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Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2,0T Super Q4
By Rubin van Niekerk
Alfa Romeos have always been head turners and that’s what red-blooded Romeos do. If Venezia Giacomo Girolamo Casanova lived today instead of the late 1700s he would have driven the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. As a connoisseur of seduction, he would have loved the seductive nature of the Stelvio! Alfa Romeo was born in Milan on 24 June 1910 and the name has become synonymous with performance and sex appeal.
Few brands have such an aura of nostalgia that draws a very patriotic and brand loyal client base. The Stelvio is the first-born SUV to the Alfa Romeo family and being named after Italy’s iconic and highest pass, Stelvio Pass, which has 75 hairpin bends over 20 kilometres, is an honour.
Balanced weight distribution, the most direct steering in the segment and state-of-the-art lightweight material like a carbon fibre drive shaft sets a benchmark. Being curvaceous, it looks less bulky in the flesh than some boxy competitors. Both the Giulia and the Stelvio enjoy the same marvellous suspension that swallows bumps and clings to the road. If you like the Giulia, you’ll love the Stelvio, as they are very similar interior-wise.
Rear vision is rather limited though and the tyre repair kit seemed complex to operate. South African conditions are demanding, and the lack of a full-size spare wheel confronts our adventurous spirits.
The powerful all aluminium twin-turbocharged engine challenges its rivals, but their acceleration stats are still clustered closely together. An eight-speed ZF transmission channels power to permanent all-wheel drive, while a lock-up clutch gives in-gear acceleration zing and the DNA selector adds more spice. Perfect weight distribution bolsters dynamic characteristics, especially on low grip terrain!
Oh Romeo, Romeo wherefore art thou so hot?