Alfa Romeo Stelvio is ready for launch

By RELAXNEWS | 20 January 2017

TURIN: The first ever SUV in Alfa Romeo's otherwise sportscar-focused 107-year history is about to hit the market, and to make the most of the occasion, the company has decided to take a leaf out of Mercedes-Benz's book and offer it initially as a special, limited launch edition.

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio First Edition will boast more than just a special paint job or badges, though there will be external details that will subtly set it apart from the standard production models set to come later this year.


For instance, it will get some chrome touches around the window frames, privacy glass at the rear, plus a set of 20-inch alloy wheels that will sit over painted brake callipers. The look is completed with bi-Xenon headlights at the front and courtesy lights integrated into each of the car's door handles.

However, Alfa is selling the concept of the Stelvio to its biggest fans by highlighting its handling poise and performance, so the company is offering the First Edition with a 280hp four-cylinder turbocharged engine matted to an eight-speed transmission. This will ensure the Stelvio goes from 0-100kph in a best-in-class 5.7 seconds.

All of the power from that engine goes to the rear wheels by default, but when grip becomes an increasingly valuable commodity, the Stelvio's Q4 all-wheel-drive system can send 50% of available torque to the front wheels, instead.

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It's why the car is called the Stelvio. It's the name of a phenomenal mountain road in Italy that boasts 75 hairpin turns over 20km. And while other companies are taking their SUVs to the Nurburgring for testing, Alfa took its car to this road to ensure it behaves like a sportscar on the straight and like a proper off-roader in the bends and on the inclines.

Technological aids alone will only keep things under control in certain situations. To ensure the balance one expects from a car with sporting pretensions, Alfa has done everything it can to reduce weight, including using a carbon-fibre propeller shaft to drive the rear wheels, and to make sure the weight is evenly spread.

As a result, the Stelvio can claim a perfect 50:50 weight distribution, just like a supercar.

As for cabin comfort, the First Edition offers full grain leather heated seats, real wood dashboard trim, a sports steering wheel with integrated starter button, aluminum column-mounted paddle shifts, and a premium infotainment and navigation package.

Standard safety equipment includes autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, a rear camera, plus front and rear parking sensors.

The Stelvio First Edition retails in Europe for €57,300 (RM272,000).

The Stelvio Pass in the Italian Alps.
The Stelvio Pass in the Italian Alps.