Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio Sets Three SUV Lap Records
The Stelvio lapped Brands Hatch, Donington, and Silverstone in record time.
Nowadays if you buy an SUV the chances are that you won’t be going off-road. Because of that, manufacturers are taking their high-riding tanks around race tracks during their development phase.
It’s odd, but whatever, it means manufacturers can brag about lap records – they sound great, but ultimately they’re pointless.
Anyway, here’s three lap records that Alfa Romeo wants us to talk about. It’s set the SUV benchmark on three different U.K. racing circuits – Silverstone, Donington Park, and Brands Hatch.
It took the go-faster version of its first-ever production SUV, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, to the circuits to set the records, with professional driver David Brise on driving duty.
Brise lapped the Indy Circuit at Brands hatch in 55.9 seconds, Donington Park in 1 minute and 21.1 seconds, and Silverstone’s Grand Prix circuit in 2 minutes and 31.6 seconds.
“Doing anything that is a first on track is exciting, but the Stelvio Quadrifoglio made it an even more enjoyable experience for me,” said Brise. “The performance from this family SUV is astonishing, its handling characteristics were really confidence inspiring and totally at home on track. It gave me all the things I needed to extract the best possible lap times and establish the three records.”
It’s not the first time the Stelvio Quadrifoglio has set lap records though. In 2017, it broke the production SUV record at the Nürburgring, lapping the 12.9 mile Nordschleife in 7 minutes and 51.7 seconds, beating the previous SUV record by eight seconds.
But how can an SUV set such good lap times? Well, Alfa Romeo is of course steeped in racing heritage and puts some of that experience into its road cars. So the Stelvio makes use of lightweight, state-of-the-art materials, such as carbon fiber and aluminum, plus its power comes from a Ferrari-derived 2.9-liter 24-valve twin turbo intercooled V6 engine which puts out a supercar-like 510 hp.
“Alfa Romeo has always been a pioneer in motorsport. We were present for the very first Grand Prix ever held back in 1950, which we won, and we were present for the 1000th Grand Prix in China recently,” said Andrew Tracey, Alfa Romeo marketing director. “Setting the very first SUV production car lap records at three of the top circuits in Britain is where our passion for motorsport and road vehicles crosses over but, once again, Alfa Romeo is at the forefront and the first manufacturer to set new benchmarks.”