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William Maley

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Is An Italian Take On the Luxury SUV: Comments

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"It has been long time coming" could be Alfa Romeo's slogan for the U.S. considering how long it has taken the brand to make a return here. But it is also an apt description for their first SUV, the 2018 Stelvio which debuted today at the LA Auto Show.

Design-wise, the Stelvio is a taller, more practical version of the Giulia sedan. From the narrow headlights and triangular grille up front, to the sculpted lines along the side, Alfa is making sure the DNA of the Giulia is extended to other models. The interior is the same as Giulia with a similar design for the dash, a 6.5-inch touchscreen (an 8.8-inch screen comes standard on higher trims), and leather seats.

Let's talk powertrains. The Stelvio and Stelvio Ti (Turismo Internazionale) will come with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 280 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque. The Stelvio Quadrifoglio features the twin-turbo 2.9L V6 with 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. Alfa says the Stelvio Quadrifoglio will hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds - a tenth slower than the Giulia Quadrifoglio. No matter the engine, an eight-speed automatic and Alfa's Q4 all-wheel drive system will come standard. Alfa's DNA drive mode system will feature three different drive modes to alter settings for the engine, transmission, and steering. The Quadrifoglio will get four different modes.

Like the Giulia, the Stelvio uses the Giorgio platform that promises a near 50/50 weight distribution front and rear. Many body panels, suspension components, and chassis are made out of aluminum in an effort to save weight.The Quadrifoglio gets an an adaptive suspension, which is optional on the other trims.

Alfa Romeo hasn't announced a release date or pricing for the Stelvio. Considering their track record of missing dates, this might be a wise decision.

Source: Alfa Romeo 
Press Release is on Page 2


Born From the World’s Greatest Driving Road – Stelvio Pass – the All-new 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Sets a New Benchmark in Performance, Style and Technology in an SUV That Could Only Be Italian 

  • The SUV for the S-Curves: Built in Italy, the Top-of-the-line Stelvio Quadrifoglio Delivers a Class-leading 505 Horsepower and 0-60 in Just 3.9 Seconds
  • Building on the excitement of the award-winning 4C and the all-new Giulia premium mid-size sedan, Alfa Romeo – the heart and soul of the automotive industry – introduces the all-new Stelvio premium mid-size SUV
  • The all-new Stelvio is the second of a new lineup of vehicles built off a world-class architecture that embodies the brand’s La meccanica delle emozioni (the mechanics of emotion) spirit
  • Stelvio and Stelvio Ti models feature an all-new, all-aluminum, 2.0-liter, direct-injection turbo engine delivering a class-leading, standard 280 horsepower and 306 lb.-ft. of torque, allowing it to achieve a top speed of 144 mph
  • Stelvio Quadrifoglio – the “halo” model in the lineup – continues to highlight Alfa Romeo’s performance and motorsport expertise with best-in-class 505 horsepower, powering it from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 177 mph
  • State-of-the-art technologies, including Alfa DNA Pro selector, torque vectoring differential, Chassis Domain Control (CDC), and aluminum column-mounted paddle shifters with 100 millisecond shifts, maximize the all-new Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio’s driving pedigree
  • The innovative Q4 all-wheel-drive (AWD) system – standard on all Stelvio models, including the Quadrifoglio, provides additional driving confidence and superior control
  • Iconic Alfa Romeo design and genuine Italian craftsmanship combine to create a premium mid-size SUV that truly stands apart
  • Stelvio offers innovative safety and security features and leverages advanced driver-assist features, including Full-speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus
  • Crafted by Alfa Romeo artisans at the Cassino plant in Frosinone, Italy

November 16, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - As the second of a new generation of vehicles built on an all-new platform, the 2018 Stelvio epitomizes Alfa Romeo’s La meccanica delle emozioni (the mechanics of emotion) spirit, delivering race-inspired performance, real-world driving confidence, state-of-the-art technologies, seductive Italian style and an exhilarating driving experience to the premium mid-size SUV segment.

“The all-new Stelvio, named after one of the greatest driving roads in the world – the Stelvio Pass in the Italian Alps – sets a new benchmark for the segment,” said Reid Bigland, Head of Alfa Romeo. “Stelvio is uniquely engineered to challenge two-door sports cars on the track, without sacrificing any of the characteristics you would expect from a premium SUV, resulting in the perfect mix of high performance, capability and Italian design.”

