Alfa Romeo does not have a very strong presence in the Irish market place but with some flagship new models such as the new Giulia, and of course the gorgeous 4C and 8,C they hope to rebuild the brand across Europe and here.
The Alfa 4C is a beautiful, well engineered two seat sports car that is uncompromising and completely dedicated to driver enjoyment.
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In many ways it is set up as the ultimate track day car.
So Has It Got Street Cred?
Designed and engineered by Alfa Romeo and built at the Maserati plant in Modena, the mid-engined Alfa Romeo 4C employs the latest technologies of Alfa Romeo's newest models: The new, all-aluminium 1750 Turbo Petrol engine; the latest-generation Alfa TCT dry twin clutch transmission and the ALFA D.N.A. driving mode selector - now with a new “Race” mode.
In short I thing it is an amazing looking car. Stunning!
What’s It Like Inside?
In what must be a first as far as I know for a car in this price range they used Carbon-fibre for the one-piece monocoque due its high levels of structural rigidity and exceptionally low weight. The whole tub weighs just 65kg and is built using sophisticated Formula 1-derived technologies.
The centrally mounted instruments are all digital and again echo Formula 1 style design.
In a way there is almost too much digital info packed into a tiny instrument display but it all works very well.
The small flat bottomed steering wheel and paddle shifts for the sequential gearbox, and firm figure hugging sports seats leave the driver in no doubt that you are in the closest thing to a road going race car as you can get.
Aluminium, design touches such as pedal and shift levers finish the details. Air conditioning is optional but it does have electric windows and a decent stereo. Thats it!
Really the 4C is designed with track day use as a priority.
So What About The Engine?
The 4C has a four-cylinder turbo engine with direct injection which develops 240 bhp and blasts the little 4 C from 0 to 100km/h in just 4.5 seconds, top speed is 259km/h.
Yet they claim low emissions and good fuel economy too.
Over my few days behind the wheel I could not resist using the performance available and if you do that it burns fuel at a good rate!
However if you drive with restraint (which is difficult) it will burn around 7.9 litres per 100km, not too bad really!
So What’s it like to drive?
This is a track focused car so lets be clear it is not designed for cruising around in whisper quiet mode!
So its noisy, even at normal motorway speeds, it is very firm on the road but it is quite simply superb to drive!
The steering is unassisted so you feel everything that the front wheels are doing, its superb. The levels of grip are mind boggling.
It is very difficult to provoke the rear wheel driven 4C to slide on a dry surface. Should it get out of shape the stability control with, Normal, All Weather, and Race mode is there to protect you with differing levels of intervention depending on the mode selected, with obviously race mode offering the least!
So What’s the Verdict?
The Alfa Romeo 4C is one of the most complete driver focused cars I have driven of late.
Its a car designed purely for fun, purely for driving fast and it does that with aplomb!
Not only that it looks like a mini Ferrari. So whats the bad news? It costs €69,900.
But hey if you have that sort of money to spend on what is a big boys toy why not.