2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

The fastest SUV in the World – until the Lambo Urus comes along we suspect

By Shahzad Shiekh

Click below now to watch my video review of the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio now

This is the fastest effing SUV in the world. I know what you’re thinking, cause that’s what I was thinking, but apparently we’re both wrong. The 707bhp 6.2-litre V8 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk – also from within the Fiat-Chrysler family that sired the Alfa Romeo, is apparently not the fastest SUV in the world.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Stelvio Quadrifoglio

Well kinda. It’s still the quickest with a 0-100kph time of 3.5 seconds – whilst the Stelvio QV does it in 3.7 seconds.  So what gives? Ah, they tell me: the Alfa is the fastest SUV around the Nurburgring and literally has a time (about 12 seconds slower than the Giulia QV saloon it’s based on – but around 14 seconds quicker than a 4C!), whilst the Trackhawk only does… not have a time actually.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Stelvio Quadrifoglio

Okay so the Stelvio may be spurious about its specs but it ain’t kidding about it speed. The engine, sourced by Alfa mechanics slipping over to a certain Maranello factory and pinching Ferrari engine blocks whilst the staff were out for lunch, and then slicing two cylinders off so that it wasn’t identifiable by investigators, is a thunderous twin-turbo V6 momentum-machine spurting out over 500bhp on demand.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Stelvio Quadrifoglio

And this is transmitted to the tarmac via… not all four wheels (at least not initially) but by the rear boots. Oh yes, this allegedly all-wheel drive family SUV, is actually rear-wheel drive most of the time (unless the computers begrudgingly admit that sending some traction to the front might be a prudent decision).

Alfa Romeo Giulia Stelvio Quadrifoglio

As for the family in family SUV, they’ll have dubbed it ‘the vomit comet’ by day two of ownership if you happen to live at the top of the road we were forced to test it on not against our will at all. Yes, our own Middle East spec Stelvio pass, except that it doesn’t pass to anywhere. But it does have the requisite hairpins and switchbacks as well as a steep climb to the heavens.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Stelvio Quadrifoglio

On the centre console of the car there is a DNA button, which someone said means Do Not Attempt, which is wrong of course and why we switch it directly to Race mode anyway. It gets all angry and parpy and convinces itself that it’s some sort of Hillclimb special edition. And then it goes sideways. We’re still talking ‘family SUV’ here.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Stelvio Quadrifoglio

This car is actually mental nuts quite frankly. It’s got the heart of a Ferrari, the spirit of a rally car, the sounds of a street racer, the comfort of a family hatchback and the legs of a leggy brunette of fiery temperament who’s had a tipple too many and insists she’s okay, whilst staggering off at an alarming click, dangerously swinging a designer handbag with steel studded edges in full knock-out-the-unwary mode.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Stelvio Quadrifoglio

Sure it’s got the grip and the turn-in is over-eager, plus the handling is extraordinary, and you can get the tail out, but it’s still a high-riding SUV. Actually – holy shit, this an SUV?! How awesome is that? Just be sure to leave your family at the picnic spot before you don the Sparcos and ignite Race mode.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Stelvio Quadrifoglio

It’s deliriously delightful, butch as a bad mama, sexy as an Amazonian Warrior deprived of man for millennia. It’s an absolute hoot!

Alfa Romeo Giulia Stelvio Quadrifoglio

Oh there’s some practical bits too of course. You know like a family SUV should have, rear space and all that. But forget that, there are sports bucket seats in the front! And carbon fibre trim. And hallowed Alcantara! And massive wheels which are just too engorged to be contained by the fenders, even though the body has clearly been remoulded in the gym.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Stelvio Quadrifoglio

I love it. I want one. Except I don’t. And there’s two reasons for that. The first is that it only really shines and comes alive from behind the wheel when you’re furiously charging about everywhere. And if you did that in town these days, the car would spend a third of the year in police impound.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Stelvio Quadrifoglio

Then there’s the price. When it goes on sale at the end of next month here, the salesman will happily take AED400,000 ($109,000) off you for the QV. Giulia QV is still not cheap at 30k less, but it is still the better driver’s car (the BMW M3 has been seen in counselling sessions since Alfa deployed its super-saloon).

Alfa Romeo Giulia Stelvio Quadrifoglio

Even the bigger, butcher, ballsier, bad-assier Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will be cheaper – and you can keep your Ring Times, I know what the fastest SUV this side of your ass (as in URUS) looks like to me, and it has a Jeep badge on it.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Stelvio Quadrifoglio

So a curiously maverick motor then this Stelvio QV – if you truly, definitely, desperately want one, you won’t know why really because it’s a heart-over-head decision. But then it doesn’t matter because in that case you should have one. You are unique, extraordinary and rather wealthy. And I shall applaud you as you storm past me, with your kids in the back holding up ‘Please Help’ signs and the wail of police sirens not far behind. Well done you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *