Alfa Romeo is set to debut its third model for US markets, the 2018 Romeo Stelvio, its crossover SUV follow-up to the Giulia at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The brand is anticipating the Stelvio to make a big splash, hoping the Italian-produced luxury car will play a big role in boosting the carmaker's global sales to 400,000 vehicles next year, reported Automotive News.
The Stelvio will be made in Cassino, Italy, and gets its name from a mountain pass in the Italian Alps. After premiering at the LA Auto Show it will start making the showroom rounds next year.
Fiat Chrysler is still trying to build Alfa Romeo into a global brand, but American consumers are still warming up to the carmaker, as it only entered the US in 2014 after a twenty-year gap. Chrysler hasn't had the best year thus far, with their car sales in the US decreasing 23 percent or 441 vehicles sold.
Eric Lyman, a TrueCar chief analyst, said the Stelvio is the best way to renew interest in the brand, using a thriving luxury utility market as its avenue. Chrysler has shown confidence in the rising brand, investing $6 billion to the development of a wider range of Alfa Romeo products.
The global head of Alfa Romeo, Reid Bigland, said that driving dynamics will be the key factor that elevates the vehicle a foot above its competitors. The Stelvio is an all-wheel-drive that promises increased traction and stability via its torque vectoring differential, while its Q4 system enables 60 percent of torque to move to the front axle.
The Stelvio also has two different engine options. The standard trim and mid-trim Ti will have a 20-liter turbocharged inline-four that produces 280 hp, while the higher-end Quadrifoglio boasts a 2.9-liter Biturbo V-6 engine making 505 hp. The Quadrifoglio engine is capable of boosting the car to 60 mph within four seconds from standstill.