We’ve had a chance to put the Alfa Romeo 4C through its paces. Our video review reveals a car that’s as beautiful as it is bonkers.
The Alfa Romeo 4C is one of relatively few cars that we’d willingly empty our bank accounts for. We’d part with cash, plus precious body parts or even the organs of loved ones.
Why the lust? Well it’s stunning to look at, for a start, but not in a typical by-the-numbers sort of way. When most companies design sports cars, they do it by the book: with a long bonnet, huge gaping front grille and an almost exaggerated silhouette, but the 4C has none of that. Alfa’s torn up the book of sports car design and in doing so created something even more beautiful.
It’s not just a pretty face – there’s lots going on below the surface, mainly fastidious weight reduction. The 4C is made mostly of carbon fibre and weighs just 925kg – less than a Ford Fiesta and just a couple of hundred kilos more than a Formula 1 car. And the upshot of that is outstanding performance, despite a relatively tiny 4-cylinder 1.75-litre engine.
With Launch Control it’ll hit 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds and carry on until it hits 165mph. It does start to run out of grunt as it nears triple digits, but by that time you’ll most likely be experimenting with the excellent brakes.
A car like the 4C might lend itself very well to a manual transmission, particularly where weight reduction is concerned, but Alfa has instead chosen to fit it with an auto-shifting dual-clutch system with manual paddle selectors. And for the most part, these work well; it changes up rapidly and generally drops down into whatever gear you’re asking for, as long as you’re reasonably sensible.
It’s agile, too, allowing rapid changes of direction, but it’s certainly not for the faint hearted. The lack of power steering helps ensure a decent amount of feedback through the wheel, possibly too much feedback, as the car constantly fights against changes in the makeup of the road surface.
It takes a brave person to push this car to its limits, but that’s part of its charm. Watch our 4C video review for yourself and let us know what you think in the comments below.