Infused with Italian passion, craftsmanship and innovation, the all-new Alfa Romeo Stelvio will conquer the winding road for which it is named.

Three exhilarating, capable Stelvio models showcase Alfa Romeo’s captivating mix of Italian performance, style and technology
Crafted by Alfa Romeo artisans at the Cassino plant in Italy, the all-new 2018 Stelvio lineup is a testament to Alfa Romeo’s perfect balance of engineering and emotion, creating a premium mid-size SUV for driving enthusiasts that stands out in one of the largest and fastest growing segments in the U.S.

Stelvio and Stelvio Ti
The true manifestation of Italian performance, craftsmanship and design, the all-new 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Stelvio Ti models provide a wide-ranging list of standard features, including an all-aluminum, 2.0-liter, direct-injection turbo engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission, delivering a class-leading, standard 280 horsepower and 306 lb.-ft. of torque, class-exclusive carbon fiber driveshaft, dual exhaust with bright tips, 18-inch aluminum wheels (available 19- and 20-inch wheels), leather seating, backup camera with rear park sensors, power liftgate, Formula One-inspired flat-bottom steering wheel with integrated push button start and much more.

In addition to the expansive list of standard features in the all-new Stelvio, Stelvio Ti adds even more luxury and convenience offerings, including standard 19-inch wheels, genuine wood interior accents and an 8.8-inch widescreen infotainment display. Available Sport and Lusso packages provide drivers with two unique offerings that further accentuate the bold characteristics of Stelvio Ti.
 
Stelvio Quadrifoglio
With the most powerful Alfa Romeo production engine ever, Stelvio Quadrifoglio highlights Alfa Romeo’s performance and motorsport pedigree as the “halo” model in the lineup.

The heart and soul of this ultra-high performance SUV is an all-aluminum, direct-injection 2.9-liter 24-valve bi-turbo intercooled V-6 engine, delivering a best-in-class 505 horsepower and 443 lb.-ft. of torque, and a standard Q4 all-wheel-drive system.

The Stelvio Quadrifoglio includes exclusive high-performance and functional exterior design elements, plus unique performance suspension, brakes and wheels. Inside, high performance leather and Alcantara front seats, featuring 12-way power and adjustable thigh support, provide the optimal control center. Additional features include a Quadrifoglio-exclusive leather-wrapped steering wheel with accent stitching and performance contours, leather-wrapped instrument panel with accent stitching and carbon fiber interior trim.

Advanced technology features unique to the Stelvio Quadrifoglio include a four-mode Alfa DNA Pro selector with Race mode, torque vectoring differential, Quadrifoglio-tuned adaptive suspension, Quadrifoglio instrument cluster with 200 miles per hour (mph) speedometer and cylinder deactivation system.

Ultra-high performance options for Stelvio Quadrifoglio include:

  • Ultra-lightweight carbon fiber shell Sparco racing seats, providing maximum lateral support during extreme cornering thanks to more aggressive bolstering, and designed to be the lightest in the segment, while providing comfort for long road trips 
  • Ultra-high-performance Brembo carbon-ceramic material (CCM) brake system

Driver-centric capability and performance 
The Stelvio’s intuitive interior is fully committed to the driver’s every need, offering easy access to vital and next-level technologies. A Formula One-inspired steering wheel features a thick-rim profile that transmits the chassis’ direct-steering feel and neatly groups the vehicle controls and the engine start button. Behind the steering wheel, the Stelvio features available all-aluminum column-mounted paddle shifters and a standard full-color 7-inch thin film transistor (TFT) cluster display straddled by two large white-on-black face analog gauges.

Conveniently located in the center console are two simple rotary dials. The first controls Alfa’s DNA Drive Mode system with three unique driver selectable modes (Dynamic, Natural, Advanced Efficiency), which can be used to fine tune the driving experience by adjusting throttle response, boost pressure and suspension settings in Stelvio and Stelvio Ti. Stelvio Quadrifoglio adds a fourth mode – Race – with its exclusive DNA Pro Drive Mode system.

