Featured: Is the 4C Worthy of the Alfa Romeo Badge?

Is the 4C Worthy of the Alfa Romeo Badge?

Afshin Behnia By Afshin Behnia
February 20, 2015
50 comments

Photography by Serge Albarian

In what is arguably the greatest performance of his career, Tom Hanks played Walter Fielding Jr. in The Money Pit (1986). The film opens with Walter and his his wife, Anna (Shelley Long), purchasing a mansion in upstate New York for a price that is too good to be true. As they hire numerous contractors to renovate the decrepit mansion, the running gag line that develops is “two weeks”–the response to the question “when will it be done?”. Anyone who has ever hired a contractor to do even the simplest job will get this joke.

For the last fifteen years, I have found myself empathizing with Walter and Anna, not because I am trying to salvage a tumbledown estate, but because I’m an Alfista. You see, since about 2000, Fiat has been promising that Alfa Romeo would soon be back in the United States. When? Two years.

Alfa Romeo finally came back in 2008–sort of–with the very sexy, yet very limited, 8C Competizione but failed to follow it up with a more affordable model to be built in large quantities. That is, until now. But was the wait worth it?

One could answer that question by evaluating the new Alfa Romeo 4C’s merits and price-performance as a sports car. But that would be useless to an Alfista like me. I simply want to know one thing: does it feel like an Alfa Romeo?

To understand what this question even means, let’s back up for a second. During Alfa Romeo’s storied 105-year history, the company teetered on the brink of bankruptcy on multiple occasions and consequently changed ownership several times. The last time it changed hands was in 1986 when Fiat, using a heap of Italian taxpayers’ money, purchased Alfa Romeo. For many of us Alfisti, this was the beginning of the end. A badge-engineering mentality quickly started to direct the development of new Alfa Romeo models; designs started to become compromised and watered down; the cheaper front-wheel-drive configuration replaced rear-wheel-drive; and soon the sporty, magical, and even sensual Alfa Romeo essence was gone. Sure, they continued to have a few design hits such as the Brera or the gorgeous 159, but underneath the beautiful skin there was little to differentiate the modern Alfas from other front-wheel-drive boxes with wheels. Gone was the magic of the Alfas from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s that rewarded your senses, connected you with the road, and simply made you feel alive. With apologies to my European Alfisti friends, then, we really didn’t miss much here in the US when Fiat pulled Alfa Romeo out of our market in 1995.

Now, back to the 4C.

Lucky for me, my good friend Brandon recently took delivery of his 4C Launch Edition and agreed to let me drive it so that I could judge first-hand its Alfa Romeo-ness. This test drive, however, did not come without a price: in exchange, Brandon demanded that he be allowed to drive my 8C. And so it was that we found ourselves swapping keys in Malibu one recent Sunday morning.

When first approaching the 4C, there are two things that should command the respect of any sports car aficionado. The first is its design: let’s just say that I needed some time to get used to it, but having spent some time with it I can now unequivocally say that I do love its looks. Whether you find it beautiful or not, however, you have to agree that Alfa Romeo did a great job of breaking the mold and not creating another generic lozenge. The body is provocative: when you see it, you cannot look away. A glance at it might make you excited, or anxious, or aroused. One thing is for sure, though, you will feel something, and that is a rare accomplishment for a modern car under $250,000.

By today’s standards, the 4c is extraordinarily lightweight, owing to Alfa Romeo’s extensive use of carbon fiber and composites. The entire central tub of the chassis is made of carbon fiber–thereby not only reducing weight but also improving chassis rigidity–and all body panels are sheet molded compound. To find such extensive use of carbon anywhere else, you would have to move into supercar territory, though the mass-produced BMW i3 does come close. For this, Alfa Romeo deserves a lot of respect: the courage required to invest in so much carbon for a car that costs a mere $70,000 should not be taken for granted. It is this commitment to the driver that is so sorely lacking from other modern sports car manufacturers.

