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Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio - design

Odd proportions make it look like a hatchback at a distance, but the Quadrifoglio has real presence up close

Evo rating
Price
from £87,195
  • Fabulous powertrain and agile handling; special skunkworks feel
  • Jarring ride on big wheels; interior lacks polish of rivals

The biggest change as part of the 2024 updates are new LED matrix headlights with a ‘3+3’ design motif. They’re fully active, adjusting the main beam continuously at night to avoid dazzling other road users.

Like the Alfa Romeo Giulia, the Stelvio is based on the company’s Giorgio platform, albeit with a taller ride height. It was designed to target the likes of the BMW X3, Audi Q5, Mercedes GLC and – a particular benchmark targeted by insiders – the Porsche Macan. The Giulia was developed first and the Stelvio shortly after. The Giorgio platform enables a long bonnet and short front overhang; classic rear-wheel-drive proportions, even though the Stelvio is all-wheel-drive. Alfa’s design team paid plenty of attention to the C-pillar, aiming for a coupe-like shape while avoiding the hunched stance of some other coupe-crossovers.

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It’s a tricky tradeoff for load area versus curved rear haunches when designing a car such as this, but the Stelvio manages to retain a usable boot area.

The Stelvio Quadrifoglio is a divisive design with its pumped-up shape and aggressive detailing. If there is one indisputable fact, it is that the Stelvio looks like little else on the road, with its big triangular grille and those classic telephone dial wheels.

It has plenty of presence, sitting purposefully on its slightly oversized wheels and tyres, and sporting aggressive intakes and offset exhaust pipes. Of the performance SUV type, it’s more distinctive than the Porsche Macan, more dynamic than any performance Range Rover, if not quite as purposeful to some eyes as the Jaguar F-Pace SVR.

Six colours are available for 2024. With the earlier 2021 update came two new tri-coat colour options, with the usual Competitzione Red joined by Lipari Ochre (a deep, heavy metallic gold) and the near-teal Montreal Green from the Giulia GTA. A fabulous 21-inch telephone dial wheel design is also now available, but it does have a negative effect on ride quality, as discussed.

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