Alfa Romeo is entering the prestige SUV market with the Stelvio in 2017. A rival for the likes of the BMW X3 and Audi Q5, the Stelvio will aim to offer buyers a style-focused SUV which is still practical enough to deal with the rigours of family life.
What is it?
The Stelvio is Alfa Romeo's first ever SUV model. Keen to compete in what is one of the fastest growing markets globally, the Italian manufacturer's SUV shares its parts with similar upcoming models from Fiat and Jeep.
Powering the Stelvio will be the same range of petrol and diesel engines that already feature in the Alfa Romeo Giulia saloon, and topping the the range will be a 3.0-litre V6 petrol model badged as the Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Both rear and four-wheel drive versions of the Stelvio will be offered. There is also the prospect of a plug-in hybrid version of the Stelvio joining the range in 2018.
Inside, the Stelvio's dashboard layout and equipment will once again reflect that of the Giulia - including that car's infotainment and sat-nav system, controlled via a rotary dial on the centre console.
What are its rivals?
In its most basic form, the Stelvio will rival premium mid-size SUVs including the Q5, X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC. More potent versions of the car, however, are being targetted firmly at the Porsche Macan Turbo and Audi RS Q3 Performance.
It's worth noting that our favourite large SUV in 2016 is currently the Land Rover Discovery Sport. The Stelvio is expected to focus more on style and performance than the outright SUV practicality of that car, though.
Anything else I should know?
The Stelvio is due to be launched at the start of 2017, with sales in the UK starting next autumn or early winter. Pricing has yet to be announced, but a figure of around £40,000 has been suggested. At that price, the Stelvio will be among the most expensive cars of its type.
Alfa Romeo has said buyers will be drawn to the Stelvio thanks to its engaging driving style, suggesting the car will have an overtly sporting nature. A full reveal for the car is planned for the Los Angeles motor show, which takes place this November.
Want to find out more about the Alfa Romeo Stelvio? Head over to our sister site, Autocar.
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