The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio has grabbed the bragging rights in the performance SUV sector having posted a Nürburgring lap time of 7:51.7. The hot Stelvio hauled itself around 12.9 miles of snaking track about seven seconds quicker than the outgoing Porsche Cayenne Turbo S.
The Stelvio owes much of its performance to the blown 2.9-litre V6 from the Giulia Quadrifoglio, producing 503bhp and 443lb ft of torque. Unlike in the Giulia though, the eight-speed transmission channels drive to both axles, not just the rear, although Alfa says the Q4 all-wheel drive platform is rear-biased to enhance agility.
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The powerplant’s muscularity alone didn’t permit the Stelvio’s fast time as revisions by the Quadrifoglio’s chassis engineers are said to have enhanced what is already a very competent chassis, while a claimed 50:50 weight distribution no doubt helps, too. Alfa Romeo hasn’t issued an official kerb weight for the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, but the standard car tips the scales at 1660kg, and while we’d expect the hot SUV to be a little heavier it won’t be as portly as the outgoing Porsche Cayenne Turbo S which weighed 2235kg. With over half-a- ton less to haul around it’s no wonder the Stelvio was quicker round the Ring than the Cayenne.
The sub-eight minute time puts the Stelvio Quadrifoglio in esteemed company – Volkswagen’s Golf GTI Clubsport S is four seconds quicker, while BMW’s M4 is a second slower. Whether the Stelvio Quadrifoglio’s Ring time will equate to a sublime driving experience on the UK’s rutted roads we’ll have to wait and see, but it does beg the question why the Italian marque are idle in the hot hatch game?
A rear-biased, all-wheel drive V6 turbocharged hot hatch stamped with the Alfa badge is a mouth-watering prospect. One we in the evo office would welcome whole heartedly. And seeing an Alfa Romeo hot hatch posting a Ring time would be far more interesting than one set by a performance SUV.