The car uses a Ferrari-built 2.9-litre V6 producing 503bhp mated to an eight-speed automatic and a torque vectoring system. It has a rear-bias to, as company CEO Reid Bigland put it to Autocar last year, "make it feel like a two-door coupe would".
"We didn’t just leverage Ferrari engineers for performance - we needed it to perform like an Alfa Romeo, and the Quadrifoglio will be the fastest SUV at the Nürburgring," he said. "While the Stelvio seems to go against our 105-year history, one minute behind the wheel and around one corner will show it is no different."
The Stelvio Quadrifoglio has an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which has been tuned to shift gears in 150 milliseconds in Race mode. The driver can also shift gears using steering column-mounted aluminium paddles. There are Four selectable drive modes: Dynamic, Natural, running-cost-friendly Adavanced Efficiency and performance-oriented Race.
The SUV gets carbon-ceramic brakes with Alfa Romeo’s Integrated Brake System, which the brand claims reduces stopping distances by combining a stability control system with the car’s brake servo. The suspension comprises a double wishbone at the front with a four-and-a-half link system at the rear. Adjustable dampers also feature.
Unlike the Giulia, the hot Stelvio will be offered only with four-wheel drive, with Alfa Romeo’s Q4 system – which sends 100% of the torque rearwards in normal conditions, but can divide between the front and rear up to 50/50 - coupled with torque vectoring for the first time. The use of two clutches in the rear differential allow torque vectoring between the rear wheels.
There are just two engines on sale: a 2.2-litre diesel with either 178bhp or 207bhp, with the latter available exclusively in all-wheel drive, or an all-wheel-drive 2.0-litre petrol with 197bhp or 276bhp. The entry-level engine is the 178bhp diesel in rear-wheel drive.
Like the Giulia saloon, the Stelvio's line-up is divided into four trim levels, separate from the more potent Quadrifoglio: standard Stelvio, Super, Speciale and Milano Edizione. The entry-level car gets 17in alloys, adaptive cruise control, an 8.8in infotainment system, automatic lights and wipers, and two rear USB ports, in addition to safety tech such as automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist. Aside from undercutting the F-Pace, it also undercuts the Mercedes-Benz GLC by £2435 and the Audi Q5 by £4045, making it one of the cheapest premium small SUVs in the segment.