30 Minutes With: The 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio AWD

Front 3/4 view of 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio AWD
The 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio AWD.
Publisher's note: Normally, the cars you read about here at TireKicker are loaned to us by the press fleets of the various manufacturers for several days. Seven is typical.  Occasionally, we'll get a longer period of time, and sometimes it'll only be three or four days.  Our "30 Minutes With" series features cars we spent half an hour driving during the just-concluded Western Automotive Journalists Media Day in Monterey, California.

Needless to say, these are quick drives and brief impressions that we hope to be able to flesh out with a full review of the vehicle at some point in the near future.

Media Days is a driving program, with journalists taking cars from the staging area at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley over Laureles Grade and back or off-road on the acclaimed Land Rover Experience on the grounds of Quail Lodge.

My third drive of the day was at the wheel of the 2018 (the 2019 is the same, as will be the 2020) Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio AWD.

Quadrifoglio badge
Quadrifoglio badge.
"Quadrifoglio" is Italian for four-leaf clover, and Alfa uses that to denote its highest-performance vehicles.

I drove a Stelvio Ti Sport at the 2018 Media Day, and even though they're both Alfa Romeo Stelvio crossover SUVs, there's a world of difference between the two.

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio engine
2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio engine.
In place of the 2.0-liter, 280 horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder in the Ti Sport, the Quadrifoglio brings a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 that makes a whopping 505 horsepower.  Motor Trend says that'll get you from a standing start to 60 miles per hour in 3.3 seconds.  I believe them.

The handling doesn't suffer from the weight of the larger engine over the front wheels---the Stelvio Quadrifoglio was as light and tossable on the turns of Laureles Grade as I remember the Ti Sport being.

Rear 3/4 view of 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio AWD
2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio AWD.
The starting price for all this performance is $79,795, and that gets you the aformentioned engine and eight-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, leather and Alcantara seats, torque vectoring, active suspension, Alfa DNA Pro Drive Mode system with Race Mode, blind spot and cross-path detection, forward collision warning, a rear back-up camera, front and rear parking assist, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, which are heated and power-folding, remote keyless entry and remote start, automatic stop/start, a power liftgate with remote liftgate release, a carbon-fiber driveshaft, an engine cover with the four-leaf clover badge, heated windshield washer nozzles, hill-descent control, a tire service kit, 20-by-9 and 20-by-10-inch dark five-hole aluminum wheels mounted on 255/45R20 and 285/40R20 summer tires, Brembo four-wheel disc high-performance brakes with gloss red calipers and white script, a dual-mode quad exhaust system, Quadrifoglio front and rear fascias, high-performance Bi-Xenon headlamps, LED daytime running lamps, LED taillamps and headlamp washers.

Dashboard in 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio AWD

Interior in 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio AWD

Inside, there's an eight-point-eight inch touchscreen infotainment system with AM/FM and Bluetooth plus 3D navigation, Harman Kardon Premium audio, leather dash and upper doors with accent stitching, genuine carbon fiber interior trim, power eight-way seats for the driver and front passenger, each with power four-way lumbar adjustment and both heated, a Quadrifoglio leather-wrapped steering wheel, which is heated, steering column-mounted aluminum paddle shifters and bright aluminum pedals.

Sounds complete?  It is.  By European premium car standards, there's not a lot in the way of extra-cost options to ladle on.  Here's what this car had:

  • Trofeo White Tri-Coat exterior paint: $2,200.
  • Quadrifoglio AWD Package 24P (Adaptive cruise control with stop & go, lane departure warning, automatic high-beam headlamp control and an infrared windshield): $1,200.
  • Convenience Package (Cargo comp adjustable rail system, 115V auxiliary power outlet and a cargo net): $200.
  • Dual-pane sunroof: $1,350.
  • Apple CarPlay: $100.
  • Android Auto: $100.
  • Quadrifoglio carbon fiber steering wheel: $400.

With $1,595 destination charge, the bottom line is $86,940.  I could quibble about the hundred bucks each for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but overall, that's a reasonable price for a lot of equipment, a ton of performance and a smile that'll take hours to leave your face after a few minutes on a winding mountain road.