Jumping out of the 8C and into the 4C, I was surprised at how incredibly low the 4C is. You’ll need strong core muscles to get in and out. It’s also rather small on the inside. The black leather bucket seats with beautiful red stitching were a bit too narrow for even my average-sized body, and I felt like I was sitting on top of the side bolsters. Turning on the car is not as eventful as turning on the 8C, but it does have a satisfying, anxious-sounding exhaust note. As I started to drive out of the parking lot, the lightness of the car becomes immediately apparent. Even without power steering and at low speeds navigating the parking lot was effortless.

We headed up Malibu Canyon Road with Brandon following me in my 8C. Our plan was to take this road to Mulholland and then to Stunt Road as the ultimate proving ground. Stunt Road is a freshly paved canyon road heading uphill from Mulholland with a plethora of twisties, one after the other. The nice mix of hairpin turns and sweepers would make for the perfect proving ground, testing the 4C on its own intended purposes. Alas, once we arrived on Stunt Road, we encountered thick fog and were forced to slow down to what felt like a crawl. The fog continued to the peak of the hill and, disappointed, we made our way down the back side of the mountain. Back on the Pacific Coast Highway, the fog had disappeared and we headed back to Sunset Boulevard in hopes of getting some good driving done there on our way back into the city.

Sure enough, with almost no traffic this early, Brandon and I started to have a bit of fun on Sunset. Driving at, shall we say, a very spirited clip on this twisty street, the 4C feels planted and sure-footed, with excellent turn-in and steering that communicates the road very well. The stiff chassis only became an issue when I encountered potholes and other street blemishes that make Los Angeles feel like a third-world city. But overall, the 4C is composed and controllable even on these surfaces.

As much as I would prefer a manual transmission in this Alfa, I have to admit that the dual-clutch semi-automatic is very smooth and precise both at low speeds as well as when pushing it hard. Oddly, you cannot put the car in neutral by pulling on both paddles simultaneously which is the standard protocol on most other semi-automatic transmissions. The two small plastic paddle shifters themselves feel cheap, and there’s no comfortable way to grip the steering wheel without having your fingers on the paddles at all times, which isn’t a bad thing during aggressive driving, but it can become tiresome when cruising.

We were halfway back towards Beverly Hills and still enjoying the curves of Sunset when we came upon a new Porsche 991 Carrera S. I became envious of the Porsche driver for one reason only: I wish I had been in his seat so that I could have witnessed the glorious sight of the 4C and 8C quickly appearing in the rearview mirror. The Porsche driver clearly woke up and decided to have a some fun with us, and as there was pretty much no one else on the road we decided the same. After a few turns of menacing the 991, I think he decided that we were a little crazier than he was and he disengaged. Either that or the sounds of the 4C and 8C exhausts intermingling was threatening enough.

The exhaust note of the turbo-charged 4C sounds refreshingly honest. It doesn’t sound fake as a result of over-tuning in an effort to create an artificially mean note, as is the case with Infiniti G-series cars or the Fiat Abarth. The 4C sounds just mean enough, and you’ll be motivated to push the car just to hear the exhaust. The 1750cc turbo engine revs very freely and I hit the rev-limiter on a couple of occasions, surprised by how fast it got up there (sorry, Brandon!).

Most importantly though, is the amount of power that is squeezed out of this small engine. Combined with the light weight, the 240 horses make this a very fast car. The power, sadly, does come at a price: excessive turbo lag. Having driven a MINI Cooper John Cooper Works for three years, I was no stranger to a tiny turbocharged engine putting out lots of power. Whereas the MINI did have noticeable turbo lag, it was minimal and did not detract much from the driving experience. In the 4C, on the other hand, depending on when you open up the throttle, the lag can be annoying at best and, at worst can catch you off-guard and unprepared. If the 4C disappointed me in any area, this was it.

The Verdict

So does the 4C live up to the Alfa Romeo name? You can’t use science to describe a feeling or an experience, let me take am moment here to identify the constituent elements of the Alfa Romeo essence:

Beauty: It must be gorgeous. Period.

