4. How’s it Drive?
For all of the 4C’s virtues we have one major bitch: time. We would have preferred spending the better part of a day evaluating this affordable Italian exotic but that just wasn’t in the cards.
Anyway, despite our miserly driving allotment we still got a fairly good impression of the car. Starting with the steering, it’s super direct with an almost one-to-one feel. Turn the tiller and it responds instantly. If you think MINIs feel like street-legal go-karts try the 4C on for size, it’s sharper than a samurai sword, if of course katanas were made in Modena, Italy from sheet-molded composite and carbon fiber.
The steering is less ambiguous than the warning signs circling Area 51, the ones that authorize the use of deadly force. Likewise this car’s chassis is a willing accomplice in perpetrating on-road antics. Body control on a billiard table-flat autocross course is impressive but ride quality is unknown due to the smooth surface it was evaluated on. We suspect it’d be pretty stiff on anything but glossy surfaces.
The engine sounds snorty, especially for only having four cylinders, a configuration that’s almost always acoustically challenged. The optional sport exhaust really lets it sing and just like the Jaguar F-Type R Coupe it’s hard to believe it’s legal because of how loud it is.
Acceleration is deceptively quick. Thanks to an extremely favorable weight-to-power ratio of roughly 10.5 pounds per pony the 4C really moves. The engine feels nice and linear, though on a longer, higher-speed circuit turbo lag would probably be an issue. It doesn’t seem to spool up with the immediacy of other small, force-fed engines.
About the only real complaint we have about the way this car behaves is the brake pedal. It has a robotic feel to it bringing to mind a video game.