If we went back a decade in time and told car enthusiasts that in 2015, you will see a Bentley SUV, a Rolls-Royce off-roader and a high-riding Maserati, we would have been dismissed as mad beings from another planet. But here we are today with the Bentley Bentayga, the world’s fastest SUV, waiting patiently for the confirmed R-R SUV to duel with.

On the sporty side of the scale, Maserati is readying the Levante SUV for next year. It won’t be the only new Fiat Group SUV though; set to join the Maser 4X4 is a new Alfa Romeo SUV for mid-2016. Seen testing here as a rather ungainly-looking Fiat 500L-skinned early mule – the upcoming Alfa SUV is expected to share the Giulia’s platform and rival the likes of BMW’s X3, Audi’s Q5 and the new Mercedes-Benz GLC.

It was reported that at the Frankfurt show, senior Alfa Romeo official Alfredo Altavilla said that a high performance variant of the SUV will be powered by the Giulia Quadrifoglio’s twin-turbocharged 2.9 litre V6, which in the sedan delivers 510 hp and a 0-100 km/h time of 3.9 seconds.

Fiat Chrysler head honcho Sergio Marchionne has said that he wants eight new models for the brand’s revival – after the Giulia, this will be the second and probably more important shot at the market. Yes, an Alfa Romeo SUV is coming, as unlikely as that sounds.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio at Frankfurt 2015