The 2018 Winter Olympics are happening right now, but do they have cars skating on ice?
Right now, more than 90 countries are competing in this year’s Winter Olympics. These past couple weeks, we’ve watched as those countries compete for glory in a variety of events, from luge to the biathlon to alpine skiing. However, there’s just one thing missing from the Olympics…there aren’t any cars. In today’s video, we redress that balance by having a competition of our own on the ice. It’s Italy versus Germany as the Alfa Romeo Stelvio squares off against the Porsche Macan GTS in a battle for ultimate European crossover glory!
Okay, there aren’t any actual medals awarded here. Nevertheless, we know both of these crossovers perform well on the pavement, but how do they handle the snow? TFL’s Nathan Adlen heads to Winter Park, Colorado to find out. Check out the video above to see more!
Europeans on Ice: Alfa Romeo Stelvio
As you’d expect from an Italian car, the Stelvio is rear-wheel drive, at least most of the time. This particular version packs a 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine making 280 horsepower and 306 lb-ft of torque. All that power is routed through an eight-speed automatic transmission. That makes this crossover a hoot to drive on the pavement, but how does it perform on snow?
When conditions call for it, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio’s all-wheel drive system can, in fact, send up to 60% of the power to the front wheels. That makes the car more controllable in snowy, icy conditions like those in the video above. However, if you’re in pursuit of some real tail-out action, there is one major downside. As Nathan shows, there is no way to defeat the Stelvio’s traction control system. Rather, the car monitors the conditions and adjusts its performance to suit in 100 milliseconds. Safe as that may be, no button to disable the traction control can hamper the experience when you want to slide around a little bit.
On the flip side, since the Alfa Romeo does watch out for you, that does just leave you to the job of driving. The Stelvio starts at $41,995 MSRP for the base model, rising to $46,495 for a Ti Sport. All four trim levels currently available via Alfa Romeo’s website – the base Stelvio, Sport, Ti and Ti Sport – have all-wheel drive and the same 2.0-liter turbo engine. The company did just announce pricing for its most powerful Quadrifoglio version, which starts at $81,590.
Europeans on Ice: Porsche Macan GTS
The Porsche Macan is a different animal to the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, for two main reasons. Yes, it is still a crossover with some light off-road prowess, same as the Stelvio. However, the Macan GTS has a more powerful engine: a 3.0-liter, twin-turbo V-6, to be precise. That engine puts out 360 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque through a seven-speed PDK transmission. Unlike the Stelvio, you can defeat the traction control.
In addition to its driver assistance systems, the Macan also utilized Porsche Traction Management (PTM). This all-wheel drive system comprises an electronically controlled multiplate clutch that can send up to 100% of the torque to either axle. As with the Stelvio, the Porsche does constantly monitor driving conditions to send the power where its needed most.
While the Alfa Romeo starts just north of $40,000, the Macan is much more expensive. The GTS model, specifically, starts at $68,900 MSRP. However, the less expensive base Macan does start at $47,800, albeit without the twin-turbo V-6. There are four trim levels available – the base Macan, the Macan S, the GTS, and the Turbo.