Engine: The glorious twin-cams of the 1950s through 1980s say it all, combining power from a modest mill and an unmistakably mean sound.

Designed for the Driver: More than anything, an Alfa is designed to be driven, rewarding the driver with a zen-like experience.

Usable: Though BMW eventually perfected it, Alfa Romeo invented the sport sedan. A good Alfa should be sporty and usable as a daily driver or grand tourer.

Distinctly Italian: An Alfa made in Poland, Detroit, or Mexico is just not an Alfa. Thankfully, the 4C comes from Modena.

Attainable: Though priced at a slight premium, Alfas are within reach of many enthusiasts.

The 4C certainly has its flaws. Though the quality and fit-and-finish of the interior is mostly excellent, the climate control knobs and various other switches feel cheap. Instead of an elegant and classic, double-binnacle dash housing analog speedometer and tachometer, there is a PlayStation-like digital dash. There are only two pedals. The trunk, like the aforementioned seats, is tiny and prevents you from taking the 4C on any trip longer than two days. Oh, and did I mention the turbo lag?

But what true Alfa isn’t perfectly imperfect? Despite its flaws, driving the 4C is an exhilarating and rewarding experience, simply begging you to get it on the nearest track. The car is refreshingly different from the masses, including the luxury sports cars from Germany. The 4C checks off almost all of my super-scientific criteria of Alfa Romeo-ness, falling short only in the Engine and Usability categories.

It would have been easy for Marchionne to bring Alfa Romeo back to the US with the current Mito or Giulietta, but he clearly understands American Alfisti, and he wisely held back the return until the company built an Alfa Romeo from the ground up that would get us excited to have Alfa back. The 4C marks the true resurrection of the Alfa Romeo spirit, and if it’s an indication of things to come, then we should all be very excited indeed.

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MOLKHOU
MOLKHOU

The real challenger is the new french Alpine A 110 . Better engine . Trust me. I drived both.
And in the history of Alfa don’t forget ….the Montreal with no descent until the 8c

Name
Name

It might be a worthy Alfa, but I’m not an alfista so I’d rather judge the car apart from the badge. So for half the price I’d go for very similarily weighed, less powerful but naturaly aspirated and still very much fun to drive Miata ND.
If I wanted to blow bigger bucks on a lightweight sporty car, I’d go to the source and buy myself a nice Lotus.

Michel Aniel
Michel Aniel

Hi Afshin – Reading your story about the 4C and 8C cruising through Malibu Canyon and good old Sunset Blvd. makes me envious for the days that I grew up, cruising your turf (aka California Nurburgring: Laurel Canyon>Mulholland>Sunset>PCH>Malibu Canyon = 1 lap). After all of these years, I still own my original ’69 Alfa 1750 GTV and use to cruise every weekend through the PCH/West LA territory, taking on early 70’s 911’s and BMW 2002Tii’s. Even came across Steve McQueen a few times cruising in his Mini and Jag on Sunset. I look forward to moving back in the Pacific… Read more »

Michel Aniel
Michel Aniel

Afshin, Would like to talk to you…if possible re: our Alfas (714)-290-3592 Thanks

Trackdust
Trackdust

The 8C is a rebadged Maserati, the 159 and Brera are GM cars. You didn’t mention the real Alfa’s made in the past years; like the gorgeous 156, the GT and 155. No FIAT or GM parts will be found in these classic Alfa’s. You sure have missed some glorious Alfa’s in the States the last decades!

Enrico
Enrico

What? These car had been built around an old Fiat chassis with only minor tweaks on the suspension scheme, which indeed contributed to a pleasant drving, but other than that, no way to consider these car aes real Alfa Romeos.

