There is no dearth of performance SUVs in the market, another one joining the ranks might not even surprise people anymore. Yet, there is always something special about an Alfa, isn’t there? An Alfa always manages to stand out in a crowd. You may have the German precision or the Japanese perfection but an Alfa plays with the most important strings there are when it comes to cars, emotion.
Enter the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, Alfa Romeo’s first performance SUV based on their first SUV ever. It is a 510-horsepower beast of a car with its Ferrari-derived twin turbo V6 that’s knocking on the doors of Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Maserati, asking to come in and join the big boys club. What’s more, this power plant is teamed with an eight-speed transmission specifically calibrated for the Stelvio Quadrifoglio and can shift in just 150 milliseconds in Race driving mode. Alfa claims that it can go from a standstill to 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds which is blisteringly fast for a SUV.
It also shares some bits and bobs of its all-wheel-drive system with the Maserati Levante and in normal conditions, the Q4 system transfers 100 percent of the torque to the rear axle. As the wheels approach their grip limit, the system transmits up to 50 percent of the torque to the front axle in real time, by means of a transfer case.
In terms of pure numbers, it isn’t the leader. Even when it comes to features, it doesn’t stand out. Then again, it wins in areas you can’t quantify. It hits it home when it comes to design and workmanship. It does have everything you could ask for from a performance SUV and it won’t ever let you down but when you compare apples to apples, the Porsche Macan Turbo or even the Maserati Levante seem better on paper. However, it boasts of being the fastest SUV around the circuit, having clocked the new record for its class on the Nürburgring: 7 minutes 51.7 seconds.
Stelvio Quadrifoglio is also equipped with the Alfa’s Chassis Domain Control unit and is the only one to provide Active Torque Vectoring as a standard feature when compared to its rivals. This system acts as the brain and coordinates with all other electronic systems on-board this SUV to deliver the best performance at all times.
Up front, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio has a double wishbone system with semi-virtual steering axis and the rear suspension uses a four-and-a-half link Multilink system that is patented by Alfa Romeo. It also features an electronically controlled damping system which an active system that adapts to surface conditions on the go.
The one we drove came with standard steel brake discs but Stelvio Quadrifoglio customers will be able to choose carbon ceramic brake discs that are 17kgs lighter than the standard version.
If you’re in the market looking for a performance SUV, you’re shopping research wouldn’t be complete till you’ve had a go in this SUV. For now, enjoy our quick take on the Stelvio Quadrifoglio.