The Alfa Romeo Stelvio – Alfa’s first-ever crossover utility vehicle – is about to get a cheaper, lighter-weight variant for the 2019 model year, as according to Car and Driver, the Italian marque is set to launch a new base model with rear-wheel drive. Until now, the luxury CUV has only been available with all-wheel drive, bolstering acceleration and wet-weather traction at the expense of a lower curb weight.
Granted, removing the front axle from the drivetrain won’t make what we’d call a gargantuan dent in the Alfa Romeo Stelvio’s curb weight; according to C/D, the RWD Stelvio will weigh about 100 pounds less than a comparable AWD model, likely allowing it to come in at just under 4,000 pounds. Nor does giving up all-wheel drive mean all that tremendous a break in MSRP. C/D says the rear-drive base model will start at $41,440 for 2019; assuming that figure includes Destination, that’s just $1,800 less than the base 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio AWD.
The price gap will be larger soon enough, however, as Alfa Romeo is reportedly set to increase pricing across the Stelvio lineup by some small amount for 2019. The new base model won’t offer as many optional extras as higher-priced models, but buyers will be able to spec a Cold Weather Package, 8.8-inch infotainment screen, a few driver-assist tech features, and/or a $1800 Sport Package, should they so choose. The Sport Package includes things like paddle shifters, painted brake calipers, and premium 19-inch wheels.
The 2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio is available to order now, and shipments will begin within the next few months.