The secondary rotary dial controls the high-resolution 6.5-inch, or 8.8-inch, wide-screen infotainment system with real-time vehicle performance pages and telemetry, plus 3-D graphic navigation that recognizes handwritten gestures on the top of the rotary pad (late availability), allowing the driver to easily interact with the 3-D Navigation system.

With easy access to vital technologies in mind, all Stelvio models will feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

State-of-the-art engines are the beating hearts of each and every Alfa Romeo 
Every Stelvio, Stelvio Ti and Stelvio Quadrifoglio is powered by best-in-class all-aluminum engines that embody the brand’s passion for next-level technology and state-of-the-art performance.

Best-in-class 280 horsepower with all-aluminum Alfa Romeo turbocharged four-cylinder engine
Featured in the all-new 2018 Stelvio and Stelvio Ti models, an all-aluminum 2.0-liter direct-injection, 16-valve, turbocharged and intercooled engine, designed specifically for Alfa Romeo, delivers a best-in-class 280 horsepower, along with world-class levels of performance, efficiency and refinement.

To deliver its best-in-class 280-horsepower output and flat torque curve with 306 lb.-ft. of torque available between 2,250 – 4,500 rpm, the state-of-the-art engine features exceptional turbo responsiveness thanks to a “2-in-1” turbocharger design, with the charging system driven through two pipes, which gathers exhaust gas from pairs of cylinders in an alternating sequence.

Performance and fuel economy of these engines are fostered by the MultiAir electro-hydraulic variable-valve actuation technology, a direct-injection system with 2,900 PSI injection pressure, a water-cooled cylinder head integrated manifold and a water-cooled charge air cooler.

Best-in-class 505-horsepower all-aluminum 2.9-liter bi-turbo V-6 engine 
Arriving to the premium mid-size SUV segment is the most powerful Alfa Romeo production engine ever, with an all-aluminum 2.9-liter direct-injection bi-turbo V-6 serving as the Stelvio Quadrifoglio’s “heart and soul.”
 
Designed to optimize the all-new lightweight Alfa Romeo architecture, the all-aluminum 2.9-liter V-6 bi-turbo engine features a compact 90-degree layout and was holistically designed for a low center of gravity within the chassis.

To deliver a best-in-class 505 horsepower and a flat torque curve with 443 lb.-ft. of peak torque available between 2,500 – 5,500 rpm, the state-of-the-art engine features a bi-turbo design. In addition, the engine’s turbochargers are integrated into the exhaust manifold and feature a low-inertia, single-scroll turbo design with variable-boost management for ultra-responsive throttle response. A direct-injection system maximizes fuel combustion for improved engine output and efficiency.

For improved fuel efficiency, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio features a Cylinder Efficient Management (CEM) deactivation system, which enables the engine to run on three of its six cylinders.

Crafting control: Q4 all-wheel drive (AWD)
The intelligent Q4 all-wheel-drive system – standard on all Stelvio models, including Quadrifoglio – delivers even more all-season traction and performance capability, thanks to the system’s ability to transfer up to 60 percent of the engine’s torque to the front axle.
 
The innovative Q4 AWD system is linked to the Stelvio’s Chassis Domain Controller (CDC) and driver-adjustable Alfa DNA or DNA Pro (Quadrifoglio exclusive) drive mode system – enabling the driveline’s next-generation integrated actuator to adapt to changing ground conditions or driver need in milliseconds, and instantly optimize the required torque to each wheel.

Italian ingenuity with broad use of lightweight materials 
Alfa Romeo Stelvio’s architecture extensively integrates lightweight, state-of-the-art materials that enable and deliver near perfect 50/50 weight distribution, segment-leading torsional rigidity and the most direct steering available.

Alfa Romeo engineers designed a lightweight rear-wheel-drive platform with a low center of gravity – all to deliver the high-performance and precision expected from an Alfa Romeo.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio’s aluminum front and rear vehicle frames, front shock towers, brakes, suspension components, doors and fenders also help shed weight compared to conventional steel. For example, the rear cross member features an extensive use of lightweight materials, including aluminum and composite.

An Alfa Romeo exclusive double wishbone front suspension with semi-virtual steering axis guarantees rapid and accurate steering feel. With the most direct steering ratio in the segment, Alfa Romeo Stelvio can tackle high lateral accelerations as a result of the always perfect footprint. At the rear, a patented Alfa-link rear axle design with vertical rod ensures top performance, driving pleasure and passenger ride comfort.

