To begin, the near-50:50 weight distribution is noticeable in the sportscar-esque handling you can wring out of it on the road. Importantly the weight is fairly evenly spread between the two axles so the rear of the car never feels like it will pendulum on the driver.
Meanwhile the potent combination of the Stelvio Quadrifoglio’s all-wheel-drive Q4 and torque vectoring systems means you can push with little fear of losing traction or grip. This The “all-wheel-drive” is almost a misnomer though. Driven normally the car runs completely RWD but on demand all-wheel-drive is ready to dial in as you start to push it. This is courtesy of an active transfer case that monitors grip and can transfer up to 50 per cent of the engine torque to the front wheels through the front differential – crucially – before the ABS and stability system bogs the car (Race mode is a must to get rid of those meddling assists!). The ratio is altered and fluctuates intuitively with modulations of your right foot and steering angle. The fancy torque vectoring tech in the diffs then controls the speed of each wheel according to conditions on the road – effectively too.
Alfa’s damping and suspension focus is evident in the minimal body roll in a way that belies the car’s size and weight. And actually, while we’re on the matter: for an SUV, the car isn’t that heavy. Effort has been put into ensuring parts are as lightweight as possible where it can be afforded. The rear subframe is aluminium as is the engine, brakes, suspension, bonnet, door and wheel arches with smatterings of carbon fibre in the interior and for the driveshaft. The result? One hot power-to-weight ratio of 3.6 horsepower per kilo, giving it a fruity 280bhp per tonne.