The Alfa Romeo 4C was one of the most hotly anticipated cars of 2013. It promised to merge killer looks with sublime handling, considerable straight-line pace, and economy to match. So, now that it’s on the road, what’s it like?
The first thing you notice about the 4C is just how beautiful it is in the flesh. Press photography and online video can only say so much, and you have to see it for yourself to understand how gorgeous this machine is. The fat rear end, trademark Alfa V-shaped grill, thick tyres, and sweeping lines give the 4C a seriously sporty presence. The LED headlights are also rather unique, poking out of the fascia. Sat on optional 18-inch front and 19-inch rear alloys, the 4C looks incredible, but it still looks great on the standard 17-inch front and 18-inch set up.
Slip inside, and the stunning bucket seats hold you in place well. The interior is extremely well thought out and everything – even the glove box and foot well plastics – are of a high quality. The doors are small on the 4C and you feel as though you’re stepping into a supercar. The steering adjusts for reach and height and you sit incredibly low, which adds to the occasion.
Start the car up, and you’re met with a rather sweet burble. It’s no V6, but the 1.7-litre turbocharged petrol engine complete with sports exhaust works well.
Mash your foot to the floor and the real fun begins, we recently tested this car for ourselves and we loved the outright pace if it.
Weighing just 925kg without driver, the 4C is a seriously light car. Because it kicks out 240 bhp and 258 lb /ft of torque, that gives it a power-to-weight ratio of 259 bhp per litre which is more than the majority of supercars. The result is epic. The car sprints from 0 – 62 mph in just 4.5 seconds and the in-gear response is really rather excellent. 2nd, 3rd, 4th – whatever gear you’re in, this car picks up.
Power is sent through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox with paddle shifters. It’s a shame that the 4C isn’t available with a manual gearbox, because this is an option I’m sure many keen drivers would like to tick. As it stands, though, the six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox works well and it responds to driver inputs in the nick of time, which is to say it’s not super sharp but it’s sharp enough.
In the corners the 4C comes alive. It benefits from a 50/50 weight distribution and the awesome all-disc Brembo brakes are super sharp, giving a lot of confidence as the speed builds. This is a serious weapon for quick driving, and I’m sure if you buy one, you’ll love eating up other cars on country lanes.
Yet, despite this, the 4C is nice to drive sensibly. It’s comfortable, refined, and the engine has lots of torque even in top gear at 30 mph. The tiny 110-litre boot will ensure the 4C isn’t your regular runabout, but for what the 4C aims to be, it’s incredible.
There’s simply no better way to spend £52,000.