State-of-the-art technologies add to a premium SUV that only Italy could create
Competing at a world-class level requires the highest attention to detail, including the use of next-level technologies that continually please and impress the center of Stelvio’s universe: the driver.

Q2 Mechanical Limited-Slip Differential
This new feature – included within the Performance Package – is a rear mechanical limited-slip differential that optimizes rear-wheel traction. The Q2 differential balances the machine torque, which works on the SUV’s rear axle. This system provides the proper level of torque to one of the two rear wheels based on traction conditions.
 
Chassis Domain Control (CDC)
The “brain” of Alfa Romeo Stelvio’s benchmark-level dynamics can be attributed to its innovative Chassis Domain Control (CDC) system. The CDC system coordinates all of the vehicle’s available active systems (stability control, torque vectoring differential and Alfa Active suspension system), using predictive-type dynamic models to deliver balanced, safe and natural driving, thus optimizing performance and drivability.

Integrated braking system (IBS)
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio features a segment-first integrated braking system, replacing a traditional system of electronic stability control (ESC) and brake booster for even more instantaneous braking responsiveness. The innovative electromechanical system improves braking performance through a faster increase in pressure and makes it possible to vary brake feel jointly with the Alfa DNA Pro system. As a result, this lightweight technological solution delivers new levels of brake response and stopping distance.
 
Alfa DNA and Alfa DNA Pro drive mode selectors
Innovative Alfa DNA drive mode system and Alfa DNA Pro (Quadrifoglio exclusive) drive mode selectors modify the dynamic behavior of the vehicle, according to the driver’s selection:

  • Dynamic: delivers sharper brake and steering feel with more aggressive engine, transmission and throttle tip-in calibrations
  • Natural: comfort setting for balanced daily driving
  • Advanced Efficiency: eco-friendly mode to achieve the lowest fuel consumption
  • Race: exclusive to Alfa DNA Pro, this mode activates the over-boost function, opens up the two-mode exhaust system, turns ESC off and delivers sharper brake and steering feel with more aggressive engine, transmission and throttle tip-in calibrations

Thanks to the interaction with the Chassis Domain Control, Alfa DNA Pro instantaneously adapts car behavior to the selected driving mode.
 
Torque vectoring
Torque vectoring makes it possible for the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio to achieve higher performance during lateral acceleration. The rear differential optimizes torque delivery to each wheel separately for improved power delivery, traction and control on all types of road surfaces, without cutting power like traditional systems.

Alfa Active suspension system
Available on Stelvio Ti and standard on the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, this innovative four-channel chassis damping system instantly adapts to driving conditions and can be adjusted by the driver via the Alfa DNA selector. This technology allows for a setting of softer shock absorbers for a more comfortable drive, or a more rigid setting for more accuracy in sports driving.

Peace of mind: safety and security
The all-new Alfa Romeo Stelvio offers innovative safety and security features and leverages advanced driver-assist features.

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio offers safety and security features that include:

  • Full-speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus: provides autonomous braking and, under certain circumstances, slows or brings the vehicle to a full stop when frontal collision appears imminent
  • Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus with Full Stop: helps maintain distance from the vehicle ahead and, under certain traffic conditions, the system can bring the Stelvio to a full stop without driver intervention
  • Lane Departure Warning: alerts the driver of inadvertent lane departure

To help rear visibility both on the road and in parking situations, Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection and front- and rear-park assist sensors are available.

In addition, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio features advanced multistage driver and front-passenger air bags, driver and front-passenger seat-mounted side air bags, front and rear side curtain air bags, and driver and front-passenger inflatable knee air bags.

Italian style, inside and out
In true Italian fashion, the all-new Stelvio allows owners to customize their performance SUV with up to 13 exterior colors; seven wheel choices, ranging from 18 inches to 21 inches; and an almost endless selection of interior color and trim choices.

For sophisticated music lovers, the refined Harman Kardon Premium Audio System is offered on the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, which delivers detail-rich audio output. The heart of the Sound Theatre system is a 900-watt 12-channel class D amplifier, which distributes clear sound through a system of 14 speakers for superior audio quality. Harman Kardon’s Logic 7 sound technology is used to secure a surround effect from different high-resolution sources and harmoniously uniform stereo playback. With this sound system, occupants can experience the premium quality for which Harman Kardon is renowned.