Eduardo Aenlle
Eduardo Aenlle

Afshin, you mentioned the “turbo lag” while driving the 4C but didn’t really explain what the driving circumstances or mode you were driving in. Having owned the 4C since December 2015 and having driven the car for about 2700 miles, I would say that yes can drive this car in a manner that gives it a very sloppy feel by driving in the Natural mode. I drive in the Dynamic mode which places the car and engine in a heightened, ready to respond mode. If I switch to Dynamic mode from Natural mode while driving, there is a noticeable increased… Read more »

Afshin Behnia
Afshin Behnia

Eduardo, very good points. In truth, I don’t remember 100\% if I had it in Dynamic mode or not, but I believe I did. It’s true that if you’re driving it constantly aggressively and keeping the revs up, the turbo lag is minimized. But even though we were driving in a pretty spirited manner, there were many times that stomping on the accelerator felt like I had just fired off a rocket with a bungee cord attached to the 4C – nothing happens for a while, then the surge of acceleration hits you. To some degree, it does come down… Read more »

Coni Glio
Coni Glio

I find it incredible how after some decades of pumping out fwd cars that went further and further away from the core of Alfa’s being, they now in one stroke made a true Alfa out of thin air – and carbon.
Therefore I find it even more incredible people find reasons to b#tch about it.

It is only flawed if you do not grasp what an Alfa is.

Afshin Behnia
Afshin Behnia

Silly rabbit 🙂

Indeed, what would an Alfa be without flaws? Each of my dozen Alfas has its own set of flaws, and I love them for it. In fact, most interesting cars have some flaws that give them some character.

A couple of flaws with the 4C, however, detract from its enjoyment. The boot space is undeniably one of them. This cars is great to drive. You want to drive it on long trips. But that would be impossible because of the boot size.

Ae Neuman
Ae Neuman

it’s beautiful, charismatic, flawed
of course it’s an alfa !

Razvan H
Razvan H

As a fellow Alfista, I want to answer with a question: is there an Alfa which should not be worthy of the badge? Anything that rolled it`s way from Alfa Romeo`s factories(metaphorically) is worthy of it`s badge, no matter if it`s a rare TZ2 or the dreadfull Arna. I fully agree that there are succesfull models and less succesful( you can read terrible) ones. They all have a certain appeal, even reading/listening to an owner`s tales regarding his Alfa Romeo is different when compared to other brands. Maybe the OP`s question is wrongly put, instead of “is it worthy to… Read more »

Sam Moore
Sam Moore

You’re correct Razvan.

People seem to get too hung up on calling Fiat names, Fiat itself is a great car manufacturer with a great history. There is also the fact that if Fiat didn’t buy Alfa, Alfa would more than likely be a name in the motoring history books, rather than a company that is still in business and is making cars like the 4C

Sam

Emanuel Costa
Emanuel Costa

And you can probably translate that to Chrysler as well. Never would imagine Chrysler disappear, but the fact is, when the problems came, so did Fiat. And maybe the falling of Lancia, and the slow rebirth of Alfa and Maserati were also caused by the money that went to the US

Afshin Behnia
Afshin Behnia

Sam,

I think it’d be helpful to differentiate between Fiat under Agnelli vs. the current Fiat under Marchione. Whereas it seems like Agnelli was just trying to ride out his empire and not reinvest much into anything, Marchione has been making bold moves and reviving not just Fiat, but other brands that were on the brink of extinction. What he’s done with Maserati, for example, is phenomenal. And as I concluded in the article, the 4C is a positively reassuring sign of things to come for Alfa.

Nuno Relha Vaz
Nuno Relha Vaz

Well, but what is the price? When will Sergio stop? He destroyed Lancia, a brand with a glorious past…
What is the future for Ferrari under his command ? He is not Luca, he just wants money… Did you see the press with Sergio and Luca?
The future Alfa’s sedan is a Ghibli witch is a Chrysler 200…
I love the Alfa Romeo 4c but, Sergio Marchione is not the man for the job
just my opinion

Francois Bozonnet
Francois Bozonnet

we can compare the two period, and for Maserati, Marchione is not responsible of anything. the erbirth of Maserati has began withe the help of Ferrari and Luca di montezemolo. sure, marchione has made the 4C a real dream for all of us, but, it’s a small production. we all wait for the future of Alfa, with sedan Rwd, like the new Ghibli. After seeing this new car, i will be the first to say that Marchione is a good successor to Valleta. for the moment, i still wait.

