Another day, another Nurburgring lap record. This time it’s the Italian SUV which equalled the time of the Mercedes-AMG SL65 Black Series and Jaguar XKR-S at the notorious Green Hell. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio has lapped the north loop Nordschleife in a record time of 7 minutes and 51.7 seconds, the lowest time ever recorded by a production SUV.
The high-performance Stelvio joins the ranks of its sibling, the Giulia Quadrifoglio which holds the record for the fastest four-door production car around the German race track. The Stelvio smashed the previous production-SUV record by a full eight seconds held by Porsche Cayenne Turbo S (7:59.74).
The Stelvio’s record run was piloted by Fabio Francia, the same driver who also set the track record for Giulia Quadrifoglio sedan in a time of just 7 minutes and 32 seconds. Powering the Quadrifoglio SUV is a twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 breathing out 500bhp and a whopping 600Nm. All the power is sent to the Q4 all-wheel-drive system via an eight-speed automatic transmission. The gearbox can shift the cog in just 150 milliseconds in the Race mode.
The Stelvio Quadrifoglio achieves the highest horsepower-per-litre in its class. The SUV comes fitted with a lightweight carbonfibre Sparco racing seats as standard. Braking responsibilities are taken care by Brembo carbon-ceramic material (CCM) units.
When launched at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, Alfa Romeo was expecting the Stelvio Quadrifoglio to go around the Nurburgring in about 7:59. But as it turned out, the Alfa’s SUV outnumbered the expectations. Now, Lamborghini’s upcoming Urus SUV is eyeing the ‘Ring record already. The Raging Bull SUV will debut later this year, and has been spotted testing at the Nurburgring on a couple of occasions. What remains to be seen is how long the Stelvio Quadrifoglio is able to hold on to this record.