Alfa Romeo 4C Review The Alfa Romeo 4C caused a sensation when it was revealed in concept car guise at the Geneva show in 2011.
The production version followed soon after, with exactly the same catwalk looks, while power came from a 237bhp version of the 1.75 litre four cylinder turbo petrol engine found in the Giulietta Cloverleaf, mated to a six speed TCT twin clutch gearbox. In addition, Alfa introduced the 4C Spider in 2015 for added wind in the hair thrills.While the 4C's looks caused a sensation and marked a revival of the brand as a thoroughbred sports car manufacturer, the reality is that this Alfa doesn't deliver the kind of driver involvement and engagement that a pure bred Italian sports car should serve. There's a lack of powertrain and chassis refinement, and the car's performance is hampered by the slow witted gearbox and laggy turbo power delivery, which the edgy chassis set up struggles to cope with. That means the 4C is less fun to drive than similarly priced rivals such as thePorsche Caymanand Boxster, and Lotus Elise, while the car's edgy nature means it never feels settled, whether you're popping to the shops or cruising on the motorway.Alfa Romeo 4C v Porsche Cayman: video track battleAlfa Romeo's mainstream line up is restricted to the ageingMiToandGiuliettahatchbacks until the Giulia saloon arrives, but the 4C is something for fans of the brand to get excited about. It's a scaled down supercar and features a mid mounted 237bhp 1.75 litre turbocharged four cylinder engine and a twin clutch automatic gearbox. But as the coupe weighs less than 900kg, thanks to a carbon fibre monocoque chassis, the engine delivers explosive performance. 24hp that competed in the 1911 Targa Florio race. With decades of Grand Prix, F1, Touring Car races and rallies under its belt since then, the firm seemed to lose is mojo in recent years. Enthusiasts pined for the excitement and glamour of cars like the 1966 Alfa Spider sports car a car so loved, that amazingly it survived in production right through until the early 1990s. The 4C is part of the Fiat group's plan to bring that old Alfa magic back.The 4C coupe went into production in 2013, but first arrived in the UK in 2014 while the 4C Spider followed a year later. Both versions are built at the Maserati plant in Modena, Italy.Both models are built around a carbon fibre tub with front and rear subframes in aluminium designed to keep weight down, although the Spider weighs in at 940kg, 45kg moe than the coupe, thanks to extra chassis strengthening to cope with the removal of the roof. Both cars feature composite moulded body sections made from glass fibre reinforced plastic for low weight, strength and cost efficient production.Rivals to the Alfa 4C include the Porsche oakley x metal juliet Cayman and Boxster, the Audi TTS and Lotus Elise.From the moment you clamber across the thick sill and slide into the driving seat, you're aware that the 4C is designed as a proper drivers' car. You sit low and forward in the chassis, the pedals are perfectly placed and there's a wide range of steering wheeladjustment. Theracing car style monocoque chassis weighs just 65kg, and the coupe tips the scales at only 895kg without fuel and passengers on board. The Spider is marginally heavier at 940kg, but that's hardly bloated.For 3,000 you can buy a Racing Pack, which adds sports suspension (including revised damping and springs, plus thicker anti roll bars), as well as a fruity sounding sports exhaust and 18 inch front and 19 inch rear wheels. However, we'd stick with the standard chassis and smaller wheels, which make the driving experience a touch more civilised.However you spec the car, the end result is a hard and raw driving experience. At idle, the exhaust sounds very purposeful, like a sixties racing Alfa, but on the move, there's so much engine and road noise that long journeys are punishing you can forget the radio, although Alfa does fit the 4C with a pretty puny Alpine aftermarket stereo. The unrelentingly firm ride quality becomes quite tiring, too.The 4C's unassisted steering is also a mixed bag. While it's heavy at parking speeds, the weighting is fine on the move, and the rack is fast enough for rapid and accurate turn in. But it doesn't deliver the undiluted feel you'd expect. In fact, there's little sense of what the front end is doing. What you do get is plenty of unpleasant kickback as the wheel fights and wriggles in your hands. On bumpy and cambered roads the overactive steering and stiff suspension make the Alfa dart around, keeping you on the alert to maintain a forward heading as the car constanly bucks and dives for the edge of the road.The 4C is a proper sports car there's no body roll, plenty of grip, serious performance and lots of character. That's extremely rapid off the line and can be fully exploited using the car's launch control function. The Alfa also has 350Nm at 2,200rpm so in gear pace is plentiful as well.However, the engine's oakley shades for men power delivery is quite spiky with plenty of turbo lag. Press the accelerator, and you have to wait a few moments for the turbo to spool up and send a sudden surge of power to the rear wheels. Combine this with the twitchy steering, and again it makes the 4C tricky to drive smoothly.At least traction is good, and while the TCT oakley titanium sunglasses dual clutch gearbox needs delibrate prods from the steering wheel mounted paddles, there's a delicious rasp from the exhaust on every upshift. oakley sunglasses online store The brakes have a firm pedal, but are more than up to the task, although there's little feel and the ABS cuts in too eagerly.With a price tag of 51,500 the 4C coupe is around 2,000 more than a Cayman S, while the 4C Spider carries an 8,000 premium over the coupe. That's a pretty big step when you consider the Porsche 718 Boxster S is only about 1,000 more than a Cayman S. It also means the Alfa 4C is pricier than a lot of accomplished rivals, such as the Lotus Elise, the aforementioned Porsches and models such as the Jaguar F Type V6 and the entire Caterham Seven range.Emissions of 157g/km are superb for a 160mph sports car, and make theAlfaa cost effective choice for company car drivers. It's the result of low overall weight and a small four cylinder engine, and it means that a higher band earner will pay just 4,119 a year in company car tax 644 less than for a manual Porsche Cayman.Road tax will be a very reasonable 175. Alfa hasn't confirmed servicing costs, but while only eleven specialist retailers will be able to sell you a 4C, all 46 UK dealers are able to service it.Accident repairs could be a different story, as the carbon tub and aluminium space frames will be potentially very expensive to fix after a major incident.As far as day to day running costs are concerned, the official claim for the 4C's combined cycle fuel efficiency is 41.5mpg, with economy of up to 56.5mpg on a run out of town. You'd be hard pressed to drive the red blooded Alfa with a light foot though, so matching those figures in the real world seems highly unlikely. Still, ignoring test track driving, we averaged a fairly decent 30.8mpg fuel economy, so your petrol bills shouldn't be too high.Our experts predict a used price after three years/30,000 miles of just under 50 per cent. A Porsche Cayman is likely to be stronger still though, retaining a little more than half its value over the same period and mileage.Alfa Romeo'sback catalogue is full of pretty cars, and the 4C has the instant desirability to rival the best of them.
Composite bodywork is wrapped tightly around a carbon fibre chassis, and the proportions are straight from the supercar textbook. Yet at less than four metres long, the 4C is smaller than you'd expect, and its low and compact shape is more Lotus Elise than Ferrari 488. The taut rear end takes its inspiration from the late sixties 33 Stradale, while the angular nose recalls the recent 8C supercar.
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