The Lamborghini Huracan Performante may have been beaten around the Green Hell by Porsche’s bonkers 911 GT2 RS, but don’t worry, as Alfa Romeo has (inadvertently) defended Italian honour.
Just days after Porsche made the announcement that the GT2 RS had clocked an astonishing 6min 47sec time on the Nordschleife, Alfa Romeo has revealed that the Stelvio Quadrifoglio has become the fastest SUV on the challenging circuit with a 7min 51.7sec lap. It steals the rather niche record from - funnily enough - Porsche.
It sent the Cayenne Turbo S around the Nurburgring a couple of years ago, yielding a time of 7min 59.7sec. So the Stelvio is comfortably quicker, but still nearly 20 seconds slower than the Giulia Quadrifoglio, which uses the same engine and platform. Shows you how much difference a bit of extra weight and a higher centre of gravity can make.
As with most Nurburgring ‘records’, there are a few caveats with this one. For starters, there is a roll cage, and Alfa hasn’t mentioned whether or not that affected rigidity. It looks like the interior might be partially stripped out too - we’re awaiting confirmation on both those points from Alfa Romeo UK. Driver Fabio Francia - the same guy who clocked the Giulia Quadrifoglio’s stunning time - is also wearing a harness and sitting in a particularly serious seat, but the Stelvio is actually available with “ultra-lightweight carbon fiber shell Sparco racing seats” from the factory, believe it or not.
Update: Alfa Romeo UK has since told us that the roll cage was bolted to the floor, and thus “offered no improvements in stiffness.” The racing seat was an aftermarket unit, added - along with the four-point harness - for the sake of safety. No other modifications were made.
Finally, it’s worth pointing out that the Cayenne’s lap was done before parts of the Nordschleife were remodelled, making them a tad faster than before.
Regardless, it’s an impressive feat. Just expect Porsche to try and grab that record back with the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid when it’s here…