The Unsilent G | Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio Review
I have to admit that when it comes to languages, my Italian leaves a lot to be desired. I can order a beer, and food staples are doable, but after that, I’m left with just the names of car brands. It seems even then, my Italian lets me down. Which brings me on to the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio SUV.
The Alfa and Stelvio are all pretty self-explanatory, however, the Quadrifoglio (four leaf clover) is not. My natural inclination is to highlight the ‘fog’ and include the ‘G’ but according to my Italian friends, just like in ‘sign’, ‘champagne’ and ‘gnaw’, the ‘G’ remains silent. Well, my non-Italian-speaking, car-loving pals, I’m here to tell you they are wrong. There is a ‘G’ in the Stelvio quadrifoglio, and it’s an ‘OM – G’!
First of all, there’s the way this Italian sports car looks. My Quadrifoglio came in Competizione Red and there’s nothing silent in that either. A tri-coat paintwork that makes the Stelvio shine from afar – I recommend it. Over and above the Stelvio’s artistic design, Alfa has added a raft of subtle (and not so) elements to set the Quadrifoglio apart from its siblings. Carbon fibre accents are to be found all over its well-formed body. The bonnet has designer air vents that let the flavours of its powerful V6 pour out. There’s a rear-end splitter, quad tail-pipes, a panoramic sunroof, do I need to say more? Oh, and all topped off by 20-inch forged alloy wheels with red brake calipers and the cherished four-leafed clover badge.
The interior is just as impressive. Again, there’s a large use of carbon fibre that merges in well with Alcantara, leather, gloss blacks and chrome. The sports seats have huge side bolsters to keep you fixed in place regardless of how fast you take the corners. The steering wheel is a melody of leather, Alcantara and carbon and comes with a bright red button that directly connects you to what’s under the bonnet.
There are 2.9 litres of B-Turbo’d V6 married to an eight-speed auto gearbox and an advanced all-wheel-drive system. Push down hard on the accelerator and you have 375kW of power and 600Nm of torque at your disposal. Nought to 100km/h arrives in a blistering (and thanks to the sports exhaust) loud 3.8 seconds and should you be anywhere near the Autobahn, has a top speed of 283km/h.
I picked up the Stelvio Quadrifoglio from Alfa Romeo Auckland and headed straight to my test road. Full of anticipation that I subdued with ’80s tunes (courtesy of Coast) delivered via the Harman Kardon sound system. The Stelvio comes with its fair share of driver’s aids and safety (including active cruise control and lane departure warning), the rear view camera could be a little clearer but who wants to go backwards in this?
Time to unleash the hounds. The Quadrifoglio comes with Alfa’s DNA drive modes but also has a Race option. I’m not saying that I used Race but I understand that it raises the SUV’s fun level to ‘off the scale’. Exhaust now screams (but melodically), the rev dial is a blur, and so is the world around you.
The Stelvio Quadrifoglio drives like a racecar, it’s well-balanced with a great sense of purpose. It comes with active suspension and an awesome torque vectoring system that just keeps giving – it’s O for awesome.
Having driven (and been impressed) with the Stelvio, I can say that you’d be more than satisfied with the way it’s presented and its overall performance. However, should you desire the true Alfa Romeo motorsport experience that the brand is renowned for, yet require a bit of SUV practicality, then ‘G’, the Quadrifoglio is magnifico!