The latest independent safety assessments from vehicle safety authority, ANCAP, have revealed two top performers with the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio equalling the highest scores recorded to date in the area of Adult Occupant Protection.

The Giulia mid-sized sedan recorded a score of 98 per cent, closely followed by the brand’s medium SUV offering, the Stelvio, scoring 97 per cent.1

Both Alfa Romeo models achieved a 5 star ANCAP safety rating with good performance across all four key areas of assessment. This rating applies to all 2.0 litre petrol and 2.2 litre diesel Giulia and Stelvio variants.

“These are impressive scores which reflect the effort the brand has put into designing vehicles to keep occupants safe,” said ANCAP Chief Executive, James Goodwin.

“With Adult Occupant Protection we look at how a vehicle performs structurally across a range of destructive crash tests, but also how well the restraint systems work to minimise injury. Low speed autonomous
emergency braking also forms part of this, with both Alfa Romeo models performing well.”

The Citroen C3, which was subject to the same broad range of tests, fell just shy of today’s safety expectation due to its inability to actively detect and prevent pedestrian contact combined with head injury risk.

“Unfortunately the C3 falls down in the Pedestrian Protection aspects of our assessment,” Mr Goodwin said.

“We may not all be drivers, but we are all pedestrians so it is important the design and specification of a vehicle considers the safety of those inside as well as outside the vehicle.”

The Citroen C3 scored 59 per cent for Pedestrian Protection, limiting its overall ANCAP safety rating to 4 stars.

These scores equal those achieved by the Volvo XC60 (98%) and Volvo XC90 (97%).

The latest Alfa Romeo creation has been revealed, making its world premiere debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The all-new Alfa Romeo Stelvio premium mid-size SUV is the first crossover in the iconic Italian carmaker’s 105-year history. More than just a new SUV; the Stelvio will set new benchmarks in styling and performance when it arrives in Australia in 2018.

Designed and developed by Alfa Romeo in Italy, the Stelvio not only embodies the passion and spirit of Alfa Romeo’s proud history, it propels the Italian brand boldly into an exciting era of passion and performance. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is named after one of the greatest driving roads in the world – the Stelvio Pass in the Italian Alps. This 20km pass boasts more than 75 bends and breathtaking views as it climbs to a dizzying 2758m, making it the highest mountain pass in Italy (second highest in Europe).

The 2018 Stelvio is the second of a new generation of Alfa Romeo vehicles built using a world-class architecture that epitomises the brand’s La meccanica delle emozioni (the mechanics of emotion) spirit, ensuring race-inspired performance, real-world driving confidence, cutting-edge technologies, seductive Italian style and an exhilarating driving experience.

These characteristics alone guarantee that the Alfa Romeo Stelvio will be a standout in the premium mid-size SUV segment, delivering an exhilarating driving experience to thrill even the most accomplished drivers. The Stelvio crossover will be manufactured in the Cassino plant on a­­­ production line dedicated exclusively to the latest Alfa Romeo models – including the stunning Giulia, which launched the brand into a new era in 2015, with its revolutionary styling, sports handling and technology.

Stunning Alfa Romeo styling and clean contours

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is a perfect blend of heritage, speed and beauty; and its magical alchemy forms an integral part of the brand's history, dating back more than a century. Achieving this mix, now as in the past, takes a talent for combining the three special ingredients of Italian design: proportion, simplicity and top-quality surfacing.

These same ingredients spawned the Giulia – the new Alfa Romeo benchmark and precursor of the brand's future – and have been comprehensively reworked to adapt them to the altogether different volume of a Sports Utility Vehicle. The Stelvio's proportions express strength, dynamism and compactness. It is just 4680mm long, 1650mm tall and 2160mm wide (including mirrors).

The side view confirms this impression, with an outline that suggests a compact car, starting at the front and developing towards the rear, and a cabin that ends on a steeply raked rear hatch, topped with an elegant spoiler for maximum aerodynamic performance – a crucial consideration on a car that packs this much punch.

The distinctly Alfa Romeo styling also finds expression in the high-quality surfacing, which involves creating rich, harmonious reflections across the volumes. The end-result is a sculptural shape, which on the flanks of the Stelvio, for example, gives rise to stark contrasts between the surfaces that catch the light and those that remain in shadow. Basically, the “musculature” of the car's sides accentuates its front and rear wings.

The Quadrifoglio version, unveiled in LA, features a body-coloured side-skirt with a carbon insert that accentuates the car's sporting character. These features, combined with the front and rear bumpers and powerfully styled wheel-arches all in the same colour, make the Stelvio Quadrifoglio more like a sports saloon than a traditional crossover in this segment.