Nuno Relha Vaz
Nuno Relha Vaz

one thing is the Maserati rebirth, another is Ghibli and Ghibli has the Marchione name written all over it.

Zinhead
Zinhead

See the link.

[url=”http://www.csmonitor.com/1986/0926/falfa-f.html”]Ford Bid for Alfa.[/url]

In 1986, Ford had made a strong bid to buy Alfa Romeo. Fiat pulled their connections with the Italian government to swing the bid their way and keep Ford out of Italy. If Fiat had not purchased Alfa, Ford would have, and Alfa would probably be better off.

Emanuel Costa
Emanuel Costa

aahahahhahahaha Like Mazda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin were better off…. I can’t stop laughing…. Just to think of the Jaguar ‘Mondeo’ X-Type…. ahahahahahahahahahahha

Francisco Yantorno
Francisco Yantorno

I totally agree with Razvan. Me and my dad are 100\% alfisti, and it all started with a humble 145 1.8 Twin Spark back in ’98, although he loved Alfa he just couldn’t afford before. After that we had: [b]146 1.8 Twin Spark (MY2000)[/b], [b]156 V6 24v KitSport[/b], [b]156 Giugiaro 2.0 JTS[/b], [b]GTV 916 3.0 24v[/b], [b]GTV 116 (1979) 2000cc SPICA[/b]… and currently a [b]146ti (2.0 TwinSpark)[/b] in immaculate condition, [b]Giulietta 1.4 Multiair[/b] and a [b]Spider 916 3.0 12v[/b]. And I can assure you ll of them worthy of the Alfa Romeo badge. It’s funny how now days it’s easy… Read more »

Francois Bozonnet
Francois Bozonnet

nice to read something about Alfa Romeo. does the 4C is a true Alfa? absolutely YES…even if it built in Modena at the Maserati factory. if we try to forget the era of bad fwd, and start with the last 75 the history, it’s a real alfa. a lightweigt sportcar in the 21th century must look like that. carbon fiber, small engine with turbochrge (and turbolag also!), dual clutch (with cheap pedal!), sport seat (for fit people!), the 4c got them all. thi is the first successfull car that Marchionne made. i hope it would not be the last. i… Read more »

Martin James
Martin James

Overnight I’ve been thinking a lot about this question . And first off let me please thank the author for expanding the scope of what Petrolicious covers back to the original format when I came to the site a couple of years ago But as to the Alfa Romeo question . And by that I mean any Alfa Romeo question .. not just this one The sad fact for all of us Alfasti … young and old .. is . Alfa Romeo … beyond a badge and some clever marketing is dead and gone and in fact has been since… Read more »

Nuno Relha Vaz
Nuno Relha Vaz

You may have a point to some extent, but if we agree 100\% with you… Maserati Ghibli is a Chrysler rubbish??
Is a Bentley an Audi? Because if we look to the bits and bobs, all the electronics comes straight from an A7/ A6
Is a Rolls-Royce a BMW? The one that lost all the magic?
Even Morgan uses parts from MINI and engines from BMW…
Are you totally correct or the globalization are taking the companys in this direction??

Josh V
Josh V

If you ask him he will say Bentley, Audi, Rolls-Royce, and BMW are poser trash. So just don’t ask him, his opinion means little.

Carlo Chiti
Carlo Chiti

The new Alfa Romeo 4C ‘Competizione’ is as close to a modern day 60’s GTA (Gran Turismo Alleggerita) as Alfa Romeo will ever reproduce. Modern Carbon Fiber vs. Aluminum of the 1960’s. Autodelta, SpA (Alfa Romeo’s in house race division was also experimenting with hand laid fiberglass as early as 1967. Ing. Carlo Chiti who headed Autodelta was way ahead of his time. You may remember that Mr. Chiti was the lead engineer for Ferrari and Phil Hill’s Sharknose F1 car responsible for the 1961 World Championship). The new 4C is exhilarating on the racetrack. It’s lightness reminds me of… Read more »

Martin James
Martin James

Sadly signor Chiti … methinks you know not of what you speak when it comes to Alfa Romeo . Your history is revisionist at best … your opinions all but word for word FIAT propaganda … your statements on styling showing a distinct lack of discernment … your comments on the engineering verging on laughable .

