With Alfa Romeo being down to just two models (Tonale arrives in 2022), the only way to spice up its lineup is by playing the special edition game. After the wild Giulia GTA / GTAm and the more recent 6C Villa d'Este available for both the sedan and the Stelvio, it's the SUV's turn again to spawn a limited-run version. It's called the GT Junior and takes after the GT 1300 Junior, at least in spirit.
Paying homage to Alfa Romeo's entry-level coupe sold between 1965 and 1977, the performance SUV is based on the sporty Veloce trim. Rather surprisingly, it doesn't have the 280-bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine as it relies on the 2.2-litre diesel with 210 bhp on tap. It sends 470 Newton-metres (347 pound-feet) of torque to all four 21-inch lightweight alloy wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Gallery: Alfa Romeo Stelvio GT Junior
Ok, but what is the connection with the GT 1300 Junior? Well, the Stelvio wears a striking Ochre paint as a heritage colour representing a visual nod to the source of inspiration. The lovely shade has been previously used for a one-off Giulia Quadrifoglio showcased a couple of years ago at the Mille Miglia. Anything else? The headrests have embroidered "GT Junior" logos and there's also a silhouette of the classic sports car on top of the dashboard.
In its home market Italy, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio GT Junior retails for €72,750, which makes it €6,550 more expensive than the Veloce diesel specification upon which it's based. The premium gets you a fancy colour and some interior tweaks, plus a long list of standard equipment varying from an electric tailgate and front parking sensors to aluminium paddles and LED fog lights.
More significant novelties from Alfa Romeo are planned later this decade as the Italian brand has vowed to roll out a new vehicle each year until 2026, starting next year with a compact crossover equipped with plug-in hybrid power set to be positioned below the Stelvio. An even smaller Poland-built Brennero subcompact crossover, possibly with an EV option, is rumoured to arrive before 2025.