With the all-new 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio, where other SUVs stop at utility, Alfa Romeo took on the challenge to create the perfect mix of high performance, capability and design.


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Another niche product that no one wanted or needed is coming from FCA? This is the way you bankrupt a company.

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So true, no one has asked except the Italian Unions to restart the dead Alfa brand. FCA quality sucks, this SUV is clearly stuck with dual identities, parts want to be a luxury brand, other parts want to be boy ricer racer.

On top I suspect way over priced for a car with terrible history and Meh engines.

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Small crossover is a booming segment, but I don't think this will match up to what BMW and Mercedes are already selling.  And really, Alfa Romeo has the same problem as Dodge/Chrysler.  Alfa Romeo in unable to compete with BMW, Benz and Audi, just like Dodge/Chrsyler can't compete with Honda, Toyota and Ford.  

This thing has a ton of power which is great, but they'll charge $80,000 for the V6, and you can get a Porsche or AMG product for that money, and you'll get the performance, with better reliability and better interiors, resale, etc.

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So they can take their sales of 0 crossovers and make it 100?

 

That's like an infinite increase in sales. Wow, such a massive increase in sales.

 

(I'm just being sarcastic.....bleh)

 

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I feel like these Alfas will never go on sale, and if they do arrive at dealerships they'll be limited supply, limited options, and just no exposure or marketing dollars and no one will buy them.  You should be able to sell any crossover in the thousands with ease, people walk blindly to buy the things, but someone Alfa will be the one to build a crossover with sluggish sales.

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With FCA getting rid of some models already, it might actually come this time!

 

I could see it having a chance here in the US....

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12 hours ago, Suaviloquent said:

So they can take their sales of 0 crossovers and make it 100?

 

That's like an infinite increase in sales. Wow, such a massive increase in sales.

 

(I'm just being sarcastic.....bleh)

 

Right!!!!!, all for the lowly sum of raping billions from the American divisions that could have been put back into building even better established products.

FCA's way of keeping their failed socialist system going in Europe with minimal give back to the system.

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13 hours ago, Suaviloquent said:

So they can take their sales of 0 crossovers and make it 100?

 

That's like an infinite increase in sales. Wow, such a massive increase in sales.

 

(I'm just being sarcastic.....bleh)

 

Sarcasm always seems to have a basis in reality....

1 hour ago, dfelt said:

Right!!!!!, all for the lowly sum of raping billions from the American divisions that could have been put back into building even better established products.

FCA's way of keeping their failed socialist system going in Europe with minimal give back to the system.

I tend to agree with hyperV6, the end will not be good.

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I'd bet Jeep has a much better chance of selling performance oriented RWD Crossovers that Alfa ever could.

 

I mean, like really. Jeep already has a following for Trail-rated, Trailhawk and SRT.

 

Not much more of a push to get into on-road performance.

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Jeep is know for off road though, not performance.  And I don't think the folks at the Dodge-Jeep wing of FCA can make a Jeep go around corners like this Alfa probably can.  The only rear drive Jeeps are the Wrangler which isn't doing anything with performance and the Grand Cherokee, the Cherokee, Compass and Renegade are front drive Fiats and Darts.

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Alfa should have been left dead. Close Fiat and reinvest all those billions stolen into new product for the real money makers of FCA.

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26 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

Jeep is know for off road though, not performance.  And I don't think the folks at the Dodge-Jeep wing of FCA can make a Jeep go around corners like this Alfa probably can.  The only rear drive Jeeps are the Wrangler which isn't doing anything with performance and the Grand Cherokee, the Cherokee, Compass and Renegade are front drive Fiats and Darts.

What I meant is that a badge engineered derivative of an Alfa platform Jeep would sell like hotcakes.

Jeep has the luxury to reinvent itself whenever it wants, as long as Sergio would allow. People want MOAR and MOAR Jeep.

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On 11/18/2016 at 11:33 PM, Suaviloquent said:

What I meant is that a badge engineered derivative of an Alfa platform Jeep would sell like hotcakes.

