Alfa-Romeo 4C Coupe
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If two-seats, a dash of Italian flair and sharp handling are what you’re after, the new Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe is well worth a test drive.
This is a stunning sports car from a legendary company that’s offered at around half the usual market price. Alfa Romeo has got the styling spot on, the drivability nailed, and with a kerb weight of just 896kg, they’ve also been able to deliver a car that handles like Lionel Messi.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2017 Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe review.
Review Of The Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe
On The Road
This is a driver-focused car, and as such it’s easy to get comfortable in. The pedals are at a perfect distance, and the driving position is just right. Moreover, the driver’s seat and steering wheel offer plenty of adjustably.
As mentioned, this is a featherweight that tips the scales at less than 900kg. This is thanks in part to its new carbon-fibre body, but small things such as thinner glass for the windows have helped. And when a car weighs as little as this, it results in blistering pace and agility.
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There is only one engine in the range, a 1.75-litre 237bhp turbocharged petrol unit that can power you from a rest to 62mph in under 5.0 seconds. There is a bit of turbo lag, but that’s hardly much of a drawback.
Its affordability is one of the things that makes this car so attractive, but you really do get what you pay for. This is a stripped-back machine that, in its standard form, does without sports exhaust and sports suspension. However, without these treats, the car is still a riot. It’s accompanied by a glorious soundtrack that adds to the driving experience, with the exhaust sounding aggressive and full of purpose.
However, the engine barely lets up, and the roar may get tiring after a while.
Power steering is also missing. What this means is that everyday chores such as parking become a thankless task. At higher speeds, however, the 4C is always rewarding, and the sheer speed on offer is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. There isn’t an ideal amount of steering feel, and there is some kick back, but there is plenty of grip.
But in a final dampener for the enthusiasts, there is no manual transmission. Boo.
Interior, Design & Build
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The cabin sports minimalist aesthetics, it’s very driver-oriented. Perhaps to keep the costs reasonable, Alfa Romeo have borrowed some switch gear and plastics from Fiat. So while the listing price is so low compared to, say, the Porsche Cayman, you will have to settle for a much cheaper-looking interior.
However, we like the carbon-fibre finish, which gives the interior a much-needed touch of class. A nifty new TFT screen dispenses with the need for conventional dials, while leather door pulls, a flat-bottomed wheel and aluminium pedals are also nice touches.
This is not an everyday car. It’s more of a weekend toy than anything. It can cope with one or two light bags for a jaunt down to Cannes, but its 110-litre boot is hardly going to be able to cope with a lot of shopping.
Access is difficult, thanks to the low-set seats. They look great and cocoon you nicely, but you might find yourself succumbing to backache after a few hours. As mentioned, the engine has a constant roar, which may become annoying after a while. It’s a car that’s great in short blasts, but can become a bit of a nuisance on longer trips.
Equipment And Safety
Standard equipment is not excellent, and in its standard form the Alfa Romeo 4C makes do without cruise control, floor mats, leather seats and even air conditioning. The stereo is just not good enough – you’d expect something a lot better in a car worth £50,000.
The sports seats are good, and you can get them in four different colours. The car itself can be coloured in one of six different colours, so there’s plenty of scope for personalisation.
The car hasn’t received a Euro NCAP rating because there aren’t enough of it to be made. However, its carbon fibre body shell should offer good protection in the event of a crash.
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Costs Of The Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe
Prices for the new car start out from around £52,500. For more information on our Alfa Romeo finance and leasing deals, you can check out our page here.
In terms of running costs, the Alfa Romeo fares better than you might have thought. Thanks to being so light, the 4C Coupe can return fuel economy of 41.5mpg on a good day – basically when it isn’t weighed down by too many passengers or luggage! It also emits just 157g/km of CO2. Not bad for a rapid sports car.
Insurance won’t be cheap, but OSV as yet don’t have access to a confirmed insurance group. We’ll update you as and when we do.
Pros and Cons Of The Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe
Italy have given us many beautiful things over the years. In the automotive world, the Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe is a work of art.
The exhaust is noisy, gloriously noisy. It fizzes with excitement.
Refinement Isn’t The Best
The power delivery is lacking in refinement, but worse still so is the steering and chassis.
Interior Is A Weak Point
Stunning on the outside though it may be, it’s a much different story inside, where the cabin’s finish lacks a touch of class.
Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe vs Lotus Exige Coupe vs Porsche Cayman
Let’s find out how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2017 Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe review.
Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe vs Lotus Exige Coupe
The new Lotus Exige Coupe looks mad, bad and dangerous. Performance is impressive, and handling is beastly.
The iconic Lotus Elise is a car that’s capable of ripping your head off with its 1.8-litre engine, but the Exige packs a Haymaker in the form of a V6 3.5-litre engine. It delivers up to 345bhp in the base level model, and can thrust you from a rest to 62mph in 3.7 seconds in its most powerful guise.
