Launches & Reviews Review South Africa

Alfa Romeo Stelvio: Evolving is art

The ride quality is so smooth and so comfortable. Driving this beauty is just as easy and pleasing. And the design is unmistakeably that of an SUV but also timeless. The Stelvio caused a sensation in the sport utility vehicle (SUV) world when it was introduced. It was the dynamic brand's first modern foray into the SUV market and it had to bring two Alfa Romeo hallmarks to this vehicle category: styling flare and driving dynamics - characteristics not easily associated with utility vehicles, sporty or not.
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj

Here are the quick take-outs:

  • The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is an evolving masterpiece in terms of style and technology.
  • Updated styling features sophisticated Full-LED Adaptive Matrix headlights and brand-new “Trilobo” grille.
  • New, completely digital instrument panel with historic “telescopic” design.
  • Driving dynamics remain an Alfa Romeo forte and Stelvio impresses in the SUV class thanks to perfect weight distribution, best-in-class agility and lightness, and steering precision.

Available immediately in Veloce guise, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio pulls family styling cues together with its second SUV, the Tonale, providing a sensational experience for urban and extra-urban adventures. And that’s exactly what I did. We headed out from urban Cape Town into the yonder of the famed Atlantic Drive, arguably one of the most scenic drives in the world. The road is twisty and winds around many mountain passes. All the while, I felt totally in control and one with the SUV.

'Evolving is performance art'

The Alfa Romeo Stelios marks a significant milestone for the brand. It has evolved in both the brand’s trademark qualities — perfect weight balance, first-class driving dynamics, best-in-segment technological and engineering solutions — and in that 'timeless beauty' of Alfa Romeo Design, which is made to last and has created an authentic ‘artwork in motion'.

The beauty provided by the Italian design has been made even more appealing and contemporary by styling upgrades to the front of the Stelvio to create a clear and strong family connection with the Tonale.

You got the ‘look’

Standing out on the front of the Stelvio, the front grille (where the logo is positioned) and the lower grilles of the two main air ducts have been given a unique finish, which provides a contemporary reinterpretation of the famous and distinctive “Trilobo” grille. In fact, the headlights are the main new feature on the front: the “3+3” lights are new Full-LED Adaptive Matrix headlights.

This creates both a strong family connection with the Tonale and, at the same time, recalls one of the brand’s famous features which was introduced by the iconic Alfa Romeo SZ Zagato of the 1990s.

Go digital

The Stelvio is equipped with the most cutting-edge technology to ensure a comfortable and connected experience, while simultaneously providing the trademark pleasure of driving an Alfa Romeo. The most significant update can be seen in the instrument panel with its historic “telescopic” design. It includes the new, completely digital 12.3” TFT screen, where one can access all the vehicle’s information.

Moreover, the cluster can be reconfigured into three layouts: Evolved, Relax, and Heritage.

Driving dynamics: Best in class

The driving dynamics of Alfa Romeo’s Stelvio continues to lead the segment and provide a visceral driving experience in authentic Alfa Romeo spirit. That means the right balance between Italian design, state-of-the-art engines, perfect weight distribution, special technological solutions and an excellent power/weight ratio.

The essence of Alfa Romeo’s current and past models comes from this “magic” formula which, since the Tonale (the symbol of the brand’s metamorphosis), has been evolving to redefine 21st-century sportiness to include sustainability. All it takes is sitting down in a Stelvio to understand that one is about to enter the future of driving.

All-wheel drive with Q4 technology

Designed to manage the vehicle’s traction in a reactive and predictive way to ensure the highest levels in terms of performance, efficiency and safety, the Q4 technology guarantees all the benefits of all-wheel drive and, simultaneously, guarantees reduced fuel usage, reactivity and the pleasure of driving a rear-wheel drive vehicle.

At the heart of the Q4 system is the Active Transfer Case (ATC) that monitors grip conditions and driver inputs in real time to ensure the best performance.

Price and warranty

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce offers peace of mind motoring for five years or 100,000km thank to its warranty and maintenance plan. To be joined later in the year by the Stelvio Q, the Veloce model - available immediately - retails at R1,205,500 with the option of a sunroof at R20,000.

About Naresh Maharaj

Naresh Maharaj is a petrol head who loves cars and writing about them. He is also a Member of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists. Naresh is also an international sports correspondent and an acclaimed corporate MC and voice-over artist. Naresh is a sports/news producer for community radio stations and also an award-winning sports journalist. Contact Naresh on moc.liamg@123jarahamn.
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