Italy’s take on the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90

Alfa Romeo is looking to expand its hauler lineup with an even bigger vehicle that will seat seven and have an electrified drivetrain, so we put together a rendering of what it could look like.

The upcoming SUV is part of a bigger plan that also includes a new range of performance hybrid models. There’s no specific information on any car, but an announcement is expected to be made in June 2018 by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The SUV is considered a vital model for the company’s ambitions on the U.S. market, but word has it Alfa Romeo is still waiting to see how the Stelvio does on the market before it greenlights a larger SUV. We’ll just have to wait a little longer but, until then, check out our speculative review below.

Exterior

  • Stelvio-based design
  • Not as sporty though
  • Boxier rear end
  • Shield front grille
  • Thin headlamps
  • Actual design still a mystery
2017 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Exterior High Resolution
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The new SUV will be bigger than the Stelvio and will probably have a slightly boxier design

The exterior design of the new SUV is still a mystery, but considering recent trends, it’s safe to assume that it will have the same styling language as the Stelvio. Naturally, it will be bigger — as it will be the biggest Alfa Romeo ever built — and it will probably have a slightly boxier layout.

For this rendering, our artist kept some of the traditional Alfa Romeo elements up front, starting with the triangular shield grille with a honeycomb mesh and horizontal slats. Just like on the Stelvio and Giulia, the pointy grille is flanked by slim headlamps at the top. However, while the Stelvio headlamps become bigger toward the fenders, these remain slim almost all the way. The headlamps are also connected to the shield grille through slender vents, a unique feature that gives the SUV a wider stance.

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio High Resolution Exterior
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Just like on the Stelvio and Giulia, the pointy grille is flanked by slim headlamps at the top

Down below, the bumper remains closely related to the Stelvio’s, featuring black trim at the top and a honeycomb mesh at the bottom. However, because the bumper is taller, the grille is no longer interrupted by the bottom of the grille. Our designer also added vertical LED lights to the corners.

Onto the sides, the SUV retains the Stelvio’s sculpted waistline and deep dents on the lower doors. However, the chrome trim that starts on the front fender and runs into the front door gives the SUV a more serious, powerful stance. The roof section is obviously the key difference here. Not only taller, it also includes a longer and bigger quarter window. The rear section of the roof is also boxier, although the raked rear glass gives the SUV a somewhat sporty look.

2023 Alfa Romeo Large SUV Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exclusive Renderings Exterior
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While it might not be as sporty as the Stelvio, the larger SUV will definitely boast that familiar Italian flair

The rear fascia shouldn’t differ too much from the Stelvio. Look for similarly slim taillights, a clean tailgate with a big license plate recess, and a big bumper with a black-painted plate at the bottom.

While it might not be as sporty as the Stelvio, the larger SUV will definitely boast that familiar Italian flair and plenty of Alfa Romeo’s current DNA.

Interior

  • Brand-new design
  • Standard leather upholstery
  • All the latest tech
  • Seven-seat option
  • Premium features
2017 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Interior High Resolution
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The biggest difference will be the ability to house two extra seats behind the second row

With the Stelvio’s interior based on the Giulia, it’s easy to assume that the larger SUV will get a similar layout. However, there’s a big chance that Alfa Romeo will go with a completely new design for this hauler. Sure, it may still have a multi-layered dashboard and a big display in the center stack, but it could employ new features and styling cues to make it look a bit more luxurious.

The biggest difference will be the ability to house two extra seats behind the second row. Seven-seat SUVs are pretty popular in the U.S. nowadays and a larger Alfa Romeo hauler would definitely need such an option. And word has it the Italians are planning to offer just that. Sure, the seven-seat layout will decrease trunk room rather significantly, but some space can be saved by folding them.

Needless to say, it should be able to compete with similar vehicles from Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW

The new SUV should come standard with all the features we’ve seen in the Stelvio, including leather seats, remote start, a sporty steering wheel, powered liftgate, backup camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The more expensive trims will probably add parking sensors, heated seats, wood trim, leather dash, and different upholstery colors.

Needless to say, it should be able to compete with similar vehicles from Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW.

Drivetrain

  • Mild hybrid drivetrain
  • 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • 48V hybrid system
  • At least 350 horsepower
  • All-wheel-drive
  • Quadrifoglio version possible
2017 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Drivetrain High Resolution
- image 715887
The big SUV will borrow its platform from the Stelvio

What we know as a fact so far is that the big SUV will borrow its platform from the Stelvio, which in turns shares it with the Giulia sedan. But certain modifications to the underpinnings as well as the fact that it will be bigger will make the seven-seat SUV around 200 kg (441 pounds) heavier than the Stelvio. This means that the SUV will tip de scales at around 1,860 kg, or around 4,100 pounds. Needless to say, it will need a bit more power than the Stelvio, which comes with 197 horsepower in standard form

But there’s good news in this department, as Alfa Romeo is reportedly working on a hybrid drivetrain for the SUV. The project is part of a bigger electrification initiative that will include several models, including a few upcoming performance vehicles. It will also spread to existing nameplates such as the Giulia and the Stelvio. However, this new hybrid drivetrain is of the mild variety, featuring an electric turbocharger that uses a 48V electrical system.