Jeep has the luxury to reinvent itself whenever it wants, as long as Sergio would allow. People want MOAR and MOAR Jeep.

Jeep has to have done the best job actually marketing their products of any automaker. 

VW did a fantastic job with creative adverting int he 1960's, but interestingly enough Subaru has totally stolen their vibe of the offbeat car you buy if you are somewhat less than traditional.

This product kind of fits in with FCA DNA in terms of them offering a lot of creative truckish and SUVish products.

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I mean, it's not like they would forgo any off road tech. Probably the same model can have a Trailhawk too.

 

Like Active Drive 1 (I think) is comparable to the AWD systems found in most other automakers, it has an axel disconnect feature tho. And a Jeep Renegade isn't much more off-road capable with that  AWD compared to a Honda HR-V (it might have more ground clearance, but not much esle).

 

Like they could give the JGC a diet, but I think look at what Jaguar did with the F-Pace. They gave certain models All Surface Progess control, a shot across the pond, borrowed from LR. 

 

So I really think a performance oriented Jeep crossover could sell. Arguably, even if not that popular, much more than some Alfa that has no brand presence or any kind of established prestige here in North America.

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    • By William Maley
      When you’re buying a luxury flagship sedan, you are making a statement to the world. Drive an S-Class, 7-Series, XJ, or other sedans and the impressions can range from being someone important to just having a lot of money. But for some people, they don’t want their luxury sedan to make itself known to the world. They want to enjoy the features available on their sedan, but without making so much noise. That’s where the Genesis G90 could make some inroads. Part of Hyundai’s new luxury brand, the G90 has its sights set on the stalwarts of the flagship luxury class by offering many of the features and luxury appointments found in them at a very low price. We spent a week in a G90 Premium to see if this ploy could work.
      Genesis has injected a bit of style into the G90’s design. The key traits are a distinctive character line running the whole length of the vehicle and fenders that bulge out slightly. The rear end is slightly boring. However, the G90’s front end doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the design. The flat nose and large grille borrowed from the smaller G80 seems a bit out of place.
      Step inside and the G90 seems to have the design and materials nailed down. It is quite handsome with a simple dash design, genuine wood trim, and a mix of Nappa leather and soft-touch plastics. But take a longer look and you begin to notice some glaring issues. The steering wheel is a good example as it doesn't feel like it is covered in leather. Instead, it feels like textured vinyl. This is odd since a couple of months after the G90, I spent some time in the G80 Sport and found the steering wheel to feel like leather. Another issue is the center stack's button and knobs which appear to be borrowed from Hyundai’s parts bin. I’ll admit I’m nitpicking, but it's the little things that can make or break a flagship luxury sedan. 
      Settling in the G90, you cannot help but be impressed by the front seats. Upholstered in Nappa leather, the seats offer the right mix of cushioning and support for long drives. The driver’s seat comes with 22-way power adjustments, while the passenger has to make do with 16-way power adjustments. One nice touch is the seat moving back whenever the door is open to allow for easier entry and exit from the vehicle. Those sitting in the back will have no complaints as there is a large amount of head and legroom on offer. A folding armrest has controls for climate control, audio, and heated seats. Ultimate models add more luxuries such as power adjustments and a rear-seat entertainment system.
      A large 12.3-inch screen houses Genesis’ infotainment system. This is controlled through either a controller knob on the center console or a set of buttons below the screen. Using the system is a breeze thanks to an easy to understand interface and the various control methods on offer. The screen is vibrant and allows you to have two functions up at the same time - having audio on one side and the navigation on the other. There are some areas Genesis can improve on. For one, the G90 doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility - something most of the competition does. Also, it would be nice to have more than two USB ports - one in the front and the other in the rear - so that people are not fighting over who gets to charge their phone.
