2016 Alfa Romeo SUV interior

Alfa Romeo’s upcoming SUV may still be a work in progress, but it appears the vehicle has now been given a name. According to Auto Express, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) CEO Sergio Marchionne has christened the SUV with the name, Stelvio.

Sound familiar? Well, the name is a homage to the famous mountain pass in Italy. Top Gear fans will recall the Stelvio Pass from episode one, series 10. The “Stelvio” name is also associated to a type of Italian cheese, a national park and a film music composer.

Getting back on track, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio (internally known as the Tipo 949 D-SUV), is said to be based on a modified version of the Giulia’s architecture. This allows it to adopt either a rear- or all-wheel drive powertrains. Engine choices should include the Ferrari-derived 2.9 litre biturbo V6 engine, along with a smaller 2.0 litre four-cylinder unit. Expect diesel powerplants (2.2 litre four-cylinder, 3.0 litre V6) to join the mix as well.

As for the Stelvio’s design, Alfa has yet to release any official teasers. The only hint so far is a photo posted on Instagram by FCA designer Ralph Gilles. The photo shows fellow designer Lorenzo Ramaciotti sitting in the back of an unnamed crossover, rumoured to be the Stelvio. In the shot, the dashboard appears to share similarities to that found in the Giulia.

The upcoming SUV is scheduled to go on sale in Europe in early 2017, nine months later than originally planned. When it hits the market, it will compete against the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC.

GALLERY: Alfa Romeo Stelvio test mule spyshots