New Metal – Alfa Romeo Stelvio

After a century in business, Alfa gets round to building an SUV. And it’s based on The Giulia…

Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Go for a hard launch, and up to 50 per cent of drive is shared with the front wheels

How unnervingly refreshing it is for us to bring you news of all-new Romeo – the first SUV ever to carry the Alfa name, no less, and not have to awkwardly tiptoe around the likelihood that it’ll probably be a bit… rubbish. The new Alfa Romeo Stelvio (cor, Alfa’s in a sweet spot with car names right now, isn’t it?) is heavily based upon the foundations for the Giulia saloon (see what we mean?), which ripped up the formbook earlier in the year by actually being good. Better than that, in fact. A genuine contender versus the likes of BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes. So its taller sibling has a headstart in life.

The Stelvio’s reveal strategy is following the same tried-and-tested template that worked for the 3-Series-sized saloon too. The worthy diesels with their polite CO2 emissions and doubtless tempting monthly repayment schemes are being held in the wings. Instead, first get to clap eyes on the flagship, the range-topper, the fast one. This is the Stelvio Quadrifoglio Verde.

That mouthful means it relies on the same mechanicals as the Giulia QV saloon, which in turn means this is a family SUV powered by what is to a certain extent a Ferrari engine. Alfa doesn’t like the association (Ferrari even less so, you’ll be thoroughly unsurprised to learn), preferring to pigeonhole the twin-turbocharged, 2.9-litre V6 as “inspired by Ferrari technologies and know-how”. But in broader engineering terms, you’re getting a five-seat family SUV pushed along by three-quarters of a Ferrari California T’s bi-turbo V8. Some pedigree.

Alfa’s not yet revealed how quickly the V6’s 503bhp will get you from 0-62mph and beyond, but Porsche Macan Turbos and Jaguar F-Paces could be fiendishly outgunned if the Stelvio can nail all that power onto the road.

Stelvio doesn’t only share Giulia styling cues. Will be built on the same line, too

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