Exploring Scotland in the 510 BHP Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
As far as press launches go, this was up there with one of the the best I have attended. Alfa Romeo kindly invited me to Scotland to drive the Stelvio Quadrifoglio. I drove this beast of an SUV around the Goodwood circuit at festival of speed this summer and I was left shocked at its track performance. This time round it was a very different set up. Upon Arrival at our hotel just off Loch Lomond we were quickly shuttled over to a helicopter. Let me tell you that the views of the highlands and Loch Lomond were simply breathtaking from a high altitude and added a really nice feel to what was going to be a pretty special drive (I have just released my YouTube video of this trip which is linked at the end of the article showing you all those stunning views and of course the car).
Once we completed the helicopter ride it was time to be let loose in the 4 wheel drive SUV powerhouse. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio not only looks completely stunning but makes you feel special, it is dripping Italian passion and character and immediate impressions were that this was going to be a great drive. This thing packs 510bhp and gets you to 62mph in a staggering 3.8 seconds. It also holds the title of the worlds fastest SUV around the Nurburgring.
As I strapped myself in for the ride with the Sparco carbon bucket seats holding me firmly in position it was time to go for a spin. To fully experience the sounds of this 2.9 V6 twin turbo engine and its quad exhaust pipes my driving mode of choice was of course... RACE MODE.
Driving through these stunning roads with completely ridiculous landscapes was an absolute pleasure. Scotland never disappoints when it comes to taking the scenic route. After soaking up the views and getting to grips with the car it was time to open it up a bit. Unleashing all 510bhp through the 4wd Q4 system gave me incredible amounts of grip from a standing start. Around the corners in race mode you can feel the back get twitchy. This is what you would expect from such a powerhouse but it was very easy to forget that I was driving a SUV. With all that power you need some good stoppers. The car i was driving had the ceramic brakes and my word do they stop you well once you get some temperature in them. After getting race mode out of my system the ability to jump back down to natural or dynamic modes with the adaptive suspension turned on transforms the Stelvio into a very robust mile cruncher, comfort levels go through the roof and it confirms that this car has two completely different sides to it. One side is the comfortable and quiet journey to drop the kids off to school, the other is for when you have dropped them off and fancy a fully engaging drive with all driving assist off, exhaust valves open and the ability to grin at everyone on the road that you have just overtaken.
The Stelvio QV is a car that will leave its mark in what is capable from an SUV. It shouldn’t be able to do what it does, it shouldn’t power through corners like it does, it shouldn’t make me as a driver feel so connected to the driving experience, but it does. This is credit to the design of the car, the weight saving, the power distribution and of course the passion that Alfa Romeo pump into every one of their cars. I absolutely love this car. If I had the need for an SUV and wanted to spend around £70k then this is the one I would seriously consider.
Once we had driven the incredible route Alfa had very kindly planned for us it was time to retreat back to the hotel, park the cars for the eve and indulge in some oyster and whisky tasting before dinner. After an incredible 7 course meal and plenty of wine it was time to get some rest before catching a flight back home the following day.
This was an incredible experience not only because the Stelvio Quadrifoglio was such a great car to drive but the overall experience of the press launch was superb. The team at Alfa Romeo UK did a fantastic job at looking after us and for that I thank them. As for the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, get behind the wheel of one and you will definatly not be disappointed.
My full press trip video is linked below and is well worth a watch.