Alfa Romeo officially launched the 2018 Stelvio crossover today, the third completely new Alfa Romeo and the one most likely to make the brand successful.  Named after a mountain pass in the Alps, the Stelvio’s basic architecture is shared with the Giulia sedan. The architecture was reportedly a joint FCA (US-Italy) development, and is expected to make its way to Dodge in around two years.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Built in Cassino, Italy, the Stelvio will hit dealers in 2017. It will join the ranks of “performance crossovers” from Jaguar, Maserati, Porsche, and other companies who, twenty years ago, would never have considered the form.

While Alfa Romeo officially returned to the United States in 2014, most buyers haven’t noticed, as only one nameplate — the limited edition 4C — was for sale, and in tiny numbers. The Giulia hit dealerships last month, but the Stelvio is expected to be Alfa Romeo’s worldwide volume driver.

Stelvio

The engines are similar to those of the Giulia . The base and midline (Ti) have a 2.0 liter four-cylinder, with turbocharging and direct injection, good for 280 hp and 306 pound-feet of torque; most likely, a variant of this engine will be used for Jeep and Dodge later on. The Quadrifoglio model, like the Giulia Quadrifoglio, has a Ferrari 2.9 liter twin-turbo V6 with 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, dropping 0-60 times down to a Corvette-like 3.9 seconds. To save fuel, the V6 can turn into a three-cylinder at will.

The crossover is all wheel drive (on a rear drive architecture), with a torque vectoring differential for higher traction; the system can send up to 60% of torque to the front axle.

Alfa Romeo interior

The interior is mainly (and not surprisingly) similar to that of the Giulia, including the driving dynamics knob and dial-driven telematics. Alfa Romeo did not give out any prices, but they are likely to be much higher than the eventual RWD Dodge Journey replacement.