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Alfa 4C

Discussion in 'New England' started by JazzyJay, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. JazzyJay

    JazzyJay Karting
    Rossa Subscribed

    Oct 26, 2005
    245
    Connecticut
    Does anybody have experience with an Alfa Romeo 4C? For some reason, that car has my attention as a possible alternative to my ‘84 308 QV.


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  2. TheMayor

    TheMayor Six Time F1 World Champ
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    Feb 11, 2008
    65,692
    Vegas baby

    I own one. Bought it new and now 8000 miles on it.
     
  3. JazzyJay

    JazzyJay Karting
    Rossa Subscribed

    Oct 26, 2005
    245
    Connecticut
    And...?


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  4. TheMayor

    TheMayor Six Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Feb 11, 2008
    65,692
    Vegas baby
  5. InlineSixx

    InlineSixx Rookie

    Apr 23, 2015
    44
    S. Nashua /S.E. MA
    Full Name:
    Rick
    Depending on what your requirements are, it would make for a good modern impractical but fun replacement.
     
  6. TheMayor

    TheMayor Six Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Feb 11, 2008
    65,692
    Vegas baby
    #7 TheMayor, Dec 3, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
    I like this little car because I don't worry about it. I just drive it. And I like to drive it hard because it won't break every law on the road doing so. No one is going to care if it gets smashed. And, by 1980's standards, its a lot safer if it does. The CF chassis is really strong. No flex at all, even in the spider.

    It's completely modern (excellent brakes, fast, handles well, reliable, good HVAC, low maintenance -- my yearly service is about $120 --) and has a gearbox that reminds me very much of the Ferrari 430 F1 robotized box. Small interior and difficult to get in and out of are it's worst features.

    Exhaust note is different. More like a Turbo rally car sound with a huge pop of value noise to get your attention. At certain speeds you can hear the turbo sucking in air right behind your head. Sounds like a jet engine.

    Some turbo lag. You get used to it.

    I don't have the spider but the targa is a little complicated to take down. But it's a soft top so it fits in the trunk.

    But it won't rust, you can take it to a normal car wash, and I've taken it on long trips without worry. I park it everywhere but the doors are really wide so you have to be careful no one parked too close next to you while you left.

    It's more like a modern Dino than a 308. By today's standards it's really simple, like the Dino was. A little crude here and there with a lot of oddball "Italian" stuff -- like no glovebox. Or that you fill the window washer with a special bottle after you have to remove a grill. Or that the front hood can't be opened AT ALL. Or that the sunvisors are so small they are pretty much ineffective. Of that there's some weird wires that come out from under the dash to connect your phone. Its full of quirks -- like all good Italian cars should.

    Apples and oranges but both taste pretty good.
     
  7. malex

    malex Formula Junior
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    Dec 5, 2007
    962
    Ponte Vedra, FL
    Full Name:
    Mark
    I have a 2016 spider that I bought several months ago with 3300 miles. As The Mayor said, taking the top off can be a bit challenging at first. But after you do it half a dozen times or so, you figure out the tricks. Once you got if figured out, installing it takes 30 seconds max. Removing it is much faster.

    To me, it all depends what you're looking for. In high school, a buddy of mine had a Porsche 914 2.0. It was a very spartan car, you sat very low to the floor, it was hard to get in/out of (even at age 18), it was noisy, but the driving experience was fantastic. The 914's styling is pretty binary where people tend to like it/hate it, but that little Porsche/VW had excellent handling (for the day), great brakes (for the day) and was just a true sports car experience.

    IMO, the 4C is similar to a 914, except much better looking and modern in all the good ways - better build quality, very quick, extremely stiff chassis, excellent brakes, excellent handling, and very responsive steering/road feel. I really don't care that it's noisy (again, I have the spider), it doesn't have a lot of storage, or a glove box, or a simple interior lacking creature comforts, or a glove box, or readily accessible cup holders, or has simple switches in the interior, a steering wheel from a Fiat Abarth, or all the other things that online pundits b#tch about. The only "gripe" I have is that I would've preferred it with a 6 spd manual (especially if it was gated), and the paddles that it does have could be a touch longer (there are aftermarket solutions for this issue). The DCT is nice and shifts quickly, but I was looking for a pure sports car experience and it came down to the 4C or an Elise/Exige (which would've had my 6 spd manual). I chose the former because of looks, my tendency to favor Italian cars over British cars, and because of the cf chassis. But I also have 4 other cars that have manual transmissions, so the 4C's DCT wasn't the deal breaker it might've been if I didn't have a manual trans car.

    Fwiw, the chassis is fantastic, and something that you really only find on high end exotic cars. Alfa must've lost money on every 4C they've sold, which probably explains some of the areas where they cheaped out (e.g. interior, engine cover etc).

    I might still pick up an Elise/Exige at some point down the road before I get too old to drive one properly. They're also great cars and I've a feeling that if I buy one, that I'd never lose any principal aside from ongoing maintenance costs.
     
  8. malex

    malex Formula Junior
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    Dec 5, 2007
    962
    Ponte Vedra, FL
    Full Name:
    Mark
    I would add that the car has excellent steering feel (no power assist) but is absolutely instantaneous in its responsiveness. It is not a car that you can drive lackadaisically. It commands your full and undivided attention as the steering can be twitchy. If you've ever driven a car that is setup properly for autocross, you'll get what I mean. The suspension is also quite stiff and there's virtually zero body roll. The trade off is that you'll feel every pebble in the road. So don't expect a comfy or relaxing ride. It's not the car's purpose.

    A good example is that I'll let my son drive my 355 or Shelby GT500 (both with me as passenger), but not the 4C. At 17, I just don't know if he's paying close enough attention to the 4C's steering quickness and could get in trouble well before I could react.

    I really like the car. It's the exact car I would've wanted when I was younger, if they had made such a car. But it's not for everybody and certainly not posers (I'm simply making a statement, not implying anything).
     

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