We'll give you a clue: it ain't German.
With the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, Alfa Romeo clocked the fastest time of any sport-ute or crossover ever to lap the Nürburgring – until Mercedes-AMG stole its crown with the GLC 63 S. So what's the Italian marque done in response?
Rather than return to the Eiffel Mountains, Alfa took its 500-plus-horsepower super-ute to not one, not two, but three other tracks – all of them in the UK – and set new lap records for production SUVs at each one. What's more, it did it all in three days, tackling a different circuit each day.
The first stop was Cars Hatch, where pro racer (and high-performance driving instructor) David Brise hustled the Stelvio Quadrifoglio around the Indy circuit in 55.9 seconds. Then it was off to Donington Park, where Brise clocked a lap time of 1:21.1. On Day 3, Brise and the Stelvio tackled the National Circuit at Silverstone in 2:31.6. Not a bad way to spend a few days, if you ask us.
"Doing anything that is a first on track is exciting, but the Stelvio Quadrifoglio made it an even more enjoyable experience for me,” said Brise.
"The performance from this family SUV is astonishing, its handling characteristics were really confidence inspiring and totally at home on track. It gave me all the things I needed to extract the best possible lap times and establish the three records.”
"Setting the very first SUV production car lap records at three of the top circuits in Britain is where our passion for motorsport and road vehicles crosses over but, once again, Alfa Romeo is at the forefront and the first manufacturer to set new benchmarks,” added the automaker's marketing man Andrew Tracey.
The performance version of Alfa's debut crossover, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio packs a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6. Developed with Ferrari, it sends 505 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque to all four corners through an eight-speed automatic transmission. In the right hands (evidently like Brise's), it'll crack the 60-mph mark in 3.6 seconds and keep pulling until it's hit 176 miles per hour. And best of all, you can pick one up at your local dealership for $81,590 (delivered).