2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio World Debut

The latest model entry in Alfa Romeo’s revival plan – the Stelvio – will go on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show, marking the company’s first foray into the crossover market.

Named after the stunning mountain pass in the Italian Alps (as seen on Top Gear series 10 episode one), the Stelvio is built on a rear-wheel drive platform codenamed Giorgio, which it shares with the Giulia sedan.

Two engine options will be available when it goes on sale next year – a 2.0 litre direct-injected turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 280 hp and 400 Nm of torque, as well as a 2.9 litre biturbo V6 on the top-end Quadrifoglio variant with 505 hp and 600 Nm of torque. The latter isn’t just about grunt (0-96 km/h in 3.9 seconds), as it features cylinder deactivation to save fuel.

Said engines are paired with a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, with Q4 all-wheel drive coming as standard. The crossover’s AWD system allows transfer of up to 60% of torque to the front axle, while a torque vectoring differential helps improve traction and stability.

As for the looks, the Stelvio carries the familiar family face as seen on the Giulia sedan, while the rear gets similarly-shaped taillights as well, albeit adjusted to match. Interesting design cues include the distinct C-pillars where the side windows and rear greenhouse meet, iconic Alfa wheels, quad tailpipes (on Quadrifoglio variants) and rear diffuser.

Inside, the layout is almost identical to the Giulia, right down to the dual rotary control dials on the centre console – one to select the various driving modes (Dynamic, Natural, Advanced Efficiency and Race), and the other for the dash-mounted infotainment system. Buyers get to choose between 6.5-inch or a 8.8-inch widescreen display. An additional 7-inch screen in the instrument cluster is standard.

The Stelvio will be built at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) plant in Cassino, Italy, and when it hits markets in 2017, it will compete against the Jaguar F-Pace, Mercedes GLC and BMW X3.