Alfa Romeo Stelvio Flexes its Way to More Lap Records
Italian SUV apparently isn’t done setting lap records on race tracks all over the worldby Kirby Garlitos, on
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is no stranger to breaking lap records, smashing the production SUV record at the Nurburgring back in 2017. Another SUV — the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4MATIC — has since usurped that crown from the Stelvio, but the Alfa SUV isn’t done adding lap records to its name. The go-faster version of the Alfa SUV recently set lap records at Silverstone, Donington Park, and the Indy Circuit at Brands Hatch, further separating itself as one of the fastest and most powerful models in its segment. It has stiff competition, sure, but don’t let that take the shine away from the Stelvio Quadrifoglio and what it has accomplished since it burst onto the scene back in 2016.
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio saw, came, and conquered. Repeatedly, I might add.
Alfa Romeo’s barn-burning, high-performance SUV has shown a penchant for making the news for all the right reasons. Well, it’s back in the headlines again after setting the SUV lap record on three different racing circuits in the U.K. That’s three lap records in three race tracks. Three-for-three, as some people might say.
The Stelvio’s assault on the record books included a ball-busting lap time of 55.9 seconds in the Indy Circuit at Brands Hatch.
From there, the Stelvio destroyed the SUV lap record at Donington Park with a lap time of 1:21.1 before doing the same at Silverstone with a lap time of 2:31.6.
Let’s put these lap times into perspective, beginning with the Stelvio’s record-setting lap time in the Indy Circuit at Brands Hatch. With pro racer (and high-performance driving instructor) David Brise behind the wheel of the SUV, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio clocked in a 55.9-second lap time in the shortened circuit at Brands Hatch, eclipsing the previous record by almost two seconds. That record was held by the second-generation Porsche Cayenne Turbo, which set a lap time of 57.6 seconds back in 2013. The Stelvio’s lap time is also just 0.2 seconds slower than the lap time posted by a bona fide supercar in the Lamborghini Gallardo. Impressive company, wouldn’t you say?
The next day Brise and Alfa Romeo brought the Stelvio to Donington Park where it proceeded to post a scintillating lap time of 1:21.1 in the 1.9-mile race track.
Not done with just two conquests, Brise and Alfa Romeo turned their sights to arguably the U.K.’s most famous race track, Silverstone. Racing around the entire 3.66-mile race track, Alfa Romeo managed to clock in a lap time of 2:31.6 second. For a bit of comparison, the Honda Civic Type R is the fastest front-wheel-drive production car to lap Silverstone when three-time British Touring Car Championship winner Matt Neal set a lap time of 2:31.320 last year. Consider the massive size discrepancy between the Civic Type R and the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, and it’s remarkable that the latter was only less than 0.3 seconds off the pace of the hatchback. That’s beyond impressive. That’s downright unbelievable.
Racing around the entire 3.66-mile race track, Alfa Romeo managed to clock in a lap time of 2:31.6 second.
Then again, Alfa Romeo has made a habit of turning the unbelievable into the believable these days. After all, it shocked the entire industry when it lay siege to the production car lap time record among SUVs at the Nurburgring two years. It took a herculean effort from the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4MATIC to claim that lap time record from the Alfa Romeo.
Some people might be surprised at the Stelvio Quadrifoglio’s form, but should we really have that reaction? This is, after all, an SUV that uses a Ferrari-sourced 2.0-liter 24-valve twin-turbocharged intercede V-6 engine that produces a supercar-like output of 510 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. All that power goes to all four wheels courtesy of an eight-speed automatic transmission. In peak form, the Stelvio can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in a blistering 3.4 seconds and hit a top speed of 176 mph. The numbers paint a picture of a supercar wearing an SUV’s body. No wonder the Stelvio is destroying one SUV lap record after another.
Now that the SUV has three more lap records in its cap, the obvious question is whether Alfa Romeo plans to send out its all-conquering SUV out to other race tracks to lay claim to their own SUV production lap records. It’s certainly within reason to do that given the Stelvio Quadrifoglio’s recent form. Who knows, we might even see it take on the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk to see if it can become the fastest SUV on ice or it unseat the Bentley Bentayga as the SUV record-holder at Pikes Peak. Maybe it can even return to the Nurburgring to show the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4MATIC what’s up?
At this point, everything’s on the table for the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, as it should be for an SUV that has shown a remarkable capacity to break long-standing lap records without breaking a sweat.
Read our full review on the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio.
Read our full review on the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio.