“2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Sport and Stelvio Sport Ti”
Italian SUV Establishes New Class Benchmark
Nashville, TN – Following in the footsteps or tire tracks of the all-new Alfa 4C and Giulia model lineups, comes the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV, which will come in three models: the base Stelvio; Stelvio Ti: and the Stelvio Quadrifoglio which will bow at a later date. There is also a more expensive Stelvio Ti Lusso model that features higher end comfort and convenience content. The all-new Stelvio becomes the second of a new vehicle lineup built off a world-class architecture embodying the brand’s La meccanica delle emozioni (the mechanics of emotion) spirit. Named after the Stelvio Pass, the highest mountain pass in Italy located in the North Italy and the second highest in Europe – a 12-mile roadway with 48 hairpin turns at 9,000 feet above sea level, this Italian SUV is the ideal machine to conquer the S-curves.
The Stelvio and Stelvio Ti will also be offered in Sport versions. All models will feature Alfa’s Q4 All-Wheel Drive system. The Stelvio, Stelvio Sport, Stelvio Ti and Stelvio TI Sport will move down the road courtesy of a MultiAir2 – 2.0-liter, SOHC, 16-Valve, direct mount, twin-scroll turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with Gasoline Direct Injection. The Longitudinally mounted front engine makes 280 horses at 5,200 rpm, while also developing 306 pound feet of torque in a range from 2,000-4,800 rpm capable of propelling the Stelvios from 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds, with a top speed of 144 mph. Motive force reaches the driving wheels via an 8HP50 ZF Eight-speed Turbo automatic transmission with manual mode, featuring Alfa’s DNA drive mode selector, with three settings: Dynamic; Natural; and Advanced Efficiency. Dynamic provides sharper brake and steering feel with more aggressive engine, Transmission and throttle tip-in calibrations.
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is focused on being the world’s fastest production SUV, and will be powered by the same heart and soul that gives life to the Alfa Giulia – a 2.9-liter, twin-turbo, Direct Injected, 90-degree V6 that delivers 505 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 443 pound feet of torque in a range from 2,500-5,500 rpm and is capable of rocketing from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and of achieving a top speed of 177 mph. The transmission is the same electronically-controlled eight-speed automatic with column mounted paddle shifters, but the Alfa DNA Drive Mode Selector is the Pro upgrade, and adds a fourth setting – Race.
Visually, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio lineup is penned with the same Italian styling passion reflected in the Alfa Giulia family. The Stelvios lead off with the iconic “Scudetto” triangular mesh grille sculpted within the front fascia forming the “Trilobo”, an Alfa design signature. The grille, which appears with Alfa Romeo’s new logo, is flanked by “cat-eye-like” bi-xenon projector headlamps, while LED daytime running lights provide a recognizable appearance. Below are large air intake grilles.
In profile, short overhangs are displayed, with a gracefully arched roofline from the “A” pillar to the “C” pillar or aft sail panel. The Stelvio sits low, with the sculpted wheel wells closely hugging the wheels and tires. There are bold character lines cut into the sides, with a shoulder line that runs the length of the vehicle.
The rear styling treatment emphasizes the Stelvio’s width with a coved section that houses the wraparound tail lamps, and a composite diffuser features the split dual exhaust tips. An integrated spoiler lip sits just above the rearward angled gate glass.
The cabin provides comfortable, supportive seating for up to five, but with the primary focus on the driver. The three-spoke, flat bottom steering wheel has a nice substantial feel and holds the red engine start/stop button. The dash consists of an asymmetrical layout with TFT displays mounted on the left.
During the national press launch program, my driving partner and I were able to experience both a Stelvio Sport and a Stelvio Ti Sport. The exterior of the Stelvio Sport was finished in Vesuvio Gray metallic, with the interior done in Black and gray tones. The base price was set at $43,795., with the as tested price coming to $53,685 after factoring in the options and Destination charge. Our second steed – the Stelvio Ti Sport wore an exterior coat of Monte Carlo Blue metallic, while the interior was executed in Black leather with gray stitching. Its base was set at $46,495. With a final sticker price of $54,090
SUMMARY: Both examples of the Alfa Stelvio tested came through with flying colors, negotiating the narrow, tight, twisting back roads of Tennessee. Acceleration response is brisk, with no discernable turbo lag, and the shifting in either manual or automatic mode was both quick and smooth. All modes of the Alfa DNA Drive Mode Selector were put to the test, with the Sport mode proving to be the most satisfying and rewarding in terms of athletic handling characteristics, where the Stelvio remains flat under challenging scenarios, such as wet and curvy.
The ride quality is firm and stable, but not at all harsh and the seats are highly supportive during spirited maneuvers, with a well-balanced near 50/50 weight distribution.
The new Stelvio is easily personalized, offering 12 available exterior color options, 3 available interior options, 2 available audio options, 3 available radio systems, 7 available wheel options, an available trailer tow hitch with a 3,000 pound capacity, a dual pane sunroof, headlamp washers, Aluminum interior trim accents, genuine Dark Gray Oak or Light Walnut wood interior trim. Available Packages offered include: a Cold Weather Package, Driver Assistance Static Package with Front Park Sensors, Driver Assistance Dynamic Plus Package and a Convenience Package.
The all-new 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio is truly an SUV for the S-Curves in any of its trim levels, which are not only stylishly attractive, but perform well, are versatile and practical. They are also reasonably priced considering their content level and capability. The Quadrifoglio version, which promises to be a phenomenal performer, won’t be available until the first quarter of next year, but for those willing to spend the extra money and endure the wait, it is sure to be worth it. On the other hand, obviously not everyone wants or need 505 horses under the hood.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport
Base Price: $43,795. -Stelvio Sport / $46,495. -Stelvio Ti Sport
Price as Tested: $53,585. -Stelvio Sport / $54,090 – Stelvio Ti Sport
Engine Type and Size: MultiAir2 – 2.0-liter, SOHC, 16-Valve, direct mount, twin-scroll turbocharged inline four-cylinder with Gasoline Direct Injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 280 @ 5,200 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 306 @ 2,000-4,800 rpm Transmission: 8HP50 ZF Eight-speed Turbo automatic with manual mode.
Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / Q4 AWD system.
Suspension: Front – Double wishbone with semi-virtual steering axle.
Rear – Alfa Link design with patented vertical rod link.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs with Brembo four-piston calipers front / single-piston caliper-rear – with ABS.
Tires: Continental ContiCrossContact LX Sport 255/ 45 R20 x 8.5” front and rear mounted on 5-loop spoke alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 111.0 inches
Length Overall: 184.6 inches
Width: 74.9 inches – w/o mirrors.
Height: 66.0 inches
Ground Clearance: 8.1 inches
Curb Weight: 4,044 lbs.
Turning Circle: Not listed
Fuel Capacity: 16.9 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 22 mpg city / 28 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.32
0 – 60 mph: 5.4 seconds – Top speed=144 mph.
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.