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The Exige wants you to grab it by the scruff of the neck and dominate it on the road. It’s just that kind of car. It wants to be pushed and whipped, and once it’s in its element it’s agile and responsive in a way that many rivals, including the Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe, just aren’t.
Lotus have managed to shave some weight off this car so that it’s lighter than its predecessor. At the same time, it’s more powerful and better to drive. It’s an exciting machine that’s as uncompromising and fearless on the roads as a cheetah on the plains.
Running costs are not as bad as you might think, and are helped by the fact that the car doesn’t weight as much as last time. Whenever you’re on the road and not working the Exige too hard, you can return around 30mpg. However, once you rag the car, those numbers will plummet.
Like Alfa Romeo, Lotus haven’t pulled out all the stops with the interior. It was clearly their mission to provide with you somewhere to sit, and to this end they’ve been successful. The driving position is set up so that it’s easy for you to get comfortable and feel as though you’re at the helm of a race car, while the exposed aluminium is a fabulous touch that enthusiasts will appreciate.
The layout isn’t much dissimilar to the Elise. It’s just as simple, just as small, and comes with instrument binnacle you’ll find in the Elise, as well as one or two other controls. But not much else. It isn’t luxurious by any stretch of the imagination.
This is also not a practical car in the slightest. It gives you everything you need to have a roaring good time on the tracks, but that’s about it. It isn’t even all that easy to get behind the wheel, especially if you’re taller than average. The low roofline doesn’t help in this regards, while the sheer noise of the engine might make you feel a little claustrophobic over time.
However, it’s important to remember that the driving a car like the Exige is an aesthetic pleasure more than anything else.
The boot, which is to be found underneath the front bonnet, measures 98-litres.
Alfa Romeo – £52,000
Lotus – £56,000 – £63,000
Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe vs Porsche Cayman Coupe
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The new two-seater Porsche 718 Cayman Coupe is a pleasure machine that is a wonderful car to drive. Bursting with character, it’s a one-of-a-kind car that can make you think twice about investing in an Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe. It’s also full of surprises …
The Cayman has enormous appeal. It’s special, with each engine clearly designed by driving enthusiasts just like yourself who want to have some fun. It’s a car that, like the Lotus, really makes little sense unless you can afford to have a “bit on the side.”
Unlike a lot of cars of this ilk, the Cayman is surprisingly comfortable. The suspension is still stiff, and there is virtually no evidence of body lean – but yet the car does a grand job of absorbing lumps and bumps. Bonus.
There are a pair of engines to choose from, starting with a 2.0-litre 296bhp petrol engine that can get you from a standstill to 62mph in a matter of 5.1 seconds. That’s when paired up with a manual transmission. Pair it up with an automatic ‘box, and you can cut that time down to 4.9 seconds.
For more cash, you can get your hands on a Cayman S. It’s powered by a 2.5-litre 345bhp petrol engine that can get you from a rest to 62mph in just 4.4 seconds. It’s worth mentioning that this engine is turbocharged – not that they will make a difference to the performance, though.
For even more cash, you can add launch-control system which boosts acceleration even more.
Here is another surprise that the Cayman has in store for you: Despite all that power and performance on offer, it’s remarkably cheap to keep on the road. The standard Cayman can achieve average fuel economy returns of up to 40.9mpg which is staggering when you consider the size of its engine.
Well, it’s either staggering or there is black magic in the air …
The interior doesn’t look all that different from the one in the outgoing model. That’s hardly a criticism, however. An infotainment system is new, and it’s as contemporary as these things get right now. The air vents have also been revised, but everything else is pretty much as you were. The supportive seats are great, while the suspension setup keeps you comfy.
Like the Alfa Romeo, this Porsche gets just the two seats. As such, you’d be forgiven for not expecting it to be very usable. But in yet another surprise, the Cayman is remarkably useful. For one thing, it comes with two boots, which in total offer 405-litres of boot space.
Secondly, the levels of comfort on offer far outdo what the 4C Coupe can manage, and it thus makes a handy car for the work commute. Head and legroom meanwhile are in abundance, and it all adds up to a very handy, very rapid sports car.
Porsche – £40,000 – £49,000
Verdict Of Our 2017 Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe Review
This is a cost-effective sports car that makes a lot of sense if you still want a sense of occasion and some drama, but don’t want to have to pay through the nose for it. The exterior is just stunning, and harkens back to the days when Alfa Romeo was the King of the Race Track.
Alfa Romeo has always produced sports cars that are affordable. If you don’t have the cash to splash on something more upmarket, this leisurely, textbook, four-cylinder Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe will get your blood pumping just the same.
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