You simply can’t get enough of a good thing…hold on, make that a monumental thing when it comes to the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio! Even after logging over 800 kilometers of road testing with the last test unit we had last year, we still hadn’t quenched our thirst of enjoying the driving experience of what I consider to still be the absolute most dynamic and most captivating high-performance premium sport SUV currently sold.
As I mentioned before, the Stelvio QF is certainly not perfect. The cabin still has a few lingering fitment creaks and rattles, and the gear knob is still flimsy and inappropriate for such an incredible machine. It is almost as if Alfa Romeo knew they had such a sensational gem that they deliberately compromised it in some areas to resemble some form of natural automotive balance. So, if you can overlook the applied cheap plastics, the occasional inconsistent ride, and the buggy 8.8-inch center screen infotainment system, you will bask in the glory of one of the best driving tools regardless of category. I had mentioned before than there were no single outstanding points in the Stelvio, instead it’s precisely the unique cumulative balance of its packaging and engineering that made me fall in absolute love with the Stelvio Quadrifoglio. I was too non-comital then, I will correct that now, the Ferrari-built twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 is a brilliant standout that deserves to be recognized.
As a quick refresher, the Stelvio is Alfa Romeo’s very first SUV built on the success and Giorgio architecture of the Giulia sedan. It possibly has the most rigid and lightest platform in its segment that uses generous amounts of aluminum throughout the vehicle from the frames, suspension, brakes, tailgate, fenders and doors, to the front shock towers. Our test unit came in the more pleasing metallic Montecarlo Blue with the more conservative black interior with grey stitching and generous amounts of suede and tasteful genuine carbon-fiber trim. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio has AWD not like the Giulia QF sedan and weighs close to 500 pounds more with comparable equipment yet it is only one-tenth of a second less quick from 0-100 km/h with 22 km/h less top speed. It stands 8.7-inches taller with wider front and rear tracks. But you have all-weather driver confidence, retains the carbon-fiber driveshaft, torque vectoring differential, active suspension, better visibility, and more cabin capacity. It shifts its aluminum paddleshifts exactly like its sedan brother at less than 100 milliseconds. Picture being in a 5-seater all-wheel-drive crossover that actually has a practical large 538-liter trunk with a Ferrari-built engine supported with modern comforts, safety, and technology, I hope you are seeing why I am so in love.
The DNA Driving modes have 4-settings: the Race mode disables the nanny systems and gives the Stelvio its loudest exhaust vocals to accompany the most aggressive programming for throttle, steering and suspension response, Dynamic is simply a more vibrant version of the default Natural setting and the Advanced Efficiency setting activates cylinder- deactivation for maximum fuel efficiency combined with the standard ignition start-stop and significantly reduced overall dynamic performance. The audio is a rocking 900-watt 14-speaker Harman Kardon premium infotainment system.
The distinctively seducing Italian characteristics are abundant throughout the car, from the interior textures, overall design, behavior, cacophony, to its outright uncompromising athleticism. The intoxicating exhaust note is every present even at its most inoffensive setting. The Stelvio QF is a genuine sport SUV with intelligent AWD, but it is a soft-roader, without mechanically locking differentials. Besides, the distinctively beautiful signature mixed alloys wrapped with 255/45R20 101Y front and 285/40R20 104Y rear Pirelli P Zero PZ4 performance tires work optimally on road. The weight distribution is almost 50/50. The standard aluminum-block Brembo® 6-piston front calipers on 14.2-inch cross-drilled and vented front discs and 4-piston calipers on 13.8-inch cross-drilled and vented rear brakes worked mostly flawlessly but it could get a touch too grabby at low speeds. The steering is practically telepathic. It handles like a focused sports car, that so happens to have incredible charisma and everyday versatility.
|Engine||V6, 2891 cc, dohc 24V, Intercooled Direct Injection Twin-Turbo, VVT, 8-Speed AT|
|Max Power (bhp @ rpm)||505 bhp @ 6500 rpm|
|Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm)||443 lb-ft @ 2500-5500 rpm|
|Top Speed||282 km/h (176 mph) Governed|
|0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph||3.6 sec.|
Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions
|Fuel Milage (km/l)||17 mpg City / 23 mpg Highway|
|Price as Tested (PHP)||US$ 82,790.00|
|What's Great||Most blistering premium SUV on earth, very full-featured, handsome, tremendously entertaining.|
|What's Not So||We wish it were sold officially in the Philippines.|
|C! Editors Rating||10/10|