The Alfa Romeo 4C combines supercar looks and performance with agile handling. It’s competitively priced, too.
A small boot, thinly padded seats and awful rear visibility make the 4C hard to live with every day.
On the road
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The only engine available is a 1.75-litre four-cylinder turbo that produces 237bhp. That’s a lot less than the engine in a Porsche Cayman S, but the 4C can still out-accelerate the Porsche because it's around 400kg lighter (the equivalent of chucking out a rugby team’s front row). The engine does feel a little flat at low and high revs, but it’s supercar-strong in the mid range.
Ride & Handling
The steering is heavy when you’re manoeuvring, but lightens up almost as soon as you’re rolling, and tells you everything that’s going on. The Alfa feels more alert and alive than a Porsche Cayman, which is hardly a surprise given how much lighter it is. That said, the front end of the car runs out of grip earlier than you might expect, which limits how quickly you can go round corners. The firm ride is perfectly acceptable by sports car standards.
Despite its modest capacity and cylinder count, the 4C’s engine really makes itself heard. It starts with an angry bark, emits a huge amount of turbo whoosh and roars like an old-school rally car under hard acceleration. No one buying a 4C will expect much in the way of refinement, and that’s a good thing because there’s a near deafening amount of road and wind noise at motorway speeds, and the optional sports exhaust also drones away loudly at a steady 70mph.