“The starting point is always a blank sheet of paper”. That’s how Alessandro Maccolini, head of Alfa Romeo’s exterior design, begins his account of the genesis of the Stelvio at Autostyle 2017, outlining the stages that led to the definition of Alfa Romeo’s first Suv. Actually, a precedent does exist: with the 2003 Kamal concept, Alfa debuted its first idea of a Suv, which did not go into mass production. Today, however, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio is a reality and has been on our roads for a few months, a bang up-to-date vehicle, with dynamic, sporty lines.
“We dedicated a lot of time to the design of the front because we wanted this Suv to be recognisable as a real Alfa Romeo right from the start, and we succeeded”, Maccolini said, illustrating the project on stage at the event organised by Berman on 6 October. The hallmark styling feature of the Stelvio is the historic trilobe and the two side air intakes, positioned at the centre of the grille. At the end we find the lighting clusters, very similar to those of the sister saloon, the Giulia. “The Stelvio and Giulia were born more or less at the same time and have the same styling ingredients while retaining two completely distinct identities”, the designer continued.
The side is sculpted, the belt line high and the fenders muscular. The cabin slips compactly towards the rear and the tail pays homage to the cars that have made the history of the brand and motor racing itself. It in fact presents the Kamm cut-off tail, “just like the legendary TZ, SZ and many others. All light years away from the Stelvio in terms of role and objectives “, said a smiling Maccolini. The flat, clean tailplane and spoiler above the rear windscreen also provide this Alfa with good aerodynamics, with a Cx of 0.30.
The interior is roomy and the stylists’ focus was very much on the passengers when they designed this spaciously comfortable ambiance. The dashboard is laid out on a horizontal plane, the analogue instrumentation is circular and the three-spoke sports steering wheel is an invitation to drive. “The materials used are real. Carbon is carbon, wood is real wood, there is no make-believe in this car. The principles that inspired the interior design are elegance, simplicity and clean lines”, said the designer who concluded his speech with a provocation: “The car is an animal that must live in its natural environment for man to appreciate its beauty. It’s up to you to judge that of this Alfa Romeo”.