The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is the fastest SUV in its class, claim the new performance model’s creators.
Evidence for the claim is a remarkable 3.8-second 0-62mph time from the newcomer, a top speed of 176mph and a record-setting lap record of 7 min 51.7 sec around the 14-mile Nurburgring circuit in Germany during development.
When it arrives in summer 2018, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio will become the top model in the Stelvio range, Alfa Romeo’s first SUV which went on sale in September. When the Italian brand revealed the Stelvio at the 2016 Los Angeles Motor Show, it was as a Quadrifoglio model.
On sale in the summer of 2018, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio will join a fast-growing sub-sector of potent premium compact SUVs. Porsche launched the Macan turbo way back in 2015, while both BMW and Jaguar are developing performance versions of their X3 and F-Pace SUVs, using the same engines in their performance cars the M3 and F-Type SVR.
Alfa Romeo has taken a similar route – powering the Stelvio Quadrifoglio is the same 2.9-litre V6 bi-turbo petrol engine used in the Quadrifoglio version of the Giulia saloon. It produces 510hp at 6,500rpm, with 600Nm of torque between 2,500 and 5,000rpm.
The engine is matched to an eight-speed auto gearbox and all-wheel-drive, including torque vectoring that individually adjusts torque to individual wheels to maintain the most effective grip. This forms part of the Chassis Domain Control (CDC), described as the car’s ‘brain’ and coordinating all of the various electronic systems, such as the active suspension and the DNA Pro driving mode selector, to ensure they work most effectively together. Carbon-ceramic brakes are also part of the Quadrifoglio package.
Visually, the Quadrifoglio will stand out from stock Stelvio models courtesy of its additional vents on the bonnet and on the sides for the intercooler, the side skirts and big body-coloured wheel arches. Similarly, the inside will be liberally sprinkled with surfaces in carbon fibre, leather and Alcantara, while standard equipment will include the latest nine-inch Alfa Connect infotainment system with 3D navigation and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility.
UK pricing and specifications for the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio are yet to be released. Industry observers suggest it will start from above £65,000, based on how much more the Giulia Quadrifoglio costs over the Giulia Veloce. The current Stelvio range-topper is the Milano, which starts at £45,390.