Five-Point Inspection: 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C

Five-Point Inspection: 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C

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.

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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.

  • Jofran

    Remind me again why would I buy this over a C7 Vette

  • Rickers

    Meh. Some people just don’t want a Corvette. You could use that C7 argument on EVERY car being sold.

  • obvious

    Because its an Alfa

  • Sammy

    A C7 is agricultural in comparison !

  • Aajaxx

    This car is a little too far out of the envelope of Alfa, which was never about crazy performance and much more about usable levels of power and handling. Yes, it is an automotive tour de force. But lose the turbo and the automatic transmission, add a bit of wheel base and a more compliant suspension, and you would have something closer to a real Alfa.

  • Stevo

    Asking for a lot of answers there!!!
    1 precisely because it’s not a corvette
    2 because it’s Italian and not American …. Or German ….. Or Japanese
    3 because seeing 2 in one town would be unlikely
    4 because when you see the reviews telling you a Porsche is better you can clearly see the alfa breaking to stay behind it

  • dougie_s

    having driven alfas for over 20 years, i am all for their return to the usa. i can live w/a turbo – if it doesn’t have lag. but, w/o a manual transition, it’s completely out of the question.

    i will stick w/my 220hp 2600lb 3.0 alfa gtv6 and my 475hp 3000lb de tomaso pantera.

  • Samuel Mazowe

    Alfa Romeo is the best car i have enjoyed it. Keep Calm Drive Alfa Romeo. I have Alfa Rome 147 2.0cc and controls a group of Alfa Romeo Owners in Zimbabwe.