      Genesis offers two engines on the G90. Our base Premium tester came with the 3.3L twin-turbo V6 with 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. The uplevel Ultimate features the 5.0L V8 with 420 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic is equipped with either engine and there is a choice of rear-wheel or HTRAC all-wheel drive - our test car had the latter. Unless you want the rumble of the V8, the twin-turbo V6 is the engine to go for. For one, the V6 feels just as fast as the V8. Outlets who have timed both say the V6 can match the V8 in 0-60 mph. Plus, the V6 feels more eager to accelerate thanks to torque arriving at 1,300 rpm. The eight-speed automatic delivers smooth shifts and doesn’t show any hesitation to downshift when more power is needed.
      EPA fuel economy figures for the 2018 G90 3.3T HTRAC AWD stand at 17 City/24 Highway/20 Combined. My average for the week landed around 20.2 mpg.
      The G90’s ride is similar to big 70’s Buick or Cadillac, soft and pillowy thanks to the standard adaptive dampers. Even with the G90 set in Sport mode, the dampers were still able to keep road imperfections at bay. In terms of noise isolation, the G90 is towards the top. Road and engine noise are nonexistent inside. Only a little wind noise is noticeable. This makes the G90 a perfect car to take a long road trip. 
      The trade-off to the soft ride is a fair amount of body roll in corners, even in the sport mode. Steering is light, but has a precise feel. If you’re looking for a luxury sedan that is a bit fun on a winding road, we are happy to point you in the direction of a Cadillac CT6 or Jaguar XJ.
      The 2018 Genesis G90 significantly undercuts the competition when it comes to price. Our Premium tester came with a base price of $70,850 with the HTRAC AWD system. Add a $975.00 destination charge to get our as-tested price of $71,825. Considering that includes the 12.3-inch infotainment system, three-zone climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and surround view camera system, it makes the G90 very much a steal.
      The Genesis G90 may not shout out its intention of being a flagship sedan, but it goes about its business quietly. It delivers the smooth ride, long list of equipment, and understated looks a number of folks are looking for. The punchy twin-turbo V6 and low price are just the cherries on top. However, the G90 does cut some corners in terms of the materials. Considering the competition that the G90 is going up against, this is a big black mark for an otherwise excellent sedan.
      As they say, the devil is in the details.
      Disclaimer: Genesis Provided the G90 Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Genesis
      Model: G90
      Trim: 3.3T Premium HTRAC
      Engine: 3.3L Twin-Turbo DOHC 24-Valve V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 365 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 376 @ 1,300 - 4,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 17/24/20
      Curb Weight: 4,784 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea
      Base Price: $70,850
      As Tested Price: $71,825 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A
    • By William Maley
      Next month could be bringing some big news for Alfa Romeo. Autocar is reporting that FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne will be announcing a new large SUV and Giulia coupe at the company's Balocco test track in Italy.
      The large SUV, which we first reported on back in December, will use a stretched version of the Stelvio's platform. It will be the first Alfa model to come equipped with a mild hybrid system, along with an electric turbo using a 48V electrical system.
      The Giulia Coupe (first brought to light last month), will be offered with the same engines found in the Giulia sedan, along with two hybrid powertrains featuring an energy recovery system (ERS). The turbo 2.0L version is expected to produce 345 horsepower combined, while the 2.9L biturbo V6 will produce 641 horsepower. Autocar also reports that a five-door variant (see Audi A5 Sportback and BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe) is a possibility. 
      Both models are expected to go on sale next year.
      Source: Autocar

