Alfa Romeo’s new Stelvio SUV has been spotted ahead of its world debut at the upcoming 2016 Los Angeles auto show.
The latest prototype is the most revealing yet, although an almost completely undisguised version was shown briefly in a video that emerged in September highlighting the vehicle’s plant in Cassino, Italy.
Talk of an Alfa Romeo SUV dates back to 2008 but things never got serious until Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed plans for one during his company-wide five-year strategy announcement made in May 2014. Marchionne has since updated those plans to include two additional SUVs, one positioned below the Stelvio and another above it.
The Stelvio is designed to rival the likes of the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC. The underpinnings are a modified version of the rear-wheel-drive Giorgio platform that debuted in the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia. It means the Stelvio may offer rear-wheel drive, though most models will likely be all-wheel drive.
2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
It also appears that the Stelvio will share some design cues with the Giulia. Though the prototype is still disguised, we can see the familiar Alfa Romeo grille and headlights like that on the Giulia. In addition, the low, lean and almost coupe-like shape lends the vehicle an athletic look that’s in keeping with the aura of the Alfa Romeo brand.
It’s likely the powertrain lineup will also be shared with the Giulia. For the U.S., this means a base Stelvio with a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4, and possibly a range-topping Stelvio Quadrifoglio (it might be called something else) with a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V-6. Other markets should receive a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 diesel engine. The standard transmission should be an 8-speed automatic, though a 6-speed manual may be offered.
The Stelvio is scheduled to enter production in the fourth quarter of 2016. Sales in the U.S. are expected to start in mid-2017, making it a 2018 model.
Stay tuned for the reveal in the lead up to the L.A. auto show, which starts November 14.