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Like TRD from Toyota or SRT from Chevrolet, Alfa Romeo also offers special Quadrifoglio-branded models for high performance. The models in the lineup include the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio and Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, with the latter described as the brand’s most powerful sports sedan ever. So, what does Quadrifoglio mean in English?

The history of the Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio sub-brand

The Alfa Romeo brand started as Alfa in 1910 but changed to Alfa Romeo in 1918. Although it had a decent reputation for the performance and quality of its vehicles, it wasn’t until 1923 that the brand won its first race.

Spurred on by superstition, the Quadrifoglio logo first appeared at the 14th Targa Florio when Ugo Sivocci, one of Alfa Romeo’s race car drivers, decided to paint a four-leaf clover on his car for luck.

According to Stellantis, Ugo Sivocci won the race, with another Alfa Romeo race car coming in second. This victory would distinguish the company among other automakers for decades to come, with the four-leaf clover continuing to appear in the brand’s race cars.

Sivocci also believed that this badge led to his first-place finish.

The clover was also present on the Alfa Romeo P2 that won the 1925 Motor Racing World Championship and on the Alfa Romeo 158 and 159. The 158 won the 1950 British Grand Prix, while the 159 would triumph in its Formula 1 race the following year.

In the 1960s, the emblem was introduced to high-performing production models, like the Alfa Romeo Giulia Spring GT Veloce and the Alfa Romeo 1750 GT Veloce. Later, Alfa Romeo would officially introduce the name “Quadrifoglio” to some of its models and has continued to do so ever since.

Currently, the flagbearers of the sub-brand are the Stelvio and Giulia models.

What Quadrifoglio means

The Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio badge on a Giulia sedan model
The Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio badge | FCA

As implied by the logo, Quadrifoglio means a four-leaf clover. The clover is enclosed in a triangle in the production models. However, you can also see it as a stand-alone logo on the brand’s Formula 1 race cars.

Naturally, the production models in this sub-brand also come with the official Alfa Romeo logo that includes the Visconti Serpent and the municipality cross enclosed in a circle.

The current Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio lineup

As for the current Quadrifoglio lineup, it includes the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio and Giulia Quadrifoglio. The Giulia is a performance sedan, and in addition to the sleek exterior typical of Alfa Romeo models, it’s fitted with a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 under the hood.

This engine produces 505 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque and is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. With that, the rear-wheel-drive sedan gets from 0 to 60 mph in a brisk 3.8 seconds and has a 191 mph top speed. However, as you’d expect, it’s not very economical, with fuel averaging 25 mpg on highways and 17 mpg in cities for a combined 20 mpg.

Inside the cabin is a customizable 8.8-inch infotainment screen with other features like heated driver and passenger seats, power recline, etc. There are also safety features like predictive brake assist, electronic stability control, blind-spot warning, forward collision mitigation, etc.

As for the Stelvio Quadrifoglio SUV, it’s fitted with the same 2.9-liter V6 with identical power and torque output and a similar eight-speed automatic transmission. However, according to Alfa Romeo, it’s quicker off the line getting to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, while the top speed is a slightly less impressive 176 mph.

It also comes with a rear-wheel-drive biased AWD system and only activates AWD when there’s a loss of traction. Still, given that it’s a bigger, heavier vehicle, fuel economy is slightly worse than the Giulia’s at a combined 19 mpg.

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