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Future models - Alfa Romeo - Stelvio

Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV locked in for Q1 Oz launch

Right up: The Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUVs made its British debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed ahead of initial right-hand-drive deliveries this September.

UK getting first RHD Alfa Stelvios in September but Aussie price, spec under wraps

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Alfa Romeo logo21 Jul 2017

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

ALFA Romeo has announced pricing and specifications for the Stelvio SUV in its first right-hand-drive market, which could provide clues as to what the range might look like when it arrives in Australia in the first quarter of next year.

The Italian brand’s first SUV will arrive in British showrooms this September from £33,990 ($A48,701), an entry price that undercuts its main competitors in the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Jaguar F-Pace and Mercedes-Benz GLC by at least £750 ($A1211).

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia corporate communications manager Liam Price declined to outline local specification or indicative pricing until closer to the official launch, which he confirmed will be in the first quarter of 2018.

In Australia, the Giulia sedan is also priced to sneak under the least expensive European luxury sedan rivals that also have a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine, starting at $59,895 plus on-road costs – $535 less than a Jaguar XE 20t Prestige.

Depending on variant, four-cylinder Giulias are between 15 per cent and 25 per cent more expensive in Australia than their UK equivalents, based on current exchange rates.

If the Australian Stelvio pricing structure reflected that of its sedan stablemate here, the local range could open at around $64,000.

But unlike the Giulia, the Stelvio will enter an Australian market segment in which most base-spec competitors are all-wheel-drive and diesel, whereas the British range opens with a diesel rear-wheel-drive configuration.

The motherland’s next most affordable Stelvio is an all-wheel-drive petrol that in Australia could go head-to-head with the diesel Audi Q5 2.0 TDI Design that opens the range – and is least expensive of the competitors mentioned – at $65,900 plus on-road costs.

In the UK, entry-level Stelvio variants have cloth seats, lack native satellite navigation and do not have a reversing camera – which would not go down well in the demanding Australian market.

Standard equipment includes an 8.8-inch infotainment screen with DAB digital radio, Bluetooth audio streaming, a total of four USB ports and an auxiliary audio input for the eight-speaker stereo system.

There is also dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, rear parking sensors, automatic headlights and wipers, a 3.5-inch trip computer, a multi-function leather steering wheel, Alfa’s DNA rotary drive mode controller, 17-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels and LED tail-lights.

Mid-spec Super adds sat-nav, a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster, two-tone leather dashboard trim, part-leather upholstery, front parking sensors and 18-inch five-spoke alloys.

The Speciale will sit below the six-cylinder QV sports flagship and includes leather with front seat-heaters, six-way electric front-seat adjustment plus four-way lumbar support control, a heated sports steering wheel, aluminium paddle-shifters and pedals, a self-dimming interior mirror, electrically folding door mirrors, chrome window surrounds, bi-Xenon headlights and 19-inch 10-spoke alloys behind which are red-painted brake callipers.

A limited Milano launch edition takes Speciale spec and adds leather sports seats with adjustable bolsters, 10-speaker premium audio, a reversing camera, keyless entry, illuminated door handles, an interior air quality system, heat-shielding windscreen and gloss black window surrounds to complement the rear privacy glass.

The fire-breathing Quadrifoglio that was unveiled at the LA show last November with a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 producing 375kW of power and 600Nm of torque will join the range at a later date.

For now, the most potent right-hand-drive Stelvio has a 206kW/400Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol that can haul the SUV from zero to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds.

A less powerful version of the petrol unit, putting out 148kW and 330Nm, is also available, as are two 2.2-litre turbo-diesels in 134kW/450Nm and 157kW/470Nm.

The least powerful diesel is available with rear drive and all-wheel drive (AWD) depending on variant, with other engines exclusively AWD. Every Stelvio variant has an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.

So far this year, the Giulia sedan is Alfa Romeo’s best-seller in Australia with 296 sold, helping the brand achieve a 22.2 per cent volume increase. The Giulietta small hatch is down 42.6 per cent on 214 sales.

As reported, Australian Giulia volumes may still be modest but there has been high demand for up-spec variants including the sporty Veloce and QV hot-rod, the latter having a three-month waiting list here.

The Stelvio is expected to outsell the Giulia in SUV-addicted Australia once it arrives.

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