Upcoming Alfa Romeo CUV called the Stelvio, Marchionne says

Alfa Romeo will call its forthcoming crossover the Stelvio, and the Italian brand will finally put the often-postponed CUV on sale in Europe in early 2017, according to Auto Express citing FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne. We probably won't see it in showrooms here until at least spring or summer next year. The vehicle's name references the famously curvy pass through the Alps in Northern Italy, which evokes a model with sharp handling and rapid acceleration.

The Stelvio uses a modified Giulia platform, and the two models should share powertrains. Standard versions would likely get a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, which makes 276 horsepower in the sedan. However, the common parts make a Quadrifoglio version of the CUV possible, packing the hottest Giulia's 505-hp 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6, according to Auto Express.

Alfa Romeo hasn't teased the Stelvio's design yet, but FCA designer Ralph Gilles posted a photo on Instagram that might have been a hint. The picture showed fellow designer of Lorenzo Ramaciotti in the back of an unnamed crossover. The dashboard, which you could see in that shot, had a distinct similarity to the Giulia. The shot didn't show much of the exterior, but you could barely make out the narrow taillights.

Alfa Romeo has had serious problems launching vehicles on time recently, and the Giulia sedan and Stelvio should have been ready by now. The four-door was originally supposed to arrive in late 2015, but Marchionne said assembly would finally begin on March 14, according to Auto Express. The sedan has allegedly had problems passing internal crash tests, but Alfa officials vehemently denied this claim. The brand also delayed the CUV by several months from the original plans. The automaker now asserts that six more models are on the way by 2020, but the company doesn't seem capable of living up to those promises.

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