Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio Sets Nurburgring Record for SUVs | News | Car and Driver

Any automobile hoping to dominate at the drag strip will need sticky tires and a ton of torque. To be tops in top speed requires horsepower and aerodynamics. But to set records at racetracks, especially a circuit as lengthy, twisty, and topographically varied as the 12.9-mile Nordschleife at Germany’s vaunted Nürburgring, any sports car, sedan, or SUV vying for the coveted King of the ’Ring status needs a lot of everything mentioned above, plus powerful and resilient brakes, a transmission that wastes no time, and a chassis with minimal tolerance for body roll. Such a vehicle also requires a telepathic relationship with the driver, allowing him or her to spend every single second pushing the car to its limits without ever exceeding them.

Alfa Romeo test driver Fabio Francia thus tested the limits of Alfa’s new 505-hp Stelvio Quadrifoglio, cajoling the two-ton-plus performance SUV around all 12.9 miles of the Nordschleife in the span of 7 minutes and 51.7 seconds. In so doing, Alfa has set a new ’Ring record for production SUVs, beating the previous SUV record holder, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, by a remarkable eight seconds. This comes on the heels of Alfa Romeo setting a new ’Ring record among production sedans with the Giulia Quadrifoglio equipped with the same 505-hp twin-turbo V-6 and eight-speed automatic transmission as the Stelvio. That car’s record-setting time of 7:32, also set by the talented Francia, similarly trounced its predecessor with a gain of six seconds. That car, incidentally, was also a Porsche—the new Panamera Turbo, specifically—which itself had snatched its crown off the noggin of the Giulia Quadrifoglio equipped with a manual transmission.

The Nürburgring was a competitive enough space before this grudge match began, but you can bet that when Porsche hits the Green Hell in the 680-hp Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid and the upcoming version of the recently introduced third-generation Cayenne with the same powertrain, these rowdy Alfas will be the targets.

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