Italian SUV to possess a sporty character; new spy shots reveal bodywork clues as the model enters its final stages of development

A development version of the upcoming Alfa Romeo Stelvio has been photographed testing at the Nürburgring, ahead of the car's anticipated launch early next year.

This is the second time we've seen the car running in its own bodywork; on previous occasions in Italy, all development mules have been wearing a chopped-about Fiat 500L body.

Although it's heavily camouflaged, the latest mule's shape confirms that the Stelvio will get a coupé-like roofline, much like that of the Maserati Levante, with which it is rumoured to be twinned. It also gets several exterior details and a dashboard that strongly resembles that of the Alfa Giulia - unsurprising considering that the Stelvio uses the same Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) modular underpinnings.

The Alfa SUV will also share parts with upcoming Fiat and Jeep medium-sized SUVs and use the same basic structure, although engines and transmissions will differ. It's expected that the three brands will allow FCA to cover a broad spectrum of the SUV segment. Jeeps will be the rugged off-roaders, Fiats will mix some off-road ability with on-road practicality, and Alfa Romeos will offer the highest performance.

It's thought that the crossover will share its engines with the Giulia saloon, meaning 2.2-litre diesel and 2.0-litre petrol engines will most likely be available in various states of tune. The twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 from the range-topping Quadrifoglio could also feature in a hot model with as much as 503bhp. This is the model that would be angled most directly at Porsche's performance SUV line-up.

FCA's modular platform will later spawn a larger, BMW 5 Series-rivalling model, which will in turn be followed by two more 'utility vehicles', one larger than the Stelvio and one smaller. Two further 'speciality' models will then complete Alfa Romeo's product plans.

Alfa Romeo is yet to confirm a release date for the Stelvio, but it is expected to be launched at the start of 2017, with UK sales kicking off in the late autumn or winter. It will likely be a rival to the BMW X3 in its most basic form, with the Porsche Macan a key target for Stelvios running more potent powertrains. With this in mind, expect pricing to start close to £40,000.

Alfa Romeo CEO Harald Wester has previously hinted at the importance of entering the crossover market, telling Autocar: “You can remain pure and ignore the crossover trend, but if you do, you can look forward to a beautiful death."

The new SUV is one of several Alfa Romeo models that have been pushed back or delayed. FCA's original plan called for seven new Alfas following the Giulia to be on sale before 2018, but in a presentation to investors in January, FCA confirmed that the planned product range would now not be completed until 2020.

Our Verdict

We're very impressed by Alfa's hot new Quadrifoglio Giulia, but here we've driven the one you're more likely to buy: the 178bhp diesel

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Comments
29

9 July 2015

Already looking better then the regular 500L.

9 July 2015

then=than

10 July 2015
rtwingo wrote:

Already looking better than the regular 500L.

That's hardly much of an achievement though is it?

10 July 2015

So which highly regarded 1750tbi engine is being referred to ? All the reviews I've read have complained it was a decidedly average motor even for a 4 cylinder turbo with very little 'personality' .

9 October 2015

That is no Alfa, this is a FIAT 500 derivative... If it is an AR, then it is one more wrong step... like the Gulia that falls short of expectations being just a reminiscent of a 3-series imitation... Pity, the brand stays behind competition for years now... i used to buy AR but I stopped for various reasons, but the looks was not one... now they loose also the looks??!! FIAT GROUP needs desperately new CEO and new designers!!!

:ghost:

9 October 2015
johnspan wrote:

That is no Alfa, this is a FIAT 500 derivative... If it is an AR, then it is one more wrong step... like the Gulia that falls short of expectations being just a reminiscent of a 3-series imitation... Pity, the brand stays behind competition for years now... i used to buy AR but I stopped for various reasons, but the looks was not one... now they loose also the looks??!! FIAT GROUP needs desperately new CEO and new designers!!!

Did you read the report?

9 October 2015

Ehh, what? The Giulia falls short being just a 3-Series imitation? First the moaners complain that Alfa don't do RWD any more. Then Alfa do RWD again and it's "a 3-Series imitation"... You just can't win with some people..

This is a test mule using 500L body parts as a disguise... Is that not obvious????... I give up..

MrJ

9 October 2015

Please... not another Fiatesque Blobmobile.

12 October 2015

Sorry guys, for some strange reason the last part of the report was not visible to me when posted my first comment. therefopre my apologies for the FIAT-looking part. THE OTHER COMMENT ABOUT THE GULIA STILL STANDS THOUGH - the Gulia from the side looks aLmost exactly like a 3-series. This can not be acceptable for a brand like AR with such brilliant history in design. The 3-series was never an insipring-looking model, it had other qualities that made it a reference for the category. I believe AR could have done much better in the design, beating the 3-series otherwise would be extremely difficult. Italians were claiming 156/159 to be comparable at that time with the 3-series - no way, they were years behind in overall 'road quality' and this is not something you can surpass overnight... IF AR REALLY WANTS TO BE BACK IN THE GAME THEY WOULD HAVE DONE MUCH BETTER...

:ghost:

5 January 2016

So Maybe we need to rrally search to find any manufacturer who doesnt do this Xover SUV whatever style. I was going to say maybe Lada but they do have an off roader (crap) called the Patriot (you need to be a Russian patriot to ride in one!!) but maybe the Volga ?? lol seems everyone else is in on the act.

what's life without imagination

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