This car is not for everyone. It is not for those who want to drive a ubiquitous people mover from point A to point B. It is not for those who want to be in a cocoon separated from the road and without feel for the spirit of enjoyment on the road. But if you want a car that inspires, that will keep a smile on your face, that allows you to understand the relationship between road and machine in the most intimate and spirited detail, then the Alfa Romeo 4C is the only car south of $300k that will punch your ticket.
The 4C is beautiful and masterful inside and out. The cockpit is made entirely of carbon fiber. The panels are made of high strength and lightweight sheet moulding compound. The engine is a highly tuned turbocharged 4 cylinder mid-mounted masterpiece, that delivers a cacophony of sounds that will let the driver know exactly how much fun it is having. The gearbox is a choice of paddle shifters or automatic, with a driver-selected all weather, normal, dynamic, or race mode.
The cockpit is made for the driver. The controls are tilted to the left; the steering wheel is not a joystick with volume controls, bluetooth buttons, navigation, or cruise control. It is made to steer and to allow you to easily shift gears. The seats are firm, comfortable, and supportive. If you want a bunch of buttons to move it up and down, inflate a back bolster, or cradle you with cushions, circulating air, and heat, look elsewhere. If you want simple and comfortable functionality, then this seat is perfect.
When on a drive, please plan extra time for taking the long way home, to the office, to the gas station, or anywhere else. You'll want to take that extra turn to stay behind the wheel. And when you park it or stop to get gas or groceries, get ready for folks you don't know to spill out and engage you in conversation as they daydream about driving your car. Yes, it is that amazing.
Update after 9 months of ownership:
The 4C still puts a smile on my face every time I start it up. I've taken some day-long trips and the supercar has performed flawlessly. So far, there have been no technical or mechanical issues with the vehicle. The 4C is a rare vehicle and will certainly continue to turn heads for years to come, both for its sheer beauty and design, but also because it will prove to be a timeless sportscar.
By the way, the 4C won't be around for ever. If you want to experience a true supercar at a BMW coupe price, now's the time.
It's been said before -- this car is not for everyone. But, if you love driving a light, tight, awesome looking, sensory overkill fast sports car, this is your vehicle.
The 4c is unlike anything else on the road today -- and thank heavens for it. Now, if you want comfort, quiet, listening to your tunes while drinking a latte, and wanting to be unseen when puttering around town, then this is not your car. Enjoy your Lexus.
Pros: Just a blast to drive. Its "honest" which in itself is unique today. Nothing is covered up or added simply to fool anyone. It's the real deal, not fake. It's exciting, refreshing and unlike any other car made today. It's obviously hand built and fit and finish is better than most exotics. The beautiful carbon fibre interior will make your eyes water every time you look inside. The noise from the turbo charger waste gates will make you laugh out loud. It sounds a like 80's rally cars and seems to go like one as well. Performance is more than fine for city streets. You can floor it and run it through the gears without being tossed in jail. The F1 style gearbox works remarkably well -- better than a Ferrari F430.
What's also surprised me is how reliable it has been. In a year of ownership, not one thing has gone wrong. To say I was expecting something different is an understatement.
And the car is just beautiful, along with being completely unique. If you want people to look at you, buy this car. Between the noise and the looks you'll be a rock star on the boulevard. Service is also very reasonable. Yearly service on the car is only $240. Try that in a Ferrari or Lamborghini.
Cons: Ok, it's noisy, And the wide body and doors do make it difficult to park in a normal parking space. And it's a pain to get in and out of. And it's a bit difficult to see out the back of. And the trunk is ridiculously small. And the trunk latch is in a silly place. And the seats are tight. And the seats don't move a lot. And the seat belt warning buzzer is annoying. And it has no GPS. And the seat belts rub against your neck. And there's no glove box. And there's these silly wires coming out from under the dash to charge your phone. And the cup holders don't hold larger drinks. And it has some turbo lag. And if you want to put things in the trunk, you have to put them on the ground first because you need both hands to open and latch the rear lid. And it has no power steering so parking can require some actual muscle use. And if you're over 6 foot 3 you're going to say it's too small. And if you're too wide the seats are going to be uncomfortable. And it doesn't come with a manual gearbox. And there's no climate control. And the Parrot radio is a complete joke.
So if the Cons have turned you off by now, then you know this car is not for you. But if you love the idea of driving an 80's exotic with all of it's drama, feel, personality and looks BUT with AC and brakes that actually work in a car that doesn't fall apart before your eyes and is reasonably affordable to own, then this car is for you.
I personally love it. You can thrash it unlike you can other more expensive sports cars and it only costs about the same as the 10,000 Corvette C7's you see everyday.
Thank heavens for Alfa Romeo. Someone was nutty enough to make a car a real drivers car today that doesn't seem like every other car you drive. I don't think we will ever see anything like it again that us normal folk can afford. Its a modern classic with a classic personality. Now, how cool is that?
If you love to drive - this is your car. It is fast, corners well, creates conversations and makes you smile! I have never enjoyed driving so much. Until I owned this car I was never a "car guy". Now I am. Best decision I ever made. This is a true sports car, not a GTO, not a family car. It is uncompromising and unapologetic. The best comment I ever heard that perfectly describes the 4C was by a mom who asked if her son could go over and look at my "Hot Wheels" car. That captures the essence of the 4C. It will bring out the kid inside of you!
I have owned 11 Alfas in my life. This is the best one ever. Mid engine, 4 seconds 0-60, maximum 160 MPH, and 43 MPG. A PURE Sports Car. If you have never owned one, you don't know what you are missing. Not for everyone, for sure, but those of you who have ever driven and Alfa or owned one will love this car.