That’s how you make a splash, Alfa Romeo!

Ok, Alfa Romeo. We see you now.. Determined to make a huge splash at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show,, the Italian automaker did just that with the unveiling of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. Not only did Alfa live up to that promise, it even included the range-topping Stelvio Quadrifoglio version, all 505 horsepower of it. There are a lot of details to peruse here, but it’s safe to say that the Stelvio’s arrival isn’t just a long time in-the-making - the Kamal SUV concept was shown all the way back in 2003! - it also marked an important moment in the Italian company’s push to return to relevancy.

Without diving too much into the details - let’s save those for the official review - the Stelvio QV is a performance behemoth, the kind you’d expect from a 2.9-liter biturbo V-6 engine that traces its roots to none other than Ferrari. It’s good for an astounding 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, exactly the same number that its sedan counterpart, the Giulia Quadrifoglio, has under its own hood. Don’t expect the Stelvio to be quicker than the Giulia though on account of carrying extra weight over the sedan. Still, the SUV is capable of hitting 60 mph in 3.9 seconds to go with a top speed of 177 mph.

More than its performance capabilities, the Stelvio QV also features plenty of premium materials, including generous servings of leather and carbon fiber. No surprises there either considering that Alfa Romeo is packaging the Stelvio Quadrifoglio as a legitimate threat to a segment populated by the likes of the Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5 M. As far as first impressions go, Alfa Romeo may have finally a hit on its hands.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

How does the Alfa Romeo Stelvio QV lineup against its rivals?

Alfa Romeo Stelvio QV Arrives In LA With 505 Horses On Tap High Resolution Exterior
- image 695790

By the numbers, the Alfa Romeo QV is impressive. In fact, if you line it up against SUVs that are theoretically more premium, it handles itself quite well relative to its size. Take the BMW X5 M, for example. It’s got a bigger 5.5-liter bi-turbo V-8 engine and yet, its 560-horsepower and 553-pound-feet-of-torque output isn’t far off from what the Stelvio is capable of. The same holds true with the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and it’s 4.8-liter twin-turbo V-8. That model “only” gets 520 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, which, if you do the math, is just 15 horses more than the Stelvio QV. Granted, the Alfa SUV’s torque numbers are well off the pace at just 443-pound-feet of twist, but even then, the Stelvio QV can hit 60 mph quicker than both the X5 M (4.0 seconds) and the Cayenne Turbo (4.2 seconds).

Alfa Romeo Stelvio QV BMW X5 M Porsche Cayenne Turbo
Engine 2.9-liter V-6 4.4 liter V-8 4.8 liter V-8
Horsepower 505 HP 567 HP 520 HP
Torque 443 Lb-FT 553 Lb-FT 553 LB-FT
Weight - 5,260 lbs 4,817 lbs
0 to 60 mph 3.9 seconds 4.0 seconds 4.2 seconds
Top Speed 177 mph 156 mph 173 mph

If there’s anything that Alfa lacks compared to BMW and Porsche, it’s the brand name. That’s going to be especially more difficult for the Italian automaker with young buyers who have no vested history with the brand and, as such, are unlikely to remember Alfa’s glory years from the last century. But older buyers who do remember Alfa’s status back in the day are more likely to give the Stelvio QV a stronger look now that it’s got the capabilities that they normally expect to see from the X5 M and the Cayenne Turbo.

Ultimately though, the Stelvio QV will only be as popular as its price will suggest. Alfa Romeo hasn’t announced pricing details yet, but if it’s closer to $90,000 than it is to $100,000, it’s going to be easier to convince people to opt for the Stelvio QV compared to the X5 M and its starting price of $98,800 and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and it’s base price of $114,700.

BMW X5 M $98,800
Porsche Cayenne Turbo $114,700

However it turns out, there’s no denying that Alfa Romeo now has the Giulia, Stelvio, and their QV range-toppers to serve as the foundation for their return to relevancy.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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