The upcoming Alfa Romeo Stelvio has been spotted in light camouflage, offering the best glimpse of its body shape yet.
Previous development cars have worn heavy cladding, but today's sighting clearly shows the mid-sized SUV's coupé roofline and lengthy bonnet. These latest shots also show the shape of the rear lights, which are of a similar design to those on the Giulia saloon.
The Stelvio will possibly go on sale some time early next year. Alfa Romeo CEO Reid Bigland has said it will be a driver's car. We will get our first full look at the Stelvio at the LA motor show later this month.
"The reason people will buy our mid-sized SUV is because they will get blown away by the driving dynamics," Bigland told Autocar last week. "Every car Alfa makes must stand apart for that reason, and this car will not disappoint."
Bigland said that the arrival of this mid-sized SUV - the Stelvio name is yet to be officially confirmed by Alfa - is something that reflects market demand. "The whole world is gravitating to SUVs. A few years ago an Alfa SUV would have been sacrilegious, but now it makes perfect sense," he explained. "Our job is to keep an eye on consumer preferences and give people what they want."
Last month a video was posted on Fiat Chrysler's YouTube channel with a clip of a Stelvio in production form. The video was swiftly removed, suggesting it was published accidentally, but Motor1 captured a screenshot - it's shown below.
Motor1's image shows the car in what looks to be entry-level form due to the fitment of small diameter wheels. It clearly shows the car's nose and coupé roofline.
Before the latest test car sightings, chassis test cars were seen wearing a chopped-about Fiat 500L body (shown in earlier pictures).
Engines and gearbox
The Alfa Romeo SUV will 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 are most likely to 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.