What is it?
This might be the first-ever SUV to wear the coveted cloverleaf badge, but the Stelvio Quadrifoglio means something even greater for Alfa Romeo.
It’s the second stage of a momentous return to form, the exclamation point to follow the red-blooded Giulia Quadrifoglio saloon that reaffirmed the brand’s ability to produce true performance cars.
Both models share the same 2.9-litre, twin-turbocharged V6 engine and eight-speed automatic gearbox, but the Stelvio gets bespoke calibrations and ratios. In the saloon, all 503bhp was sent to the rear wheels, but here Alfa’s Q4 four-wheel drive system adds a second driven axle.
Up to half of the total 443lb of torque can be sent to the front - but only when the rear tyres begin to slip. Until that point, the car is entirely rear driven, with the rear differential’s pair of clutch packs splitting torque between the rear wheels. The combination unlocks truly eye-widening levels of performance.
We’ve experienced its potent combination of Ferrari-derived powerplant and class-leading handling twice before: first on the glass-smooth roads of Jebel Jais in the United Arab Emirates, and most recently on home soil, albeit as a left-hooker. This, then, is our first chance to try a right-hand-drive model on UK roads.