2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio: What Makes it the ‘Fastest SUV in the World’? [Video]

The 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio represents several firsts for the company. It’s the first high-performance SUV for the Alfa Romeo brand. It’s also the first time that the company’s paired their 505 horsepower, 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 to their Q4 all-wheel-drive system. With an estimated 3.6 seconds 0-60 MPH time, the Stelvio Q is now also the quickest-accelerating car in the company’s stable.

Alfa Romeo touts the Stelvio Q as the “fastest SUV in the world” based on its 7 minutes, 51.7 seconds lap time at the Nurburgring race track. Based on that time, it’s faster around that track than an Aston Martin V12 Vantage S, a Lamborghini Gallardo, and a BMW M4:

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio’s 505 horsepower, 2.9-liter twin-turbo engine. [Photo: Alfa Romeo]

Nurburgring Lap Times:

2009 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series – 7:51.0
2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio – 7:51.7
2008 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 – 7:51.8
2014 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S – 7:52.0
2014 BMW M4 – 7:52.0

The high-performance Stelvio has a curb weight of 4,367 lbs. Its 2.9-liter engine largely shrugs off that weight, thanks to its engine. The twin-turbo unit produces 505 horsepower at 6,500 RPM and 443 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 RPM. It routes power through an 8-speed automatic transmission with a torque converter. The Quadrifoglio’s all-wheel-drive system that can send 100% of the power to the rear wheels. Or, if conditions demand, up to 60% can go to the front. The rear differential allows for side-to-side torque vectoring. Specially-prepared Pirelli PZero tires on 20 by 10-inch rear wheels and 20 by 9-inch front wheels put that power to the ground.

The DNA drive mode selection system adds a fourth Race setting which deactivates all stability and traction control driver aides, stiffens up the dampers, and makes the quad-pipe exhaust system even louder.

When the time comes to slow things down there is a choice of two gigantic brake packages. As standard, you get 15.2-inch cross-drilled front rotors. If you need more stopping power, there’s the optional $8,000 carbon ceramic brake package, which gets you 15.6-inch diameter front rotors with 6-piston calipers.

There is a price to pay for all that grunt. As tested, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio comes out to $85,890, which is $38,400 more than the top four-cylinder model, the Ti Sport AWD.

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Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
[Photo: Alfa Romeo]