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tl;dr - How does the Stelvio Quadrifoglio do on forest roads with lots of potholes, gravel, etc.?

I've searched around but haven't found confident data. I'm considering buying a SQ as an upgrade to my Mazda CX-5, which we currently use for family-hauling duty as well as for trips to the ski slopes and remote trailheads over rough roads. I've seen some off-road videos of the base Stelvio, which inspires confidence. Is the quad different in a relevant way? Is the suspension too stiff to blast over small potholes?

Would this be a criminal misuse of such a vehicle?

(FWIW I used to take my RX-8 on these forest roads, which really was criminal, and involving a lot of slow and tedious dodging of small potholes. I want to avoid doing this again.)
 

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Mine does well on a variety of unimproved roads but you're talking about something a little different. Will do if necessary but a 4WD pickup is my choice.

And yes, using the Stelvio QV under such conditions would be criminal. That'd be like asking <insert choice of your favorite film star here> to clean your bathroom. :)
 

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Mine will be used on stuff like that on occasion, mostly when trailering a dirt bike, but I'd say the 4cyl suspension would be better suited to blasting, its a lot softer. The higher profile tires would be better as well.
There are some YouTube vids of sq with some dirt road type stuff, and I expect it would be fun on gentler washboard or sand, but that abrupt holes, rocks etc will require slowing down quite a bit as the softest setting is still fairly firm.
 

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tl;dr - How does the Stelvio Quadrifoglio do on forest roads with lots of potholes, gravel, etc.?

I've searched around but haven't found confident data. I'm considering buying a SQ as an upgrade to my Mazda CX-5, which we currently use for family-hauling duty as well as for trips to the ski slopes and remote trailheads over rough roads. I've seen some off-road videos of the base Stelvio, which inspires confidence. Is the quad different in a relevant way? Is the suspension too stiff to blast over small potholes?

Would this be a criminal misuse of such a vehicle?

(FWIW I used to take my RX-8 on these forest roads, which really was criminal, and involving a lot of slow and tedious dodging of small potholes. I want to avoid doing this again.)
It would be criminal, you would be doing the same as you did with your RX-8.
 

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IMO not criminal at all....pretty flippin' bad ass of you to even be thinking about it.

You wouldn't need to dodge any potholes.

Bottoming out or hitting anything isn't a worry unless you just aren't looking for big rocks or very large potholes. The suspension is stiffer than the base and could be very rough riding...for that reason you would want to go slowish...faster than an RX-8 though. I would guess that any type of rough gravel/small loose rock surface, would tear up/significantly reduce the lifespan of those ultra high performance tires too.

However due to the fact that the AWD programming has pretty aggressive settings in terms of managing traction on rough/unstable surfaces - more aggressive than necessary if they actually thought these cars were never going off-road - I have the suspicion the adaptive suspension might adjust the valving enough to soften out the impact harshness and allow for better compression and extension given the circumstances, really just depends on the programming buried in the system and since there are no direct access buttons and Alfa is horrible about communication (they just say it is suitable for any road basically, however it is obviously biased for paved roads in terms of suspension valving of the non-adaptive suspension for sure) we really don't know. First thing I would do it put it in "A" on a dirt or rough road.

....if anyone in So Cal wants to give me the keys to a quad for a day - a few hours really - I can let you know for sure how the adaptive suspension reacts....promise to not hurt it, haven't hurt mine....never, ever had an accident on or off-road.
 

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"give me the keys to a quad for a day"
I've had base loaners, the suspension is MUCH softer, which is a good thing for "lots of potholes". define fast/slow/BLAST and rough/forestry ...to the back side of Gorman on a FJ1100? yeah it'll do it, but not really it's element.
SQ is stiffer to cope with magazines doing race track testing, and in it's softest setting it's not a luxury/compliant ride - it's stiffer than the giulia Q.
oh, it would be a hollering blast anywhere, but go fast over bad stuff and it will be beating itself to death. I had a grand wagoneer for a while which, although not the same, was just not good at speed on rough roads.
 

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...does it beat itself up over sections of rough pavement on a track at high speed?

Not trying to be smart...trying to understand the algorithms controlling everything.

It will never be soft and smooth..it isn't that on-road even with the base suspension really. The Base Alfa suspension with 20's might be harsher riding than the Audi sport suspension with the same size wheels IMO.


However things can be rough and stiff and not beat themselves up. Uneven pavement at 90 through a corner when the suspension is already compressed vs a pothole at 25......the actual impact forces are probably worse in the first case, but the amount of movement the shock piston needs to do is more in the second. The purpose of the adaptive suspension is to maintain a consistent driving experience over different surfaces. It very well could be that what I am thinking the suspension can do is outside of it's ability to adapt (wouldn't be the first time I was wrong), but it could also be that it isn't.....


I just want someone to try and see....does the car just get bouncy and un-fun/hard to control? Or does it have similar ride/handling as to what is experienced on pavement?


Be realistic, it won't ride like a Lexus no matter what...but will it have similar levels of impact harness as it does on a paved road even when going over rougher terrain requiring more movement of the shock piston?


Be realistic about speed too....driving on rough dirt roads, 20 mph can be fast….but I *suspect* the QV can do it fine. Be fun to find out for sure.
 

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I've driven my Stelvio through sand pits that dune buggys play in at maybe 10-15 mph and most other 4x4's even ones with 3 locking diffs, get stuck at any speed...I roll through at 5 mph (when it gets really bad the T/C will not allow much speed) listening to Johnny Cash enjoying the wildflowers. I'm on 20's with the stock continentals.

The base AWD is capable of pulling the car up steep hills with limited traction on one front wheel and the other 3 freely spinning (that will be in my next video), and the Quad has a better rear diff.

Don't sell your car short. The AWD is far better than it has any right to be given the specs.

Nice video Lost, bet he didn't feel beat up and the car drove perfect afterwards...wouldn't suggest rock crawling, but going off the beaten path to find some adventure on a road trip is part of what the Stelvio's purpose in existing is IMO.
 

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I would love to take mine to Glamis in CA or Pink Coral Dunes in UT - and relatively smooth gravel isn't an issue, paint chips aside.

but I've been on plenty of pot holed rock strewn forestry roads and there's a big difference. I would much rather run a base model for rough stuff like that, and run faster without beating the crap out of the vehicle.

a dirtbike is purpose built and will run hard through the worst without issue. I've done this kinda stuff for a long time.
 

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KTM? what's that, a Penton? haha
one of my boys is still out there, recently sold his ktm 495 for a TM300.

doesn't seem to be much higher speed or sand stuff out here, so my CanAM 500 has been updated to a Beta 200.
MA is stupider regs than CA's red/green sticker bit - you can't ride in state forests/areas til May 1. I'm bored playing in the yard like a kid with a minbike.
 
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