After a few decades rusting in the wilderness, Alfa Romeo is back. The renaissance started with the Giulia but, given how popular mid-size SUVs are at the moment, the new Stelvio is arguably more commercially important for the brand. Although it doesn't guarantee sales success, the Stelvio has proven its performance chops with a new Nurburgring Nordschleife SUV lap record.

To be fair, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio isn't your average school run SUV. Power comes from the same Ferrari-derived V6 as the Giulia, making the same 510 hp (380 kW) of power and 600 Nm (443 lb-ft) of torque. It's put to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox from ZF, for a sub four-second sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph).

There are a few decidedly non-SUV options available on the car, like carbon-fiber racing seats and carbon ceramic brakes. Neither of those things are likely to be particularly useful when you're taking the dog to the vet, but they will come into their own if owners want to hit their local track.

Piloted by Fabio Francia, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio lapped the 12.9 mi (20.8 km) North Loop in just 7:51.7 – eight seconds faster than the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S that previously held the record, and quicker than the regular BMW M4. Impressive, no?

The video of the full lap is below. Conspiracy theorists have already started suggesting it has been cut together or edited, but we're willing to take Alfa Romeo at its word. Check it out and judge for yourself below.

Source: Alfa Romeo

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