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I was very fortunate to be allowed the opportunity to take a Stelvio Quadrifoglio for a literal blast. I drove there in my Giulia Quadrifoglio and it was nice to have back to back driving sessions on some of Pennsylvania's finest back roads and off-ramps.


There were 2 immediate attributes that were noticed in the Stelvio Quadrifoglio:


1. Race mode AWD shenanigans in the Stelvio were more confidence inspiring.
2. Un-flappable drive train in the Stelvio Quadrifoglio


More detail:


If you blast increasing and decreasing radius on-ramps and off-ramps, you know what I'm talking about. This post is for you!
"Race" mode in the Stelvio Quad is more confident under heavy power than the Giulia Quad. The Stelvio Quad has grip, lots of grip. Waaaay more grip. This is largely due to the all-wheel-drive setup. Though, not to be overlooked, the 20" wheels and tires on the Stelvio Quadrifoglio have a larger footprint as well. Although the rear tires are 20" 285mm width (similar to the Giulia Quad 285/35/19"), there is inherently more grip in the Stelvio due to a larger contact patch... but it's not all tire, the main performance enhancement difference is definitely in the AWD layout.


The "Race" mode of both the Giulia Quadrifoglio and Stelvio Quad turns off the nannies. In the Giulia Quad, it is up to the skill of the driver to stop the rear end from passing the front during extreme acceleration through turns. Let me mention that again, we are talking about EXTREME acceleration as in floored, loud pedal into the carpet, rotate the earth the other direction acceleration AND turn the wheel off-center -- the Giulia Quad can go into power-on over-steer at the limit if the driver is not too careful. Frankly, it is fun to slide the Giulia around turns :)



Though, the over-steer power-on condition in the Stelvio Quadrifoglio is almost erased by default due to the AWD grip. It just grips and goes! Point it where you want it go in the turn and hammer it! It goes where intended without the worry of the rear end coming around. Same thing from a stopped start. Where it is easy to light up the tires in 1st and 2nd gear in the Giulia, the Stelvio just plants and goes !


The Stelvio Quadrifoglio is confident and stable through abnormal 'lose your license' high-speed on/off ramp maneuvers. Certainly it weighs more than the Giulia by a few hundred pounds. Though, the additional heft is seriously not noticeable. Totally to my surprise, back to back driving of both the Giulia and Stelvio, the weight difference was not noticeable at all. On a racetrack, I'm certain I'd have another opinion. The laws of physics will win definitely. The lighter Giulia Quadrifoglio will always be in the fastest run group!


Toward the Stelvio Quadrifoglio drive train being un-flappable, this is a bit more difficult to describe. This is perhaps an objective characteristic partially related to the Stelvio weighing a bit more? Perhaps the engineers hardened the transmission or engine or rear end mounts a bit more? Different bushings/mounts in these areas over the Guilia? I don't know...


I found that the Stelvio Quadrifoglio is smoother when blipping up and down through the gears in RACE mode. I have very little miles on my Giulia Quadrifoglio-- so for basic comparison purposes, both vehicles are "new".


The smoothness advantage of the Stelvio was easily noticed when shifting 2-3 and 3-2 and 1-2-3 and 2-3-2-1, etc. Both vehicles in Race mode yielded that the Stelvio was smoother. Part, mid and full throttle is a clear win for the Stelvio in terms of less occupant disruption. There is too much something something rubber connecting the rear end of the Guilia Quadrifoglio. The winding up condition and un-winding of the rear axle in the Stelvio did not seem to happen like it does in the Giulia Quad. This is what makes me think the chassis engineering team changed the isolation characteristics of some of the hard parts. Wish I could have a conversation with that guy some time. :)



Not like the Giulia Quadrifoglio is bad at all. Don't get me wrong, the Guilia's performance is awesome. It is proven after beating the Germans in all performance metrics in this class of car. It is just that the Stelvio is a bit smoother in Race mode while plinking gears. The gear changes are not as abrupt to the occupants in the Stelvio. There was less jerkiness in the Stelvio. The drive train felt less intrusive. The ability to shift with the pinkie finger required less focus (ha!). Again, only a Race mode comparison. The lower slower modes of D-N-A would have the unknowing buyer thinking they were driving the same vehicle whether it was a sedan or SUV. These vehicles are thaaaat close in terms of regular driving.


Many thanks to D'Ambrosio for letting me drive the Alfa corp demo.


July 4th 2018 was a good holiday all around. Hope yours was too!
 

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Wow real driver’s review...it confirms some speculations how well QV could do with AWD....thanks for great writeup

I suspect that smoothness and more rubbery reactions have something to do with much higher center of gravity and trying to keep occupants in their seats while going fast...if stelvio was so raw as QV a passenger or two might fly out of the windows ....
 

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Nice write-up! You almost make it sound like the Giulia QV is somewhat disappointing in comparison. :frown2: I saw one the other day at the dealership and it certainly has a nice presence, especially with the 20 in wheels. With the summer only tires, cold weather options will be an even more interesting proposition that what we have to deal with. Of course, many uninformed SUV buyers will think it's invincible in the winter, because SUV!
 

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good write up - confirms what I had figured from watching too many vids, watching for driver input on slides. No article I've seen was as comprehensive in this area as you have been.

Yes, before any of the reviews came out this mixed blessing was a "concern" for me. I had hoped for an AWD off switch, or off in Race, as the new M5 has, as this thing is plenty fast but perhaps at the expense of loosing some fun on occassion. I'm quite sure the wife would never consider this an issue though.
But it's beginning to look/feel like ours will never show up, and we will end up in something else with different attributes.
 

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well, I'm not alone.
I am aware of three people who ordered these the first day.
One has received his vehicle.
Two of us are ready to walk.
 

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good write up - confirms what I had figured from watching too many vids, watching for driver input on slides. No article I've seen was as comprehensive in this area as you have been.

Yes, before any of the reviews came out this mixed blessing was a "concern" for me. I had hoped for an AWD off switch, or off in Race, as the new M5 has, as this thing is plenty fast but perhaps at the expense of loosing some fun on occassion. I'm quite sure the wife would never consider this an issue though.
But it's beginning to look/feel like ours will never show up, and we will end up in something else with different attributes.
Can't say I blame you. Good Luck
 
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