The third aspect of Alfa Romeo style is the "simplicity" that masks one of the most complex creative processes in the industry: designing a car. Because styling has the job of concealing the long, complex task of creating simple, natural lines to highlight the shapely elegance and tasteful sophistication of Italian-made products. And this same approach pervades the entire history of Alfa Romeo design, which has always expressed itself through clean, taut lines.

That's why the Stelvio has such a strong identity, built around a few select features, like the cloverleaf front end, which is one of the most famous and recognisable hallmarks in automotive styling. The front end of the Stelvio Quadrifoglio also embodies a strong hint of power and aggression, thanks chiefly to the specific air vents for the intercoolers and the classic apertures around the shield-shaped grille, combined with ”sinewy” surfacing.

The back end of the Stelvio is instantly eye-catching too, because of the sporting appearance it gets from its lower portion, characterised by the four exhaust tips, and from the “Kamm tail” styling that gives the car a unique, unmistakeable character, while also paying tribute to Alfa Romeo's history – because this distinctive design also featured on some of its most prestigious performance-oriented models and competition cars.

The same sporting inspiration makes another appearance in the Stelvio crossover's clean, uncluttered, interior, which is totally driver-centric, as you can see from the grouping of all the controls on the small, direct steering wheel, designed to suit all driving styles. 

The driver's position has been forged around the driver, with a diagonal tunnel and slightly undulating dashboard; and has been tailored with craftsmanship and premium materials: the carbon fibre, wood and fabrics have all been chosen for their visual and tactile appeal and assembled to give a palpable sense of human artistry.

Exhilarating performance from the 375kW 2.9-litre V6 BiTurbo Petrol Engine

State-of-the-art, innovative engines are another hallmark of a genuine Alfa Romeo. That's why the Stelvio Quadrifoglio mounts a unique power plant in terms of both technology and performance: a 375kW 2.9-litre V6 BiTurbo petrol with 8-speed automatic transmission.

Drawing inspiration from Ferrari technologies and know-how, the six-cylinder BiTurbo petrol engine is made entirely of aluminium to reduce vehicle weight, especially over the front axle.

What's more, despite its phenomenal torque and horsepower, the BiTurbo Petrol is also incredibly efficient in terms of fuel consumption, thanks to its electronically controlled cylinder deactivation system. And like all Alfa Romeo's next-generation engines, the Stelvio QV’s BiTurbo petrol unit will, of course, deliver that distinctive Alfa Romeo engine note to complement the performance.

Lastly, the eight-speed ZF automatic transmission is specifically calibrated to make gear changes in just 150 milliseconds in Race mode. The transmission also features a lock-up clutch to give the driver a powerful feeling of in-gear acceleration once the gear is engaged.

Depending on the mode you set with the AlfaTM DNA Pro selector, the auto box optimises fluidity, comfort and ease of driving in all environments, including around town, and further improves fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Steering-column-mounted, aluminium paddle shifters also feature as standard.

As well as this 375kW unit that's exclusive to the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, Alfa Romeo has confirmed that the other engines in the Stelvio range will include the 206kW 2.0-litre Turbo Petrol with 8-speed automatic transmission. This is an all-aluminium four-cylinder unit that puts out 206kW at 5250rpm and maximum torque of 400Nm at 2250rpm. In addition to the MultiAir electrohydraulic valve actuation system, the distinctive features of this engine include­­­e the "2-in-1" turbo system and the 200-bar high-pressure direct injection system, which deliver a particularly quick response to accelerator inputs across the rev range, plus first-class fuel-efficiency.

Innovative, exclusive technical solutions

In keeping with Alfa Romeo's technical traditions, electronic assistance must never be intrusive; it should facilitate the driving experience, which is exhilarating in itself thanks to the passionately and painstakingly designed chassis and suspension system.

The Stelvio Quadrifoglio unveiled in Los Angeles confirms this philosophy, because it is structurally unique and engaging, but still offers numerous sophisticated systems to make the driving experience - which is already assured by the car's underlying technical excellence - even more exciting.

Alfa™ DNA Pro

The Stelvio Quadrifoglio is also equipped with the new Alfa DNA Pro selector, which modifies the car's dynamic response according to which mode the driver selects: Dynamic, Natural, Advanced Efficiency (energy-saving mode) and Race (ideal for maximum performance).

All-wheel drive with Q4 technology

The Stelvio Quadrifoglio mounts an innovative all-wheel drive system with Q4 technology, designed to manage drive distribution in real time, so as to deliver top-notch performance, efficiency and safety. To put it in a nutshell, the Q4 system on Alfa Romeo's new crossover provides all the advantages of all-wheel drive, plus good fuel economy, responsive performance and all the driving pleasure of a rear-wheel drive car.

