Alfa updates Stelvio

and Giulia

Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio, 2020, front
Alfa Romeo Giulia, 2020, front
Alfa Romeo Giulia, 2020, side
Alfa Romeo Giulia, 2020, rear
Alfa Romeo Giulia, 2020, interior
Alfa Romeo Stelvio, 2020, front, action
Alfa Romeo Stelvio, 2020, nose
Alfa Romeo Stelvio, 2020, front
Alfa Romeo Stelvio, 2020, side
Alfa Romeo Stelvio, 2020, rear
Alfa Romeo Stelvio, 2020, interior

WASN'T it the great Michael Caine who coined the famous phrase: "Not a lot of people know that" in the film Educating Rita?

Well, maybe not a lot of people will know that in a recent totally-independent survey of car owners, Alfa Romeo was second only to Lexus when it came to overall satisfaction with their vehicles and the way in which they were supported by their dealer.

Not bad going when you think that not too long in the distant past, the Italian marque was something of a laughing stock within the motoring world.

And it could be argued that it was the introduction of the Giulia and Stelvio models back in 2016 that really helped revive the fortunes of the sporty brand.

And in something of a warning to their competitors, Alfa have shown they are not prepared to sit on their laurels, turning the screw by adding to the driving experience of both models for the coming year.

New-look interiors with superior quality fixtures and fittings will take these newcomers to a level never before seen in a machine bearing the famous Red Cross of Milan and man-eating serpent badge.

New infotainment system with connected services, completely redesigned human-machine interface, large simple-to-use touchscreen and a complete set of advanced driver assistance systems offer drivers of the Giulia saloon and Stelvio SUV the highest level of autonomous driving available.

For 2020, Alfa Romeo have also introduced a new trim level naming structure to give clearer identities to the range while reintroducing some famous names from the company's history books.

Sitting just above the Giulia's baseline Super trim with decent spec level including 16-inch wheels and fabric seat covers, is the Sprint trim which, with its 17-inch alloy wheels and new fabric interior, becomes the starting point for the fleet-based Business versions.

Then comes the more elegant, exclusive and premium Lusso Turismo Internazional - or Lusso Ti version, which sits on 18inch alloy wheels and is trimmed in fine leather upholstery.

Veloce trim level has been reserved for sportier models, and comes with a mix of leather and cloth trim with aluminium inserts, while Veloce Ti is available solely on the Giulia and sports 19inch wheels, carbon inserts and is finished throughout in leather and Alcantara. Watch out later in 2020 for the new Quadrifoglio.

The big entry-level Stelvio Super SUV sits on its 17-inch wheels and like its Giulia siblings, Sprint and Business models get new upholstery. Lusso Ti trim gets the full leather treatment on both seats and dash, while it also receives a nifty two-tone exterior effect recalling the historic 164 model with contrasting Dark Miron or Vesuvio Grey detailing on the side skirts, wheel arches and rear bumper.

Yet again sportiness is expressed in the Veloce models with their larger alloy wheels and full leather-trimmed seats along with aluminium inserts.

As expected in this mid-term upgrade exercise, Alfa Romeo have stuck by their proven two-litre petrol and 2.2-litre diesel engines and all are mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Petrol engine power outputs range from 200hp to 280hp while diesels range from 190hp to 210hp depending on trim level.

The biggest changes, however, have been reserved for inside the vehicles. The newcomers are now fitted with a new 7.7-inch TFT screen which sits inside the instrument cluster.

The layout has been updated and redesigned to simplify the way information is displayed and also to accommodate the autonomous driving technology parameters.

The larger 8.8inch central touchscreen display also gets an upgrade with its all-new layout and optimised graphics which can be customised to the driver's individual taste.

Alfa have also kept the best for last, for the new Stelvio and Giulia pairing are also fitted with a complete set of advanced driver assistance systems which delivers the highest amount - Level 2 - of autonomous driving for the perfect balance between driving pleasure and driver/occupant safety.

Level 2 allows the driver to allow the car's electronics to control the accelerator, brakes and steering in certain conditions.

The systems fitted to the new Alfa Romeos include Lane Keeping Assist which detects if the car is drifting out of its lane and will actively intervene to return the car to its proper position. Active Blind Spot Assist monitors rear blind spots and will automatically adjust the steering to avoid a collision.

Active Cruise Control keeps the vehicle at a safe distance from the vehicle ahead, while Traffic Sign Recognition and Intelligent Speed Control recognises road signs and speed limits and advises the driver to adjust his speed accordingly.

Traffic Jam Assist and Highway Assist, along with Active Cruise Control, will keep the car in the middle of the lane in heavy traffic and also check the car's speed to keep it to local speed limits. Driver Attention Assist alerts the driver should he become drowsy.

Along with bi-xenon headlights, as well as Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and rear parking camera on the Stelvio range, all fitted as standard, both the new 2020 Stelvio and Giulia ranges have turned from really terrific driving machines to truly stunning driving machines.

They will certainly be worth looking at when they arrive here in the new year and I promise you won't be disappointed.

Prices for the new models are still to be announced but the current Giulia range starts from £33,205 and Stelvio line up is available from £37,745.

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