Matt Kimberley profile picture Matt Kimberley 8 months ago 38
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The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio Is Even Faster Than The Fastest Giulia

While the fastest, record-breaking Stelvio uses the same twin-turbo engine as the Giulia that bears the same four-leaf clover badge, the Stelvio is actually a little faster off the line

Remind me later
Alfa Romeo - The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio Is Even Faster Than The Fastest Giulia - News

After it broke the SUV record at the Nurburgring a month or so ago with a 7m51.7s lap, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio’s performance specs have emerged.

Unsurprisingly, the engine is a straightforward transplant from the Giulia Quadrifoglio. It’s the 2.9-litre twin-turbo with 503bhp and 443lb ft of torque. Peak power comes in at 6500rpm, but the turbocharged torque is on tap between 2500 and 5000rpm.

Alfa Romeo - The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio Is Even Faster Than The Fastest Giulia - News

That gives it plenty of pace, you’ll be pleased to hear: top speed is a distinctly un-SUV-like 176mph, while 62mph comes about in just 3.8 seconds from a standstill thanks to the obvious traction gains of four-wheel drive. That, you may have noticed, is a tenth faster than the lighter Giulia…

The eight-speed auto slushbox has a ‘special calibration’ and can swap cogs in a pretty brisk 150 milliseconds. That’s a tenth and a half of a second, but if they write it in the other format it looks faster.

The record SUV lap of the Nurburgring

Necessary nods to Europe’s tree-huggers come with cylinder-deactivation and a ‘sailing’ function that decouples the gearbox from the engine in the same way as some twin-clutch units can.

Normally the car’s Q4 four-wheel drive system directs all of its power to the rear axle, which is to say the correct one, but to maintain stability and traction it can send up to 50 per cent to the front wheels. It’s a live, active system that switches power forward only when needed.

Alfa Romeo - The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio Is Even Faster Than The Fastest Giulia - News

This hot Stelvio gets Active Torque Vectoring as standard. Two electronically-controlled clutches in the rear differential control torque flow to each wheel, letting the car feed the outer wheel more at the limit, tightening the car’s line and ramping-up corner speed to the point where your face might actually come off.

Helping you with all that handling malarkey is ‘perfect’ weight distribution across the two axles. The engine and transmission are mounted as far back as possible, spreading the Quadrifoglio’s not inconsiderable 1830kg kerb weight evenly front to back. Alfa’s patented ‘four-and-a-half-link’ rear suspension helps keep things tidy in the twisties, too.

Alfa Romeo - The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio Is Even Faster Than The Fastest Giulia - News

Carbon ceramic brake discs will be optional, saving 17kg in unsprung mass and serving up better fade resistance, even if a Stelvio QF owner taking it to track days is about as likely as Subaru UK changing its mind about the WRX STI.

Of course, we couldn’t cover a fast Italian car without mentioning the interior. “Tailored like a bespoke suit,” Alfa says. Littered with carbonfibre, leather and Alcantara, it’s as racy and faux-purposeful as you’d expect. Luxuries include an 8.8-inch infotainment unit with 3D navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

The Stelvio Quadrifoglio arrives in the UK in summer 2018. The ordinary version is already in the wild. Pricing and final spec is under review now, so expect that within the next few months.