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The muscly new 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV will make its Australian debut early next year, the Italian brand’s local arm has confirmed.

Speaking with press at the launch of the Giulia Quadrifoglio performance sedan, new Fiat Chrysler Australia chief Steve Zanlunghi said buyers can expect full Stelvio details to lob in late 2017, ahead of its market debut.

“It’s supposed to go on sale in the first quarter of next year, so [pricing and details will come] probably in December,” he said.

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Revealed in November, the long anticipated Stelvio is the second model to launch on the new ‘Giorgio’ platform, joining the Giulia.

Both cars represent a massive push to bring the Alfa Romeo brand into contention for dollars in the premium segment, where it will have to win buyers away from the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Jaguar.

As with the Giulia, the Stelvio will be offered in top-shelf 375kW/600Nm Quadrifoglio form, a model aimed at top options in the Porsche Macan range, along with the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63. If they come along, an Audi RS Q5 and BMW X3 M would also play in this arena.

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Alfa’s local arm expects the Stelvio to be the most popular offering in its new line-up, taking a slice of the rampant premium SUV market.

“We have increased our volume aspirations for Stelvio by 25 per cent locally, just having seen it. That’s how strong we think that product is,” Zanlunghi told media in December.

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