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Next month could be bringing some big news for Alfa Romeo. Autocar is reporting that FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne will be announcing a new large SUV and Giulia coupe at the company's Balocco test track in Italy.
      The large SUV, which we first reported on back in December, will use a stretched version of the Stelvio's platform. It will be the first Alfa model to come equipped with a mild hybrid system, along with an electric turbo using a 48V electrical system.
      The Giulia Coupe (first brought to light last month), will be offered with the same engines found in the Giulia sedan, along with two hybrid powertrains featuring an energy recovery system (ERS). The turbo 2.0L version is expected to produce 345 horsepower combined, while the 2.9L biturbo V6 will produce 641 horsepower. Autocar also reports that a five-door variant (see Audi A5 Sportback and BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe) is a possibility. 
      Both models are expected to go on sale next year.
      Source: Autocar
    • By William Maley
      It feels somewhat weird to be writing a review of the 2018 Ram 1500 as the 2019 model begins to slowly roll out to dealers. Ram is trying their best get the 2018s out the door. At the time of this writing, Ram is offering up to $12,356 bonus cash on certain 1500 models. Seems very tempting, but are there some other reasons to consider the older 1500 over the new one?
      Design is very subjective. One person may like the design of a vehicle, while the another may think it is quite ugly. Case in point, I’m not a fan of 2019 Ram 1500. The new shape makes the Ram look like any other pickup truck on sale. At least the 2018 model still retains the big-rig styling that was introduced with the 1994 Ram 1500. The front end is in your face with a large grille, square headlights, and muscular hood. The side profile shows off a set of 20-inch wheels standard on the Limited and the optional RamBox storage system. That isn’t to say the 2018 Ram 1500 doesn’t have design issues either. The Limited trim swaps the standard crosshair grille for one that features ‘RAM’ in big letters. It is just a bit much and doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the truck. Since our last review of the Ram 1500 in 2016, not much has changed in the interior. It still has one of cleanest layout for controls and material quality is quite high. Some will snicker at the belt-buckle seat pockets and a ‘Limited’ badge stitched in the center console, but thankfully those touches are only on the higher end models. I do wish Ram would put in a telescoping adjustment for the steering wheel as it would make easier to find a comfortable driving position. The adjustable pedals alleviate this issue somewhat. One change I was glad to see was the newest version of UConnect being installed on the 2018 model. This brings an updated interface and compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The new interface makes UConnect even easier to use with clearer text and brighter screen. Integration with Apple CarPlay is one the best as it only took a few seconds for the system to find my phone and bring up the CarPlay interface. If you decide to go with the Limited, the only engine on offer is the 5.7L HEMI V8 with 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic and four-wheel drive complete the powertrain. Those wanting other options will need to drop down to one of the lower trims. On paper, the HEMI V8 seems like a capable performer with close to 400 horsepower. On the road, the HEMI doesn’t quite match up to those expectations. Despite having a muscle car snarl when accelerating, the HEMI V8 is noticeably slower than competitors. As an example, the Ram 1500 took a few ticks longer to hit 70 mph than the previous GM or Toyota full-size trucks I have driven. I cannot pinpoint the possible culprit to this, but I have the feeling the truck’s curb weight and the eight-speed automatic play a role. EPA fuel economy figures for the 2018 Ram 1500 with the HEMI V8 and four-wheel drive are 15 City/21 Highway/17 Combined. My average for the week landed at 14.7 mpg in mostly city driving. Ram still holds an edge when it comes to the ride quality. The coil-spring setup for the rear suspension gives the truck a ride quality more akin to a sedan with most bumps being smoothed over. This truck also came with an optional air suspension which lowers the truck at highway speeds to improve fuel economy. It also makes getting in and out of the Ram 1500 slightly easier. One item I hope Ram has improved with the 2019 model is the steering. The system used in the 2018 Ram 1500 is quite slow and light, meaning it takes more effort to do simple tasks such as pulling into a parking spot. The Ram 1500 Limited is only available in one configuration - Crew Cab, 5’7” cargo bed, 5.7L HEMI V8, and 4WD. Base price is $56,375, with our test truck coming in at $63,870. For most folks, I would recommend dropping down to the likes of the Big Horn or Laramie as they offer more configuration options in terms of powertrains, cabs, and features. Aside from the deep discounts being on offer for the 2018 Ram 1500, deciding whether to go for the old or new model will come down to personal desires. For some, seeing the various improvements and the shiny new body will draw them towards the 2019 model. For others, the deep discounts and being a proven product will bring them over to the 2018 model. I fall into the latter category at the moment, but it might change whenever I get the chance to drive the 2019 Ram 1500. Disclaimer: Ram Provided the 1500, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Ram
      Model: 1500
      Trim: Limited
      Engine: 5.7L HEMI VVT V8
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 395 @ 5,600
      Torque @ RPM: 410 @ 3,950 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 15/21/17
      Curb Weight: 5,387 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Warren, MI
      Base Price: $53,595
      As Tested Price: $63,870 (Includes $1,395 Destination Charge and $300 Suede Headliner Delete Credit)
      Options:
      Limited Package 26V - $3,200.00
      Limited Tungsten Edition - $1,825.00
      Ram Box Cargo Management System - $1,295.00
      Power Sunroof - $1,095.00
      Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover - $595.00
      Anti-Spin Differential Rear Axle - $435.00
      Single Disc Remote CD Player $345.00
      Trailer Brake Control - $295.00
      3.92 Rear Axle Ratio - $95.00
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