KBB Editors' Overview
By Micah Muzio - Updated Date: 8/29/2014
The tiny, 2-seat 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C has the honor of being the first mainstream Alfa to be sold in America since the mid-1990s. Powered by a turbocharged 237-horsepower 1.7-liter 4-cylinder, the mid-engine 4C Coupe and Spider appear outgunned versus sports car competitors like the BMW Z4, Porsche Cayman and Chevrolet Corvette but the pint-sized Alfa Romeo has a trump card...lightness. With extensive use of aluminum, an exposed carbon-fiber monocoque structure, and a Spartan design philosophy, the 2015 4C delivers a fast, agile, unfiltered driving experience, complete with intrusive engine, and road and wind noise. Fans of seductive styling and elemental motoring will find much to enjoy here. Fans of civilized driving should probably look elsewhere.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you crave an unvarnished connection between you, your car, and the road you're traveling over, the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C is a brilliant choice. Conversely if you're willing to endure a pronounced lack of comfort, the 4C's neck snapping style will be your reward.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you expect your sports car to also function as comfortable daily transportation, there are much better choices than the Alfa Romeo 4C. The comparably priced Chevy Corvette and Porsche Cayman immediately come to mind. Additionally, the Spider's cloth top isn't particularly convenient to use.
What's New for 2015
The Alfa Romeo 4C is all-new for 2015. Mid-year, a convertible Spider model joined the hardtop coupe in the lineup.
For one of the rawest driving experiences offered in the modern era, look no further than the Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe and 4C Spider. Its suspension is firm, the cabin rings with a cacophony of engine sounds, and the steering, which offers no power assistance, is incredibly heavy when the vehicle is stationary or moving very slowly. With that on the table, it's no surprise that U-turns, long freeway hauls and casual stints around the city can be taxing. Apply those same traits to a curved road or a racetrack, however, and the 4C makes perfect sense. The steering feels excellent at speed, vehicle handling is balanced and composed, the engine churns with conviction, the gear changes happen rapidly when requested, and the brakes feel powerful and responsive, delivering tons of unfiltered, honest fun. The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider offers an open-air variation, but otherwise drives identically to the coupe.
Carbon fiber is an expensive composite material that makes everything from racecars to modern aircraft both strong and lightweight. Despite a comparatively low $55,000 base price, the Alfa Romeo 4C features an exposed carbon-fiber monocoque structure. Visible from the interior, the carbon-fiber tub is functional and extremely cool looking.
The steering system lacks any kind of power assistance resulting in wonderfully connected steering that feels brilliant along winding roads or at the racetrack. Of course, that all goes out the window at speeds less than three miles per hour when the steering transforms from glorious to impossibly heavy.
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