Is Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio coming to Zim
Is Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio coming to Zim?

A few years ago, one of the leading car magazine in the world AUTO ZEITUNG awarded the 375 kW (510
hp) top version of the series as the "SUV of the Year". This time the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
prevailed against eleven competitors, including the most powerful SUVs of the major German, Italian
and British brands.
It is predator not prey.
DRIVEtorque has a feeling it could be on its way to Zimbabwe and it is about time too.
It is the all new Alpha Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. This is a race-inspired and engineered vehicle.
It is for those who seek the highest level of performance and utility.
Every other brand is venturing into the lucrative SUV market. Like it or not, the SUV, in its many forms, is
here to stay for a long time.
That means it would be utterly foolish for any brand to ignore the lure of lifestyle-focussed SUVs and
crossovers. That is also why Alfa Romeo, a brand long associated with engaging dynamics and driver
involvement, rolled out its first ever SUV in 2017.
Alpha Romeo competes with the BMW X3 is much more spacious and comfortable. It brushes against
the Audi Q5 which feels rock solid and wears a clean, conservative style. It rubs against the Mercedes-
Benz GLC which has the segment’s best interior and an unquestionable brand cachet that Alfa Romeo
does not enjoy. The Jaguar F-Pace is the Stelvio’s closest competitor in terms of driving dynamics, but it
is down on power unless you select the pricey V-6. The Stelvio is also quite close to the Porsche Macan
in size and mission, but a Porsche will always be more expensive.
The 2019 model is crucial in ensuring Alfa Romeo can secure the income it needs to continue pushing
and growing the SUV in key growth markets like the United States and China who are pretty big on SUVs.
Alpha Romeo disappeared, almost a deathlike phenomena in Zimbabwe in the 1980s when the Guilia
used to dominate the roads of Harare especially the Arcadia and surrounding Southerton
neighbourhoods. Nonetheless can the brand’s history and its new aspirations exist harmoniously?
The Alfa Romeo SUV arrives, with a simple range offering a choice of just two engines - one petrol, and
one diesel - both matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission, and both served with Alfa Romeo’s
Q4 all-wheel drive system.
You could buy a lush Super Lusso trim, or a more performance-flavoured Veloce specification but
regardless of the equipment variant safety kit like autonomous emergency braking, forward collision,
lane departure warning and six airbags will come included.
The task of applying familiar Alfa Romeo design elements to a taller, bulkier SUV cannot have been an
easy one but in the metal the Stelvio looks good. It is not as finely detailed as the Giulia sedan, but it
manages to hide it bulk surprisingly well.

Though it can be hard to tell at a glance, the Stelvio sits on a larger footprint than competitors like the
Audi Q5 or BMW X3, with a 4687mm overall length, 1903mm width and 2818mm wheelbase which
allows it to straddle the traditional medium and large SUV classes.
There is a sense of familiarity in the cabin, with the Stelvio borrowing much of its switchgear and
controls from its Giulia sibling, although crucial design changes give it a more unique flavour - like the
symmetrical dash design in place of the Giulia’s wrap-around cockpit layout.
Inside the Stelvio will pack in standard features including dual-zone climate control, an 8.8-inch
infotainment screen with sat nav, Bluetooth and digital radio, but misses out on smartphone mirroring
like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
Interior space is roomy enough to comfortably carry five, the tall roof line frees up headroom like never
before in an Alfa and the rear seat will take two adults or three kids without compromise.
Behind the hatchback-styled tailgate the Stelvio can carry 525 litres of cargo, again cementing its
credentials as a family special.
Alfa’s sporting influence is still obvious throughout the cabin with detail touches like a starter button
mounted on the flat-bottomed steering wheel, twin-cowl instrument cluster, and retro-inspired turbine-
style outboard dash vents.
In terms of functionality the Stelvio does not seem to miss any key details, though interior tech feels a
little off pace, with no answer for the likes of the Audi Q5’s virtual cockpit digital instrument cluster, or
the Volvo XC60’s all-encompassing iPad-style infotainment. Trim quality does not quite match the levels
achieved by German competitors either.
Additional variants will join the range over time, but from launch the Stelvio will be available with a
choice of two four-cylinder engines. Either a 2.0-litre turbo petrol producing 149kW and 330Nm or a 2.2-
litre turbo diesel good for 156kW and 450Nm.
Part of the driving engagement stems from precise and linear steering, while suspension has been set up
to deliver a firm and flat attitude. The standard all-wheel drive system has been configured to send
power to the rear wheels by default, and should conditions demand up to 50 percent of torque can be
allocated to the front wheels.
That in turn endows the Stelvio with the kind of road feel usually reserved for rear-drive cars, and helps
keep Alfa Romeo’s enthusiast appeal intact.
Of the available engines the 2.0-litre turbo petrol delivers a more enticing exhaust note, particularly at
the top of its rev range where the engine best demonstrates its rpm-flexibility, but the 2.2-litre diesel is
simply more effortless, with a strong swell of mid-range torque delivering strong rolling acceleration.
The diesel also exhibits high levels of refinement, while the eight-speed automatic is smooth and fluent,
matching driver demands and available engine torque with an intuitively natural flow.
The on-road balance is not entirely blemish-free though, owing to a brake-by-wire system that lacks the
natural progression of a traditional mechanical linkage and can make it difficult to slow down smoothly,
particularly at low speeds around town.

Comfortingly for enthusiasts, the Stelvio manages to adhere to Alfa Romeo’s heritage as a sports-
focused brand thanks to its uniquely presented sense of style, and driving dynamics that maintain
enthusiast appeal.
With so much Giulia DNA the Stelvio was bound to be good. At last, Alfa has a car to buy with your heart
and head. After all it is bred from the bloodline of champions
DRIVEtorque will keep its ears and eye on Zimoco as we expect something cool, the launch of the Alpha
brand in 2022