With emotions still running high I returned to the paddocks where a technical presentation of the Stelvio was scheduled.
We were shown some of the car’s particularities like the two strut bars under the hood or the battery concealed in the lower part of the trunk. Perhaps usual in a sports car, not common in a suv. These are two technical gems are easily observed, but many others are not so evident like the suspension turrets made of cast aluminium in order to obtain maximum lightness and rigidity or the small deflectors integrated in the wheel arches improving air flow around the car. For the family men out there like myself it’s worth noting that the capacity of the truck is 525 litres with a generous opening. Once again I’m thinking a Giulia SportWagon couldn’t have done it better. Let’s not forget that the one of the most beautiful SW’s ever produced, the combi version of the 156 managed to have a smaller trunk than the one of the saloon, itself not remembered for its huge loading capacity. Having a car developed by the same mastermind that engineered the LaFerrari is a good indicator of the high standards maintained during the development of the Stelvio.
The latest activity of the day for my group was a design lecture presented by none other than the author of the Stelvio’s interior, Soohan Yun of Centro Stile, followed by a practical demonstration of his amazing talent. During the workshop he illustrated how a pool of ideas have let to the final solution chosen for the car’s interior. He made us aware that every decision to be taken regarding the style of an Alfa Romeo has to cherish it’s long, glorious history, and to honour it’s badge: the heraldic Visconti coat of arms synonym of Milanese nobility and excellence. Having had the chance of watching Soohan’s work throughout the day I was deeply impressed with the display of his amazing skills. Demonstrating his immense talent, with just some masterfully placed pencil strokes he managed to bring to life within minutes the sketch of a fiery, bulked up Stelvio on a blank piece of paper. I was simply in awe when I received this sketch as a gift at the end of the workshop! Needless to say, I knew right on the spot that I’ve got my hands on one of my most prized pieces of Alfa Romeo memorabilia, one to be putin a frame and hanged on the “cool wall” in my Alfa themed room.
An awesome send off after an amazing day? Not really. James Amatulli (the responsible for the brand’s marketing in Germany) had one more surprise for me, as if everything that had happened wasn’t enough to keep my adrenaline high for days to come. He made a very thoughtful proposition wich I dutifully accepted: a last ride in the 4C! Designated driver for this experience was the Italian pilot Francesco Lopez, active in the ADAC GT Masters Championship. The awesome go-kart sensation I had after I first drove the 4C at Balocco was still fresh in my memory, but witnessing first hand what’s it like to have it driven in anger by a professional racing driver it’s a completely different ball game. Gear changes only at the higher end, two wheels on the curb, the world seen through tunnel vision… A rollercoaster constantly on the edge, that is the 4C!
I may have arrived late but I was surely the last to leave. I watched until the very end how the cars were brought back to the “parc ferme”. Under the sunset light and in that crisp, fresh early spring air I had the feeling I was watching trusty companions getting their well deserved rest after a tumultuous day.
One can not simply quantify the intensity of emotions had during this event but what the beautiful people of Alfa Romeo Deutschland did by inviting me to their “Alfa Lovers Day” will remain engraved in my mind for the rest of my life. Once again, I rode the dragon, but by no means has the dragon been tamed!