The Q4 system's architecture includes an active transfer case and front differential designed to meet the specific technical requirements of Alfa Romeo, entailing the rapid-response management of high torque levels, with a compact, lightweight set-up. The transfer case makes use of advanced active clutch technology to deliver an outstandingly dynamic ride combined with good fuel economy. The next-gen integrated actuator delivers high response speed and precise torque distribution, in line with the selected Alfa DNA Pro drive mode setting.

The Q4 system continuously monitors numerous parameters to optimise torque distribution between the two axles according to what the car is doing and how much grip there is beneath the wheels. This technology can predict imminent loss of grip by processing the data it receives from the lateral and longitudinal acceleration, steering-wheel angle and yaw sensors.

In normal conditions, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio with Q4 system acts like a rear-drive vehicle, with 100 per cent of the torque sent to the rear axle. As the wheels approach their grip limit, the system transfers up to 60 per cent of the torque to the front axle via a dedicated transfer case.

To modulate torque distribution with the utmost speed, the system uses a high degree of mechanical over-slip (up to 2.5 per cent) between the two axles, which translates into class-leading control in terms of traction and directional stability when cornering.

Alfa™ Torque Vectoring

Combined with Q4 all-wheel drive for the first time, Alfa Romeo's Torque Vectoring technology optimises the Stelvio Quadrifoglio's drive distribution and accentuates its sporting character. The two clutches in the rear differential make it possible to control torque delivery to each wheel separately. This means power is transferred to the ground more effectively, even when you drive the car to its dynamic limits. This makes the Stelvio safe and fun to drive at all times, without recourse to intrusive inputs from the stability control system.

Suspension system with exclusive AlfaLink™ technology

Up front, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio has a double wishbone system with semi-virtual steering axis, to optimise bump filtration and ensure quick, precise responses to steering inputs. By keeping the contact patch of the tyre constant when cornering, this exclusive Alfa Romeo set-up affords outstanding levels of lateral grip. Regardless of speed and conditions, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio always delivers a natural, instinctive drive.

The rear suspension uses a four-and-a-half link system – patented by Alfa Romeo – to deliver a winning combination of performance, driving pleasure and comfort. An electronically controlled damping system, furthermore, adapts to driving conditions instant by instant, enabling you to opt for more performance-biased or comfort-oriented handling.

Integrated Brake System (IBS) and carbon-ceramic discs

Having made its debut on the Giulia, Alfa Romeo's unique Integrated Brake System (IBS) is now in use on the Stelvio Quadrifoglio. This innovative electromechanical system combines stability control with a traditional servo brake to deliver instantaneous brake response and hence record-breaking stopping distances, while also making a significant contribution to weight optimisation. The Stelvio Quadrifoglio's braking system comprises aluminium components and carbon-ceramic discs.

Alfa™ Chassis Domain Control

The AlfaTM Chassis Domain Control (CDC) system acts as the "brain" of the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, and coordinates all the car's electronic systems. It manages the operation of the various tech systems – such as the new Alfa™ DNA Pro selector, the Q4 all-wheel drive, the AlfaTM Torque Vectoring system, the active suspension and the ESC – and optimises performance and driving pleasure.

The CDC adapts the chassis geometry in real time, dynamically adjusting the mapping of the AlfaTM DNA Pro modes on the basis the acceleration and rotation data detected by the sensors. Critical situations are prevented and managed by informing the specific control units involved in the electronic system of the car in advance: chassis, powertrain, suspension system, braking system, steering, power steering and differential on curves.

Content developed in collaboration with Magneti Marelli

As other models on the Alfa Romeo line-up, the Stelvio crossover fits a host of features developed in collaboration with Magneti Marelli – from lighting devices to powertrain, suspensions and exhaust systems and the new Connect 3D Nav 8.8" Infotainment unit – as further confirmation of the consolidated and mutually profitable collaboration between Alfa Romeo and the well-known international leader in the design and manufacturing of high-tech automotive systems and components.

Perfect weight distribution and the ideal power-to-weight ratio

One of the primary objectives of the design of the Stelvio Quadrifoglio was to achieve maximum driving pleasure. The key contributors to this are the perfect weight distribution between the two axles and an optimum power-to-weight ratio. The first of these required astute management of weights and materials, which was achieved by tweaking the layout of Alfa Romeo's new crossover and locating all the heaviest components as centrally as possible.

The ideal power-to-weight ratio was achieved by using ultra-lightweight materials such as carbon fibre for the driveshaft and aluminium for the engine, suspensions, brakes, doors, wheel-arches and bonnet.