First drive: 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio in the UAE
After creating quite the hype with the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, we weren’t exactly sure what to expect from the Stelvio Quadrifoglio – the performance version of their first SUV – since we haven’t driven the Giulia QV. The Italians also called it the fastest SUV ever, having recorded a blistering 7-minute 51.7-second lap time at the Nurburgring. The global debut was actually held right here in Ras Al Khaimah, so we got a chance to take the Stelvio QV on one of the best roads in the UAE, up and down the Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah, which is also the highest point in the Emirates.
Equipped with the same 2.9-litre twin turbocharged V6 as the Giulia, the Stelvio QV produces 503 hp and 600 Nm of torque, enough to send it from 0-100 kph in 3.8 seconds. That’s more than half a second faster than a Porsche Macan Turbo. The Stelvio QV has higher top speed as well of 283 kph, 11 kph faster than the its German rival. Only the Lamborghini Urus has the potential to beat its ‘Ring numbers, but it doesn’t officially come out till late 2018. So till then, the Stelvio QV has all the bragging rights unless proven otherwise.
From the outside, the striking front has Alfa Romeo’s new design language, probably somewhat ruined with the number plate stuck over one side of the lower grille. The rear looks pretty neat as well, the rear diffuser and dual exhaust adding a sporty touch over the regular Stelvio. Stepping inside, the seats are on the sportier side. The whole cabin has elements of carbon-fibre, leather and Alcantara bits all over, although the soft-touch surfaces are more on the firmer side. The infotainment wasn’t too complicated to figure and we had our phones connected within a minute.
The Stelvio QV offers a few drive modes – an ‘Advanced Efficiency’ mode, which we ignored, the ‘Natural’ mode which we used during casual driving, the ‘Dynamic’ mode which switches everything to the sport mode we used up in the mountains. The ‘Race’ mode option we didn’t try too much as it switches off the stability control and we weren’t too keen on testing the Stelvio QV’s limits on a public road.
However, in Dynamic, the engine note sounds gorgeous as it opens up the two-mode exhaust system at full throttle, accompanied by a “braaap” at gear changes on the 8-speed automatic ZF transmission, which shifts faster along with even sharper steering and brake response. The Dynamic mode gives the assurance of the stability control but still allows the car to throw its tail out a bit when flooring around corners before intervening. Indeed, it handles like a rear-wheel-drive car because it’s based on the rear-wheel-drive Giulia platform.
While the ride was already on the harsher side driving in Natural mode, it really stiffens up on the sportier modes. Interior noise levels are low till about 120 kph, after which wind noise creeps in noticeably.
Quick walkaround of the Stelvio Quadrifoglio
Posted by DriveArabia.com on Tuesday, 12 December 2017
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is one fast and capable machine. While performance-wise, it blows away the competition, will the Alfa Romeo badge appeal to Middle East consumers over the usual German brands? With prices starting at Dhs 400,000 for the Stelvio QV, it already faces a tough battle against the more established performance marques, but some of the QV’s cred should rub off on the regular Stelvio.