the two axles according to what the car is doing and how much grip there is beneath the wheels,” a statement reads.
The all-wheel drive also includes a torque vectoring system which optimises power delivery to each wheel thanks to two clutches in the rear differential.
The Stelvio will see the Integrated Brake System which debuted on the Guilia return. The system combines the stability control with a traditional servo brake, which Alfa claims improves response and stopping distances.