Then again, we've used that word sacrilege about Porsche and Jaguar SUVs in recent years - and not only have the likes of the Cayenne, Macan and F-Pace been great cars to drive, they've also provided the profitably the brands need to allow them to develop the stuff we can really get excited about. It's win-win.
That's what Alfa will be hoping for with the Stelvio. It's passed the first test: it looks a million dollars. In the metal it's svelte and sleek, and, importantly, unmistakably an Alfa Romeo. The crowd around it is vast, and few have done anything but nod with approval. A beautiful Alfa Romeo design works just as well on a SUV, we now know.