Suffice it to say …. Carlo Chiti …. you aint … in any way shape or form . And shame on you for using the moniker in this GearHeads opinion … in vain

Emanuel Costa
Emanuel Costa

He’s probably what we call a ‘political comissary’ over here. Someone who works fot the company or was brainwashed by the company.

Once a friend of mine drove a BMW X6 (!?!) over a wet track on your side of the Atlantic, in a press trip organized by BMW, and after that he said the car was a superb SUV… with magnificent traction and off-road capabilities…

Rose Gardener
Rose Gardener

It looked like an chubby teenager with all the fat in the wrong places, and yet all dressed up trying to look cool.

Frank Anigbo
Frank Anigbo

http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/ferrari/3308/ferrari-420-dino-pictures#2

A much more pleasing execution of the chunky design theme. No big air scoops, radical changes in line and different color mirrors that all serve to draw attention to just how ill-proportioned the whole car is. I really was hoping for a sublimely done car, what I got is a bull-dog puppy.

Nuno Relha Vaz
Nuno Relha Vaz

But now with Sergio in comand all of that is a far distant dream… Ferrari is out of the FIAT plans; Luca is gone…
Sergio just wants American dollars to any cost…

Frank Anigbo
Frank Anigbo

I can’t stop thinking about this so please excuse the additional comments. I think that if the 4C was designed by Zagato and had a double-bubble roof I’d be more likely to embrace it as belonging to the Alfa lineage, Zagato cars being the accepted black sheeps of the family. I also wonder if my reluctance is because I live in the US and thus have not really been exposed to all the Alfa models that came after they left us some 20 years ago. If I had, perhaps the familial resemblance to more recent models will make this not… Read more »

Thomas maine
Thomas maine

I saw a 4C once in Long Beach and an 8C couple of years ago in Italy. While the 4C zipped by and was gone in a few secs, the 8C was on display on a pedestal. I like both cars a lot. While reading the article I was thinking about a video clip featuring these 2 cars on the canyon roads around LA. Just a thought……….

Zinhead
Zinhead

As someone who has owned eight Alfas over the years, the 4C most certainly worthy of the badge. The only changes I would make would be to have a stick instead of automated manual, a Busso V-6, and some color choices other than the limited palate they currently offer. Dutch Blue would be very complimentary.

Martin James
Martin James

Is the 4C worthy of the Alfa Romeo moniker ? Gee … lets have a look ! Its a rebadged KTM X-Bow / Dallara albeit with a FIAT motor its ___ instead of the Audi I4 KTM has … which by the way has been an abject failure both in sales and on the track It’ll cost more than a C7 .. with about half the performance capabilities [ full discloser I despise the C7 ] It has all the day to day usability and practicality of the X-Bow its based on … which is to say … none Its… Read more »

Josh V
Josh V

Sounds like the definition of a race car for the street. Well, I guess more fun for the people how enjoy things in life, huh TJ?

Martin James
Martin James

In light of the KTM’s deplorable track manners … I’d say definitely NOT !

What it is is the Alfa Romeo for posers who know nothing about Alfa Romeo … as well as not knowing …

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A RACE CAR FOR THE STREET !

Which … if you’d ever driven a race car … or at least knew the preparations needed to create a race car … you’d know

Josh V
Josh V

You’re so pompous. There is no such this as a race car you can drive on the street because it is illegal (For the most part) But there are race cars that have been adapted to be used on the street (Alfa Romeo Stradale Tipo 33 for one). Im sick of you designating cars as “Poser” cars and crap. You are one of the most judgmental car people I will have the pleasure to never meet. Your destructive attitude is why many young people in my generation don’t bring their cars to shows.

