What is it?
Until the 503bhp Quadrifoglio version arrives next year, this 276bhp turbocharged petrol four-pot is the range-topping Stelvio. Having sampled it on the smooth surfaces of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Balocco test track in Italy, we’re driving it for the first time in the UK. Built alongside Alfa Romeo’s twin-turbo V6 at the Termoli plant, the all-aluminium 2.0-litre engine is familiar from the Giulia Veloce saloon and is also available in 197bhp tune.
As with all Stelvios, there’s an eight-speed torque converter from ZF and a carbonfibre prop shaft, while drive is shared between the axles by a multi-plate clutch that’s also common across the range apart from the rear-drive 2.2-litre 178bhp diesel that props up the price list. All the engine’s 295lb ft is channelled to the rear by default, but up to half can be sent forward if conditions dictate.
Our test car comes in limited-run Milano Edizione trim – a plush, top-dollar launch specification that’s only available with this engine and the 207bhp diesel. Highlights include 20in alloys, leather sports seats that are both heated and electrically adjustable up front, parking sensors at both ends, reversing camera, heated steering wheel, enormous aluminium shift paddles and sat-nav, plus the likes of power tailgate, hill-descent control and Alfa’s DNA drive selector that feature on all Stelvios.