The Alfa 4C - The Lost Art of Automotive Simplicity
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FULL VIDEO REVIEW
When the Alfa was released it carried layers of expectation. Most expected Italian design and high levels of performance in an affordable package. After waiting a few years to get some time in this vehicle the day had arrived. Three days to test and do a video which for most vehicles requires at least five to complete.
The first day was spent driving the car everywhere, top off, A/C off in 95 degree weather. The smiles and emotion cooled off the sweat and discomfort. After years of waiting for driving purity in unique package the 4C seems to check every box. The manual steering rack is just about perfect, which is also enhanced by the carbon tub and aluminum front and rear frame. The low weight combined with quality horsepower and torque make the 4C remarkable to operate. Because the the entire goal was weight reduction, every system that maybe lackluster in a car with 1000 more pounds feels magical here. Braking, acceleration and stability is exceptional.
"The car is like a drug for driving enthusiasts."
On a day with calm weather and great roads to tackle, this can be one of the better driving experiences regardless of price. However the real world is full of clogged roads and bad weather. For drivers with extra weight and taller frame using the Alfa becomes a nightmare quickly. This is not a car for the mainstream, namely in America. The cabin is beyond fitted and a challenge to get in and out sometimes, however, much easier than a car like the Elise or Exige. Interior comfort with medium sized passengers is excellent, but this is not the car for endurance trips given the lack of armrests and storage. Seats are designed for sport and aggressive driving not comfort. The best and worst part of the 4C is the commitment to purity for those looking for an uncompromising car, this is one of the last in existence.
"The Entire Driving Experience is Downgraded Without Manual Cogs."
The 4C is that rare combination of focus and driving experience. Not many cars capture this and do it with a high level of prowess. Most will feel instantly connected with the car, except when the driver realizes there is no manual transmission option. That single omission is the car's greatest failure. In the modern age of sports cars, too much is made of shift programming. Automated shifting regardless of speed will always remove driver involvement. The FCA transmission in the 4C emulates a manual extremely well. The roughness, slippage and quirks give the car personality but it is still an automatic. In a race car seconds and millisecond matter on track, not in a street car. The niche market for this vehicle wants a more analog driving experience. With that said we hope Alfa does not quit on this car because they have a potential buyer waiting in us. A remarkable effort in every way, that is the 4C in a nutshell.