Antony Ingram
Antony Ingram

Nice piece Afshin. I do think you’re being a little harsh on Alfa’s output over recent decades though. While they might not excite a dyed-in-the-wool Alfisti such as yourself on the bare numbers, many of them still have their high points and indeed a unique character. A 156 – certainly one of the best Alfas of the last few decades – feels quite unlike any of its contemporaries to drive. Perhaps not as competent as something like a 3-series outright, but more tuneful (even with the smallest, least powerful engines), sharper to respond and considerably more beautiful. The 145 Cloverleaf… Read more »

Afshin Behnia
Afshin Behnia

Hi Anthony, You’re right, I am being a bit harsh. And your point about other modern cars not living up to the magic of their predecessors is absolutely correct. I’m harsh on them because I don’t think they were allowed to be designed and built to their full potential for their markets. Yes, the modern models did have some great characteristics, but if Fiat had made the investments over the years, the 159, for example, could have been a RWD BMW competitor. Instead they took a more conservative route. They’re not bad cars by any means, it just upsets me… Read more »

JB21
JB21

I always loved Alfas, there’s something about Alfas that you just can’t resist. My head would warn me, “at your own peril!” and I’d still grab a key to an Alfa over anything, pretty much. And I still don’t know what Alfa-ness really is, but Spider had it, GTV had it, Sud had it, 75 had it, 164 had it, 155 had it, 159 had it 166 had it, too. I’ve never driven MiTo, and it looks rather odd, it would still be tempting…so, 4C, yes please!! But… I just cannot refer 4C as an affordable car. It’s pretty up… Read more »

Frank Anigbo
Frank Anigbo

I too am a core Alfista and have been waiting since the promises of a return began a long time ago. Then the 8C came and I couldn’t figure out why Clarkson called it the most beautiful car; in my opinion it’s a bit too tall and narrow with a few inches too short in overall length. But I’d buy one in a heartbeat if you lopped off a $100 grand from the current going rate — just because i adore the Alfa badge. Of the 4C, I’m left even less enthralled as it just looks too chunky and busy.… Read more »

Afshin Behnia
Afshin Behnia

Great points. The same could be said of the GTV’s starting with the Stepnose. Beautiful, yet restrained.

Frank Anigbo
Frank Anigbo

One thing I will say for the 4C is that it looks like the makings of a great track car. And for that I would buy it — second-hand.

Sam Moore
Sam Moore

First, I’d like to say that I’m happy that Petrolicious is branching into the modern car scene. Modern classics should be featured on the website more frequently, but shouldn’t take over from the classics on here IMO. The 4C is a car that I was very happy to see, although I can’t afford one unfortunately. Ut brings back the sportiness of the brand and makes no compromises about being an affordable performance car. I imagine you can’t wait for 24th June to come along, that’s when Alfa are revealing their latest car, a sports saloon. Also OP – Have you… Read more »

Afshin Behnia
Afshin Behnia

Sam, I’m glad that a new (very special) car once in while is something you welcome here. We plan to do some more.

Indeed the Alfa V6 is glorious and melodic. Though I’ve not had the pleasure of owning one, I have been in and around many GTV6’s and Milano/75’s.

Jack Olsen
Jack Olsen

The 4C weighs 2,465 pounds. That’s such a singular accomplishment in this day and age. Porsche could do it — but they don’t. 🙁

Afshin Behnia
Afshin Behnia

BMW is also investing a lot in carbon fiber. I wonder if it’ll put pressure on Porsche to do the same.

Jack Olsen
Jack Olsen

They’d [i]better[/i] invest in composite technologies. An M3 is, what, over 3,500 pounds now? I think a heavily optioned 2015 coupe can go as high as 4,000 pounds — which to me is a good weight for a pick-up truck. 🙂

Afshin Behnia
Afshin Behnia

Seriously! It’s sad what they’ve done to their M brand. But I guess they know their (new) market well as they sell very well. Can’t help but feel that they abandoned the drivers that made BMW successful in the first place to then build cars for a very different crowd.