What is it?
This is the second chapter of Alfa Romeo’s grand new epoch, ready for sampling on UK roads for the first time. With the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Turin follows up the well-received Giulia saloon, and answers some questions that be considered key to the success of the rebuilding process that it’s currently undertaking.
Can the firm successfully appeal to the tastes of buyers outside of the segments it has traditionally occupied? How effectively can that expensive new ‘giorgio’ platform be applied on a more challenging vehicle type than a compact executive saloon? And can we really expect Alfa to make the best driver’s car in every part of the market it enters from this point onwards – or was the Giulia just a wonderful exception?
It won’t be long before we’ll all have a chance to find out. The car goes on sale in right-hand drive form in September, initially with a choice of 276bhp petrol and 207bhp diesel engines - but with an entry-level 177bhp diesel and a 197bhp petrol available soon afterwards. It comes with punchy UK pricing starting under £34,000, with a mid-level trim 177bhp diesel undercutting an equivalent Audi Q5 by a cool £3000.
Besides value, the Stelvio can claim a promising power-to-weight ratio courtesy of a kerbweight between 100- and 200kg lighter than rivals, for which its relatively compact proportions, aluminium construction and carbonfibre propshaft are all contributing factors.
In advance of the arrival of the first right-hand drive cars, Alfa brought a left-hand drive 2.2-litre 207bhp diesel Stelvio over to the UK to provide us with an introduction on British roads.