Alfa Romeo is testing a four-cylinder engine with a 48V electric system

Alfa Romeo is reportedly testing a hybrid system that pairs a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder with an e-turbo on a simulator. The gas unit is the same turbo-four that cranks up to 276 horsepower in the Stelvio, but according to Auto Express, the Italian firm says the hybrid layout "can achieve around 350 to 400 horsepower." Needless to say, a 350-horsepower rating for the base model would be more than enough for a bigger SUV and would enable the hauler to go against the 333-horsepower Audi Q7.

While the U.S. models will be restricted to a gasoline engine, the European version could get a diesel too. The Stelvio uses a 2.2-liter, four-cylinder Multijet II oil burner that generates 148 horsepower and 330 pound-feet on base trim and 207 horses and 350 pound-feet in its range-topping iteration. It remains to be seen whether the bigger SUV will get the same engine, but expect it to deliver at least 200 horsepower in the entry-level model.

2023 Alfa Romeo Large SUV
- image 782094
The Italian firm says the hybrid layout can achieve around 350 to 400 horsepower

The big question here is, will this new crossover also get the Quadrifoglio treatment? Chances are it will, although not at first, and it will probably use the same Ferrari-designed, 3.9-liter V-6. The twin-turbo unit generates 503 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque in the Stelvio and Alfa Romeo should find it easy to increase the oomph toward the 550-horsepower rating.

Prices

2023 Alfa Romeo Large SUV
- image 782093

It’s difficult to estimate a sticker for this SUV with at least a year until it breaks cover, but it’s safe to assume that it will cost more than the Stelvio, which retails from $42,195 in the U.S. With Alfa Romeo likely to pit it against the Audi Q7, which also offers a seven-seat version, the SUV should have a similar price tag just under the $50,000 mark.

Competition

Audi Q7

2017 - 2018 Audi Q7 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 585697

A benchmark for premium SUVs, the Audi Q7 also comes with a seven-seat option. Although it’s already three years old as of 2018, the Q7 can still hold its own against the competition thanks to its stylish exterior, luxurious interior, and solid technology package. It’s also packed with loads of safety features and has a quiet cabin so all seven passengers can travel in comfort. Sure, the third-row seats are a bit cramped when it comes to legroom for adults, but the fact that the base model comes with leather upholstery, power front seats, and heated seats makes it a good deal. Two engine choices are available, starting with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder that delivers 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. More oomph comes from the supercharged, 3.0-liter V-6 unit, which delivers 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of twist. Pricing starts from $49,900 for the four-cylinder model and from $56,400 for the V-6 version.

Read our full review of the 2018 Audi Q7.

Volvo XC90

2016 Volvo XC90 High Resolution Exterior
- image 565988

Introduced in 2014, the second-gen XC90 replaced a rather iconic first-generation model that was sold successfully for no fewer than 12 years. But the long wait was definitely worth it, as the XC90 turned into a proper premium SUV with features that match those from the German competitors. It also has good interior space, a solid safety package, and returns great fuel economy no matter the drivetrain. Unlike the Q7, it doesn’t have seating for seven people in base trim, but you can get the extra two seats with the T6 and T8 levels. The T6 is a pretty powerful option, delivering 316 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The T8 is a hybrid, pairing the same 2.0-liter unit, but with both a turbo and a supercharger, to a 60-kW electric motor connected to the rear axle. Total output is a impressive 400 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of twist. The XC90 is a bit more expensive than the Q7 with the seven-seat options, retailing from $54,350 as the T6 and from $64,950 as the T8.

Read our full story on the 2018 Volvo XC90.

Conclusion

2023 Alfa Romeo Large SUV Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exclusive Renderings Exterior
- image 781754

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio has been around for only a few months as of June 2018 and it’s difficult to predict what impact it will have on the market, but with SUVs so popular nowadays, it should boost the company’s sales to unprecedented levels. The new seven-seat SUV will probably arrive just in time to keep that momentum flowing and if all goes well, we might witness a full-scale revival of the once glorious brand. Finger’s crossed we will get a Quadrifoglio version too!

  • Leave it
    • * Could be expensive
    • * Q model not yet confirmed
    • * Competitive market

References

2017 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Exterior High Resolution
- image 716831

Read our full review on the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio.

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Read more Alfa Romeo news.

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