Ranch & Coast Magazine

October 2023

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Page 105 of 123

T ODAY, SUVS CLEARLY DOMINATE new vehicle sales, claiming more than 55 percent of purchases last year. e market share is so prolific that some brands no longer offer sedans in their product portfolio. As a result, the industry has responded, tuning up these portly family haulers to become vivacious corner carvers. And it seems like everyone, especially luxury brands, offer a hotrod SUV that's sure to get the kids to school or the playground on time. Of course, there are various levels of performance tuning applied to vehicles that are designed primarily for legal street use. Not surprisingly, the marketing teams do their best to keep the engineers from designing a racecar with leather seating. So although all performance SUVs may begin life with the same mission, the results differ by brand. BMW sprinkles various levels of "M" performance on its X models, while Mercedes-Benz and Audi counter with AMG and RS upgrades. Sport brands like Aston Martin, Porsche, Lamborghini, and now Ferrari turn the wick up without turning off buyers who are writing a big check for their amusement. en there's the dazzling Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio that arrived in my driveway. Embossed with four-leaf clovers, I thought it might contain a leprechaun, but how's that possible with an Italian machine? e answer is in the model name and the history of race teams from the earliest competitions seeking good luck. Quadrifoglio is Italian for four-leaf clover and that shamrock has adorned Alfa Romeo race and performance cars since 1923, when a young Enzo Ferrari was one of the drivers. And Stelvio is the wicked road that climbs 6,138 feet up the Italian Alps through 75 switchback turns to reach the Swiss border at the summit. detour transportation Speed Utility PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF ALFA ROMEO Alfa Romeo turns up the wick on the Stelvio Quadrifoglio BY BRIAN DOUGLAS ranchandcoast.com 106 OCTOBER 2023 RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE

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