Alfa Romeo came back onto the scene with great fanfare last year, offering us a new Giulia for the first time in many years. And for 2018, they’re unveiling a flashy new crossover SUV – the Alfa Romeo Stelvio.

Sure, the crossover SUV market has become a little saturated in recent days, but that just gives Alfa Romeo even more reason to get in on the action. And it doesn’t disappoint. The Stelvio is named after a mountain pass high in the Alps – 9000 feet high – near the Swiss border. A road traverses the Stelvio Pass with 48 hairpin turns that provide a challenge for all but the most daring of drivers.  The Giro D’Italia often crosses over this pass. The perfect place to test out the handling on sportscars and SUV’s.

The car is in many ways a lifted version of the Giulia, with aluminum front and rear sub-frames and a carbon fiber driveshaft. It clocks inat only 4,044 lbs. You’ve got two different engines to choose from: a 2.0-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder, with 8-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive, cranking out 280 horsepower and capable of 0-60 in 5.4 seconds and 144 mph. The second option is the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, which is powered by a 2.9-liter, twin-turbo V6 capable of 505 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. They complement this with a torque-vectoring rear differential, track-hardened suspension and Brembo brakes.

Alfa Romeo has claimed a time of 7:51.7 on the Nurburgring. Not bad for an SUV. However, what we really care about on these things is the looks; those 20-inch alloy wheels are pretty snazzy, and the front end – with that signature Alfa grill- is the perfect combo of aggressive and Italian styling. In fact, that’s the main selling point of this car; it doesn’t promise anything that other luxury SUV’s don’t, but it’s dang good looking.

The new Stelvio will hit stateside in early 2018, and will retail somewhere between $40,000 to mid-$50,00’s depending on trim. Tackling those mountain passes on the way to work will be a lot more fun.

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