I recently was fortunate to spend some time with Alfa’s powerhouse SUV – the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio.
I am a little late to the party. This beast has been reviewed my countless other outlets. Instead of reviewing it for the umpteenth time I thought I would take another route. I want to showcase my five favorite things about the Stelvio Quadrifoglio.
Before I jump into my list, I want to give you some background. I was born way after Alfa’s ceased being around stateside, but I am old enough to miss Blockbuster and I cannot fit in an Alfa Romeo 4C, so the Guilia and Stelvio are really my first step into the world of Alfa Romeo.
Now that you know that, onto the list.
The Sense of Theater
When you get in the driver seat of the Stelvio Quadrifoglio you get the feeling you are in something special.
I love vehicles where with the flick of a button or switch the thing turns into another animal. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio features Alfa Romeo’s proprietary “dna” mode selector.
a is your most efficient mode. Best fuel economy and the most comfort.
n is normal mode. You are in something special, but it is not actively seeking to kill you.
d is dynamic. Suspension is more sporty, the overall feeling of the vehicle begins to take an overall performance feel
RACE is nuts. Traction control is off. Dashboard changes to show miles per hour in large font. The exhaust is completely open as well as dumps extra fuel producing pops, crackles, and bangs which I will touch on later.
I realize the interior goes hand in hand with the sense of theater with the car, but it deserves its own space.
The interior of the Stelvio Quadrifoglio is really nice. Everything in my opinion is high quality. Alcantara seats help keep you contained and is on the steering wheel while carbon is everywhere.
In the video above, I state that it is a field study in what you can do with carbon fiber and not look gaudy. Real carbon fiber coats the dashboard, front doors, the rear doors, center console, and the Stelvio Quadrifoglio I drove came equipped with the $400 optional carbon fiber steering wheel.
The only thing that feels out of place or cheat is the black matte plastic around the gear selector. Everything else is quality.
The Intoxicating Sound
My video above just does not do it justice. In the previously mentioned RACE mode, you are given the full glory of the exhaust. Just while the car idles RACE mode unlocks about 10 db of noise.
Driving around in RACE mode when approaching red line the Stelvio Quadrifoglio with the 505 horsepower on tap, it produces some of the best exhaust barks, popping, and crackling. I know this is just engineering wizardry dumping a little fuel for the desired effect.
All I know is I love it and my neighbors do not.
It Does Not Know It Is a SUV
I am not going to reinvent the wheel and claim the Stelvio Quadrifoglio is the first crossover or SUV to behave like a car, but it does it well.
Driving at anger, you feel none of the weight or any sort of body roll from the vehicle. It hits speeds faster than some current performance car offerings. The 0 to 60 time is in the 3 seconds.
It does not drive at all like the class that it is in.
Case Study in What a Ferrari SUV Could Be
When the Giulia Quadrifoglio got its engine, the main comments being made were that it was a Ferrari V8 with two cylinders lopped off and turbos added in its place. The Stelvio Quadrifoglio has the Ferrar derived engine as well.
Beyond the engine some of that theater and interior I mentioned earlier are presented in a Ferrari way.
The steering wheel features a engine start button, much like a Ferrari. The dna mode selector, move it to the steering wheel and it basically becomes the manettino dial that all late model Ferrari’s come equipped with. The Stelvio Quadrifoglio even has the “bumpy road” button, much like a Ferrari.
Squint hard enough and you can see the stepping stone to a Ferrari SUV. and the future is bright.