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by Sam Rawlings

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio – the company’s first foray into the expanding SUV segment – will reportedly debut with a high-performance Quadrifoglio model aimed squarely at the premium market’s flagships.

Reports claims the firm’s bosses have given the green light to focus on challenging the best-in-class vehicles in terms of ride, handling and straight-line speed.

According to UK magazine Autocar, Alfa has indicated it wants to take on class-leading models like the Porsche Macan and Jaguar F-Pace.

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A top-spec Stelvio Quadrifoglio (QV) is said to gain a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine – the same one used in the M3-chasing Giulia QV. Under the bonnet of the sedan, that engine produces 375kW of power and 600Nm of torque.

However, rumours suggest the engine may be tweaked slightly in favour of extra torque, which would likely mean a slight drop in outright power.

Comparatively, the top-spec Jaguar F-Pace S makes 280kW and 450Nm, while the Macan GTS produces 265kW and 500Nm from its 3.0-litre twin-turbo petrol engine.

Spied last month near the Nurburgring in heavy camouflage, the Stelvio is expected to borrow some of its styling cues from the new Giulia sedan – with which it will also share its underpinnings.

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Above: A speculative rendering of Alfa’s SUV by Remco Meulendijk

Both front- and all-wheel-drive variants will likely be produced, though a top-spec QV variant would be restricted to rear-wheel drive only.

As it was previously reported, a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel in both 110kW and 135kW trims will likely be on offer, which will be married to either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.

A 150kW 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission could also be available.

The Stelvio will likely make its official debut late in 2016 or early 2017, hitting showrooms in the second half of 2017 at the earliest.

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