Take 5 with Reid Bigland, head of Alfa Romeo, at the launch of the Stelvio crossover – Chicago Tribune

Posted: Friday, June 23, 2017

The all-new 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio is crucial to the Italian performance brand’s return to the U.S. The performance crossover is based on the Giulia midsize sedan introduced late last year, sharing the same 280-horsepower turbo engine, suspension, chassis, interior — just about everything, except the body. It is the brand’s third model since returning to the U.S. in 2015 after a 20-year absence, and follows the low volume but lovable 4C and 4C spider two-seat sports coupe.

Despite underwhelming sales against stalwart competitors such as the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the new Jaguar XE, Giulia came at a time when the premium compact sedan segment has shrunk as consumers opt for bigger, more versatile crossovers. Like the Jaguar F-Pace crossover, which became Jaguar’s best-selling model after just one year of sales, the Stelvio could help establish a new era of Alfa Romeo.

During the Stelvio drive program outside Nashville, Tenn., we talked with Reid Bigland, Head of Alfa Romeo, about the Stelvio and the brand. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Q: How important is the Stelvio to the brand?

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