It last had a four-wheel drive model with the 164 Q4 in the mid-90s and the Crosswagon signals the Italian manufacturer's attempt to rival the likes of Audi's Allroad and the Volvo XC70.
Featuring permanent four-wheel drive, three differentials and preferential torque distribution to the rear axle, it will be powered by the 150bhp 1.9-litre JTD Multijet diesel engine already used in the 156 range, although other engines are also likely to be offered.
The new turbo diesel has undergone several engineering changes to increase performance and torque at low speeds and to reduce noise and vibration levels.
The 225lb-ft of torque is controlled by the Torsen C differential which distributes torque between front and rear axles according to grip, along with a six-speed manual gearbox with sport ratios.
Designed by Alfa's Arese style centre, the crossover SUV sits almost 6cm higher off the ground than the Sportwagon. The all-terrain look is completed by special front and rear bumpers with aluminium inserts and door sills, roof bars and a two-tone body scheme.
Inside the Crosswagon features a new instrument panel, special carpets and mats, leather seats and a new centre console trim.
Along with ABS and electronic brakeforce distribution, the Crosswagon will also feature VDC, Alfa's version of the electronic stability program.