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Hopefully You Won't Have To Be Turning Down Stainless Steel Rods To Make Parts For This Alfa!

You Shouldn't Have To Be Machining Stainless Steel Rods To Manufacture Components for This Alfa! You Shouldn't Have To Be Machining Stainless Steel Rods To Manufacture Components For This Alfa!

The Alfa Romeo 4C could potentially be one of the most important cars of recent times. It marks a long awaited new beginning for the legendary petrol head’s brand. The 4C is a return Alfa’s of old.  For the last 20 years Alfa have been putting a beautiful skin on substandard Fiat platforms. Now we can finally see what a modern Alfa Romeo is meant to be…


The modern Alfa is a mid-engine rear wheel drive sports car. Alfa carry on their tradition of of improving mainstream parts and encasing them in an elegant and beautiful design the 4 cylinder 2.0 litre turbocharged engine from the  Giulietta, recast in aluminium and put behind your head in the 4C. The turbos make this an extraordinarily torquey car giving 252 ft/lbs. Outputting 240BHP and with a dry weight of just 895kg gives it a larger power to weight ratio of it’s closest rival, the Porsche Cayman.


The 4C is a tricky proposition for the Cayman. Alfa have played to their strengths by producing a car that provides a completely different experience to that of the Cayman. Whilst the Cayman is cool, calculating and all about 0s and 1s, the 4C is a stripped out, raw beast, whose sole purpose in life is to tug on your heartstrings and to inject a dose of adrenaline into your life every time you get inside her. Inside the Alfa is nowhere near as refined as the Cayman, but that all adds to the experience.


Alfa have been so devoted to creating the lightweight, stripped out, almost supercar experience, that they have taken some of the most cutting edge technology straight from the supercar manufacturers and applied it to the 4C. It has the same type of carbon fiber monocoque that is in the likes of the McLaren MP4-12C. £200,000 super car technology for a £45,000 price tag.


Going up against the Cayman, the 4C loses where you would expect her to. Although this sexy Italian has a double clutch gear box which shifts up in 130 milliseconds, it is no match for Porsche’s PDK gearbox, the unadulterated king of double clutches. And then it comes to the engine…waiting for the turbos to spool up creates some old school turbo lag which just can’t compare to the throttle response of the Caymans naturally aspirated 6 cylinder boxer engine.


But is throttle response and gear changes what this car is really all about? In fact, I think what this car really needs is a manual gearbox. The 4C is all about the experience it gives you. Surely a manual gear change would add to the rawness and focus on driving experience.


A large chunk of that experience is created from the moment you first lay your eyes on the car. The beautiful design, pays homage to it’s older brother the 8C and the rawness is telegraphed instantly by the controversially exposed carbon fiber headlights. Racing through the rev range, the car sounds like a 1950s Formula 1 car and the ignition cutting on gear shifts sounds feels like you’re in a rally car.


The performance stats of the Alfa completely dismiss the notion that Alfa can not step and trade blows with the likes of Porsche in this arena. Top speed of 169MPS and 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, which incidentally is quicker than the 500BHP 5.0 supercharged V8 of the Jaguar XKR.


The release of the 4C has seen Alfa do exactly what everyone has wanted them to do for the last 20 years. Create cars like they used to, that not only look stunning but are exciting to drive as well. With the brutal performance, raw, stripped out inside, beautiful outside and soundtrack to match, the 4C conjures and potent adrenaline boosting experience that is surely impossible to match for the price tag of £45,000.  You won’t get round the track as quick as your mate in the Cayman, but that’s never been why you buy an Alfa is it?