The covers have been taken off the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio at the Los Angeles motor show this week, unveiling the brand's first SUV - including, as expected, a high-performance QV model.
Launching with three models and two engines, the Stelvio is set to usher in a new era for the Italian brand with class-leading performance options.
The mid-sized Italian SUV launches with three models: the Stelvio, Stelvio Ti and Stelvio Quadrifoglio.
Stelvio and Stelvio Ti
(images still to come)
Stelvio and Stelvio Ti models are powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged direct-injected four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 206kW of power and 415Nm of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
A flat torque curve comes thanks to a twin exhaust turbocharger piping mechanism that takes exhaust gases from alternating cylinder banks, instead of in one big hit - as in most conventional turbocharged cars.
Additionally, the four-cylinder engine uses a MultiAir electro-hydraulic variable-valve actuation technique that delivers up to 2900psi of injection pressure, in addition to a water-cooled charge air cooler.
Standard equipment in the Stelvio includes 18-inch alloy wheels (with the availability of 19- and 20-inch wheels), leather seats, reversing camera with rear parking sensors, powered tailgate, flat-bottomed steering wheel and keyless entry and start.
The Stelvio Ti takes things up a notch with more features, such as 19-inch alloy wheels, wood interior accents and an 8.8-inch infotainment display. Sport and Lusso packages can also be added to further characterise the Stelvio Ti offering.
Turning the mid-sized SUV segment on its head, the Stelvio QV fires out of the blocks with a whopping 2.9-litre all-aluminium direct-injected and twin-turbocharged V6 engine that produces 375kW of power and 600Nm of torque.
It's good for a 0-60mph (96km/h) dash of just 3.9 seconds, blowing its competition out of the water.
The engine's turbochargers sit within the exhaust manifold and feature a single scroll, low inertia design with variable boost management to improve response. To help save fuel, the engine can also run on three cylinders using cylinder deactivation technology.
Standard features include performance suspension and brakes, leather and Alcantara front seats with 12-way power adjustment, leather wrapped steering wheel with accent stitching, leather-wrapped instrument panel and carbon-fibre interior trim.
Performance modes can be chosen using the four mode DNA Pro selector, which utilises features like a race mode, torque vectoring, adaptive suspension and the vehicle's all-wheel drive system.
Performance upgrades can also be optioned, including a Sparco racing seat, carbon ceramic brakes and a mechanical limited slip rear differential.
On the technology front, the Stelvio will come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with either a 6.5- or 8.8-inch colour TFT infotainment screen. The system also accepts handwritten gestures to help speed up the data entry process.
Both Stelvio models feature an all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring that can send up to 60 per cent of torque to the front wheels to help with traction.
Sensors within the all-wheel drive system work with the DNA (Stelvio and Stelvio Ti) and DNA Pro (Stelvio QV) to shuffle torque within milliseconds to ensure traction is constantly available.
Double wishbone front suspension works in unison with a patented Alfa-link rear axle with vertical rods to provide a balance between performance and smoothness.
An innovative electrically-assisted braking system replaces the traditional brake booster by electronically proving brake pressure and quicker feedback through the brake pedal in comparison to a regular hydraulic system.
In addition to a full suite of airbags, the Stelvio will be available with radar cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning.
Details on Australian pricing or launch timing is yet to be confirmed, but keep your eye on CarAdvice for the full details as they come to hand.
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