We won’t make a fuss that Alfa Romeo has just started with SUVs. Launching SUVs is just what you do if you’re a premium sports company that wants to stay in business. (Anyhow, trivia fans, it isn’t quite Alfa’s first utility vehicle. There was a Willys-Jeep-like scout car known as the Matta in the early 1950s.
What we can say is that at 4,680mm long, 1,903mm wide and 1,671mm high, Stelvio is parachuted straight into the heart of German heartland SUVs; think Mercedes Benz GLC, BMW X4, Porsche Macan and Audi X5. It’s a big ask for this Giulia-based SUV. Alfa claims the new Stelvio is the most sporting car in its segment, but while the acronym SUV contains the word ‘Sporting’, it’s also a bit of an oxymoron.
Fortunately, the Giulia platform with its double wishbone front, multi-link rear aluminium suspension is a good place to start. Springs are longer than the Giulia, but stiffer to counteract the extra height.
There’s lightness, too, thanks to a carbon-fibre prop shaft as standard, engines with aluminium blocks, and aluminium skin for the bonnet, tailgate, doors and front wings. All-in the Stelvio weighs 1,660kg with fluids (that’s the same weight for 4cyl diesel and petrol versions), 145kg less than an equivalent BMW X3 and 185kg less than a 4cyl Porsche Macan. The foundations, then, are sound.