This is one special edition that can stay in Europe.
Alfa Romeo is adding a special edition of the Stelvio SUV to its range. Happily, this special edition of the Stelvio is not coming to the USA. While we remain fans of the Stelvio, we don't like the blatant exploitation of the GT Junior name. What makes it hurt even more is the recent introduction of the Giulia GTA, which is so good that it made Kimi Raikkonen go way above his usual daily word count of two.
The Stelvio GT Junior is an homage to Alfa's tiny four-cylinder coupe. It was built during Alfa's glory years, stretching from the mid-1960s to the late 1970s. Production models included the GT Junior, the famous Spider, 33 Stradale, the Montreal, and the Alfasud.
The reason we take offense is the fact that the Stelvio has nothing in common with the GT Junior. They are at two opposing ends of the automotive spectrum. One is an SUV, while the other is a dainty, lightweight coupe with a four-cylinder twin-cam engine.
We could have forgiven Alfa had it used the Stelvio Quadrifoglio as a basis, but the car you see here is powered by diesel. Yup, to pay tribute to one of the best sounding naturally aspirated four-cylinder engines ever produced, Alfa chose a 2.2-liter turbocharged diesel.
It does sound like a rather lovely diesel, producing 210 horsepower and 347 lb-ft of torque. We suspect Alfa went for this option because the diesel Stelvio is by far the most popular model in Europe.
Are there any real connections between the Stelvio GT Junior and the actual GT Junior? Alfa used the same shade of Ochre used on old models, albeit not as wild a version of this color as the one-off Giulia Quadrifoglio in 2019. Alfa also included embroidered GT Junior logos. As a bonus, it has a silhouette of a GT Junior on top of the dashboard.
The original GT Junior had a tiny 1.3-liter twin-cam four-cylinder engine, weighing just over 1,760 pounds. If you look at the images, you can see that these two cars have nothing in common, apart from a shared badge, Alfa's famous grille, and the Ochre hue.
We understand that Alfa's range is limited at the moment and that it desperately needs to flesh things out a bit until the Tonale arrives, but this is maybe not the best way to do it. Alfa Romeo fans are a rare breed. If any other manufacturer had made the same mistakes Alfa made over the last 30 years, it would be dead by now. But the Alfisti keep on buying regardless.
Thankfully, Alfa currently has two amazing cars on sale with a compact crossover on the way. As for this, it's a miss for us.