Alfa Romeo Stelvio Sport

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THE first examples of Alfa Romeo’s updated Stelvio SUV line-up have started arriving in Aussie dealerships with just one variant available for the time being, that being the $69,450 (plus on-road costs) Sport.

A new variant for the Australian market, the Sport will serve as the entry point to the updated range, marking a price jump of $3550 over the outgoing ‘Stelvio’ base model with the extra outlay netting customers a more generous standard equipment list including a new-generation 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system and an expanded array of active safety features.

Leading the charge on the safety front is traffic sign recognition with intelligent speed control, active blind spot assist and driver attention assist, automatic high beam assist and active cruise control, all of which will be featured across the rest of the range when it arrives.

Save for the new infotainment system, other standard equipment highlights include sports leather seats, heated leather sport steering wheel, power bolster, heated front seats, leather gear knob, aluminium pedals, aluminium trim, wireless phone charging and rear privacy glass.

Those wanting more fruit without waiting for the higher-grade variants to arrive can opt for the $3455 ‘Lusso Pack’ which adds adaptive damping, a 14-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system, ambient lighting and a hands-free tailgate.

A dual-pane panoramic sunroof is also optionally available.

Far from the most comprehensive facelift to be seen, exterior changes are limited to a refreshed alloy wheel design and red brake callipers while the cabin has been treated to a slightly more detailed refresh, scoring a reorganised centre console as well as the bigger infotainment screen.

Power in the Sport comes from the familiar turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, still good for 147kW/330Nm.

Drive is fed to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission with 0-100km/h dealt with in a claimed 7.2 seconds.

According to Alfa Romeo marketing communications director Tom Noble, the updates have made the Stelvio “as intuitive as it is stylish”.

“Introducing an interactive new multi-touch display and advanced driver assistance system, the Stelvio Sport stands out from the crowd, combining this updated tech with sophistication, performance and iconic Italian heritage, wrapped up into a compelling value proposition,” he said.

While the rest of the range is yet to be detailed, Alfa says the Stelvio range’s updates match those of the Giulia, meaning we can more than likely expect the familiar Veloce and flagship Quadrifoglio nameplates to be featured.

The Italian brand has shifted just 18 Stelvios so far this year ending March, accounting for just 0.2 per cent of the $60,000-plus medium SUV segment and marking a 78.8 per cent sales hit compared to the same period last year.

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