There’s not a single way to look at the new car market today and ignore the fact that Sport Utilities and Crossovers are dominating this space. Our friends at Alfa Romeo have not only acknowledged the trend, but taken the opportunity to dive in head first. Just like the Alfa Romeo Giulia we drove earlier this year, just two engines are available for the North American market. Italian designers have never had a conservative nature about them, and we’re glad to see that has continued in the last iteration of Alfa Romeo products. A combination of sumptuous curves, paired with dramatic angles make this high-powered people mover stand out in a crowd.
The Italian word “Quadrifoglio” translates directly to “Four Leaf Clover”, which should simply be read as “the absolutely bonkers one”. Specifying a Quadrifoglio when ordering your Stelvio not only checks the box for the Ferrari-derived twin-turbocharged 2.9L V6 but also forces all-wheel drive, something that isn’t available on the Giulia Quadrifoglio sibling. Five Hundred and Five doesn’t look merely as dramatic as it should in print, but that’s exactly the mind boggling horsepower figure you’re presented with. An active exhaust system is also fitted to Stelvio Quadrifoglio as standard allowing for the symphony of exhaust notes to reach its crescendo in “Race” mode, yet another absolutely brilliant Quadrifoglio exclusive. Here you’ll find the most intoxicating up-shift noises I’ve ever experienced in a vehicle that’s all-in below the $100k price point. The further you dig into what it has to offer, the more it’s like an energetic puppy wanting to play.
Having held the Nurburgring Record for the “Fastest SUV” around the track, it has absolutely nothing left to prove. Stelvio Quadrifoglio was then later narrowly squeezed out by the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S, which is available only in coupe form, and nearly $10k more when comparably equipped. As-tested this example will run you $86,440 which seems like a significant number but there’s nothing else I’d suggest optioning.
Despite the proven athleticism, the Environmental Protection Agency returned respectable fuel economy figures of 17 MPG City, 23 Highway. But beware of boost, on two complete tanks of spirited driving through the winding roads of the Adirondack Mountains, 13MPG is the figure I saw when trying maximize the smile-per-mile factor.
The Stelvio Quadrifoglio packaging not only manages a brilliant 50/50 weight distribution, but also perfectly balances the fun factor to practicality. Storage capacity dials in 18.5 cubic feet and four full-sized passengers comfortably for a weekend adventure!
Specifying your exterior finish in Misano Blue isn’t just to seek attention, but to highlight how bold the Stelvio Quadrifoglio truly is. The exterior color compliments the beautifully sculpted 20″ wheels stretched over massive standard issue brakes with optional yellow calipers (Brembo Carbon Ceramics Brakes are optional, for $8,000).
The instrument cluster provides a clear image of critical data in analog styling with a small, but data filled LCD in the center. Alfa Romeo’s offering of Harman Kardon audio is quite good, not as mind boggling as more expensive competitors, but just enough to incite an ear-to-ear grin on demand. The 8″ Alfa Romeo specific infotainment is not as visually impressive as the ultra wide displays from the competition, but the user interface was generally quite simple to operate on the fly.
There is no doubt that the performance sport-ute market has some stiff competition from very familiar Germans, familiar Mercedes-AMG GLC63, BMW X3M Competition and Porsche Macan Turbo. This segment feels as if the Italians are beating the Germans at their own game allowing the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio to stand out in the car pool lane as well as presenting itself as a reasonable value proposition!
A huge thank you to Alfa Romeo USA and Motus1 for facilitating my time with the 2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio!