Has Alfa Romeo built the only crossover enthusiasts can accept?
You didn't think Alfa Romeo was going to debut the Stelvio SUV in its most desirable Quadrifoglio guise did you? Poor you for thinking such foolish thoughts, because while us gearheads want little more than to see a porky SUV lap the Nurburgring in an absurd time that puts braggadocios Porsche to shame, the reality is that the majority of Stelvio buyers will opt for Alfa Romeo's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 280 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque for the grocery haul.
Given the popularity of SUVs, Alfa Romeo will wisely debut this version before the QV. While the Giulia may need the QV variant to begin its sales debut with a bang, the Stelvio will likely have no such trouble thanks to the current SUV binge consumers are undergoing. However, Alfa Romeo still wants its first SUV customers to feel extra special, so it has has decided to unveil the Stelvio First Edition, which true to its name, is already available for order. Its aforementioned 2.0-liter four-banger makes it not as special as the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, but given that it's mated to an eight-speed automatic and equipped with Q4 all-wheel drive, the Stelvio can rocket from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds, making it the quickest off the line in its category.
Standard equipment includes electricity adjustable heated leather seats along with real wood inserts strewn throughout the cabin. These are then accompanied by a leather steering wheel, aluminum shift paddles, and colored brake calipers that shine through the 20-inch wheels. While the ability to power all four wheels is crucial on any SUV with off-road chops, the fact that it's an "SUV for the S curves" means that the Stelvio reserves the right to send 100 percent of the engine's power supply to the rear wheels or split it up 50/50 if traction is needed. The Stelvio First Edition loses two exhaust pipes over the Quadrifoglio's four (as does every lower Stelvio), but aluminum accents helps them stand out anyway.
This luxury model, which trades Alcantara for leather and gets an 8.8 inch infotainment screen, manages to keep the Stelvio's suite of semi-autonomous driver aids as well as the comfort and convenience items. These include automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, parking sensors, automatic lights, a power lift gate, backup camera, and even FCA's new radar-based traffic jam assist to make stop and go traffic a little less of a hair pulling experience. We can't wait to get our hands on what is quite possibly the only crossover we enthusiasts can endorse.