Stelvio promises to stand out for its handling; on sale next year, with a 500bhp-plus V6 range-topper
Although no technical specifications for the mid-sized SUV – rumoured to be called the Stelvio – have yet been released, Bigland confirmed that it is being engineered for driving enjoyment.
“The reason people will buy our mid-sized SUV is because they will get blown away by the driving dynamics,” he said. “Every car Alfa Romeo makes must stand apart for that reason, and this car wil not disappoint.”
Alfa’s SUV has been spotted testing in light camouflage ahead of its debut early next year. The development car was the first to be seen in public without heavy cladding and revealed its lengthy bonnet and coupe-like roof line for the first time.
I t’s thought the Stelvio will share its 2.2-litre diesel and 2.0-litre petrol engines with the Giulia saloon, most likely available in various states of tune. The twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 from the range-topping Giulia Quadrifoglio is also set to feature in the Stelvio, with as much as 503bhp. Such a range-topping model would beangled directly at the Macan.
The Stelvio will be built upon Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ new modular platform, which will also give rise to a new executive saloon to rival the likes of the BMW 5 Series.
This will be followed by two more SUVs, one larger than the Stelvio and one smaller. Two further ‘speciality’ models will then complete Alfa Romeo’s current product plans.
Bigland said the arrival of SUVs in Alfa Romeo’s line-up reflects market demand. “The whole world is gravitating to SUVs,” he said. “A few years ago, an Alfa SUV would have been sacrilegious, but now it makes perfect sense.”