New Alfas race in

13 July 2018

ALFA Romeo is attempting to carve itself a new sporting niche within the overcrowded SUV market place by creating a completely new concept for owners.

In the face of intense competition the sporting Italian brand is introducing two new models today that will act as a platform for a wider range of experiences to set it apart from its rivals.

The plan is to consolidate its position as the ultimate sporting brand ahead of Porsche, Audi, Bentley and even Lamborghini by making its models the raciest of the lot.

The order book opens today for the Stelvio Quadrifoglio Nurburgring Limited Editions, which Alfa reckons will become the ultimate collectors’ cars.

Taking the name of the German vehicle testing ground where vehicles attempt to record the quickest times over a 13-mile hillside route, the Stelvio boasts a top speed in excess of 175mph.

Powered by a 2.9-litre V6 Bi-Turbo engine generating 510bhp of power and a massive 600Nm of torque, or pulling power, the mid-size SUV can accelerate to 60mph in a mere 3.8 seconds.

Alfa is claiming that the Stelvio is the fastest SUV to take the Nurburgring challenge, and is introducing this limited edition version to reinforce the fact.

In addition to a host of new features on the vehicle itself, including a numbered plaque, there are associated accessories for owners such as cuff links and designer shoes, plus the chance to drive at the Nurburgring circuit.

Providing everything is kept in pristine condition, this package could create a valuable collectors’ item in years to come.

It also reinforces the point that SUVs, which now account for the most UK sales, have taken over from all other sporting sectors of the market including saloons, hatchbacks, coupes and convertibles.

Nonetheless, Alfa is also releasing its ultimate sporting saloon today, in the 190mph guise of the Alfa Giulia Quadrifoglio NRING to sell alongside the sportiest Stelvio.

The Giulia costs £82,500 and the Stelvio is £89,500, and they each come with a coveted Authenticity Certification issued by FCA Heritage, giving them instant classic status. 

They both have Quadrifoglio-style carbon-ceramic brakes, Sparco racing seats with red stitching, gear stick with carbon insert and leather and Alcantara steering wheel with carbon inserts. The front ‘V’ grille surround and wing mirror caps are in carbon fibre, as are the side skirt inserts. Inside, the NRING editions gain tinted windows, adaptive cruise control, and a sophisticated Harman Kardon premium audio package.

There is also an Alfa Connect 3D Nav infotainment system with 8.8-inch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and DAB. Both cars feature a numbered badge in the carbon fibre dashboard insert and unique Circuit Grey livery, while the Giulia model premieres a new bare carbon roof, and the Stelvio has an electrically operated panoramic sunroof.

Before their real car is delivered, owners will be given a numbered 1:18 scale model of it and upon collection they get Sparco racing gloves and customised soft shell jacket, sports bag in the Alfa Romeo pattern, Quadrifoglio cuff-links and original footwear created by Car Shoe. Owners will also be offered the chance to attend a sports driving technique course on the Nürburgring circuit next year.

Alfa believes that a time when some sporting SUVs can cost in excess of £200,000, its aficionados will happily pay a hefty premium for these two vehicles, which cost a whopping £20,000 more than the standard Quadrifoglio models upon which they are based – and up to £55,000 more than the basic entry versions.