Spend enough time driving the Stelvio and you'll forget that this hoot of a car is actually a crossover. Even in base trim, the Stelvio's performance chops let it play with the Porsche Macan and Jaguar F-Pace, the segment's standard-bearers in the performance arena.
Most versions of this Italian stallion will be powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 280 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque. This is more power than stalwarts like the Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Mercedes-Benz GLC, and is enough to let the Stelvio do zero to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds as it heads toward a top speed of 144 mph – two other segment-trumping stats. Fuel economy of 22 miles per gallon city and 28 mpg highway is also right in line with the competition.
Alfa hooks this motor up to an eight-speed automatic, a ZF-built unit that can be found in most FCA products these days. There's a good reason this transmission is put in everything from the Chrysler 300 to this Stelvio – it's a darn good gearbox. When set to the most balanced setting (Natural, in the parlance of the slyly-labeled DNA driving modes), shifts are crisp and well timed. Call on it to downshift and it does so quickly and willingly, and it'll refrain from upshifting if you ask it to.
While those are the stats for the volume powertrain, the Quadrifoglio ratchets all that up a notch or three. The 2.0-liter four is swapped out for a 2.9-liter V6 (derived from a Ferrari engine) that makes a thunderous 505 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. If the zero-to-60 time of 3.6 seconds or top speed of 176 mph doesn't seem like enough, upgrade to a fighter jet or Bonneville land-speeder.
Handling the Quad's gear changes is a upgraded version of the eight-speed found in the four-cylinder Stelvios. It's just as excellent here as it is in the lesser models. Considering the firepower on tap, we're fully supportive of leaving the DNA drive mode selector in Dynamic mode, where gearshifts border on brutal and redline shifts are business as usual if you hammer the go pedal. If there's any crossover that would be at home on the track, it's the Stelvio Quadrifoglio.