Another manufacturer fell on the altar of SUVs. It was launched in 2017 when SUV sales were booming and the company was expected to be successful. If it was going to sustain the company, the Stelvio had to be not only a great Alfa, but also a great terminal.
Fortunately, that was mostly the case, as evidenced by the subtle changes for this 2020 Stelvio model. Most notable is its new suite of active safety systems and semi-autonomous driving features, as well as a new touchscreen infotainment system.
Although the Stelvio is based on the same platform as the Alfa Romeo Giulia saloon, you sit nearly 20cm taller and Alfa’s Q4 all-wheel drive system (rear-wheel drive under normal conditions, up to 50% of the power sent from forward reactive in low conditions). grip conditions) is standard on all but one Stelvio engine option.
This is definitely an SUV built to tackle the roads, maybe a gravel driveway at a glance. Tellingly, Alfa engineering chief Roberto Fedeli (formerly of Ferrari) told us his goal was to replicate the Giulia exactly the way the Stelvio drives, a candid admission that modern customers love it. the idea of an SUV, but they don’t want the roly-poly dynamic that comes with its higher center of gravity. This is what engineers call a “challenge.”
Fortunately, the Giulia’s platform with its aluminum double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension is a good starting point. The springs here are longer than on the Giulia, but stiffer to counteract the added height. Lightness too, thanks to a standard carbon fiber driveshaft, aluminum-block engines and aluminum cladding for the hood, tailgate, doors and front fenders. In total, the Stelvio weighs around 1.6 tonnes, around 10% less than an equivalent BMW X3 or Porsche Macan. Therefore, the foundations are solid.
What about your engine options? A pair of 2.2-litre 4-cylinder diesel engines, with 190 or 210 hp, the former being the only Stelvio available with RWD, and three petrol ones. They include a pair of 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbos, with 200 or 280 hp, and the mighty 510-hp 2.9-liter V6 from the Quadrifoglio performance model. Each is linked to an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard, with lovely long metal paddle shifters if you ticked the option box (£295) or opted for a higher, sportier spec level.
Our choice of the range.
What’s the verdict?
On the same road and conditions the Stelvio isn’t quite as fun as a Giulia and on similar terrain as the F-Pace, but what did we expect? On the other hand, it’s roomier and more practical than a Giulia and might as well get you out of a muddy parking lot.
All things considered, Alfa has done an admirable job of turning its value into an SUV package. It’s as emotionally compelling as the crossover market is. It may not be as emotional as the Alphas of the past, but this time, who knows, you might just buy yourself one.
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Source : topgear.com