Street Spot Car Crush: Alfa Romeo 4C

Cars

The pocket rocket Alfa Romeo 4C may not have won the approval of the motoring press but we don't care. In the flesh this car is a heatbreaker

By most media accounts the Alfa Romeo 4C doesn’t live up to its much-hyped image.

But we don’t care. We spotted our first one on the street today. This is a heartbreaker of a car. If fact, the Alfa Romeo 4c is the strongest car crush we’ve felt for ages.

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The Alfa 4C was revealed as a concept at Geneva way back in 2011 – conceived as the everyman dreamer kid brother to the full blown super car that was the 8C.

The car comes with a 1.75 litre engine blown to produce around 230 Horsepower and is driven by a twin clutch paddle shift gear box. It comes in that super-compact, hunkered stance with an acreage of carbon fibre and the sort of exquisite detailing you’d expect from such a thoroughbred (it’s built in the Maserati factory apparently). All bases seem loaded. This car should be an unadulterated success.

The 4C was to be a truly condensed supercar. It would remake the Alfa brand in the image of its beautiful forebears. It would create a new legion of Alfisti hooked on accessible style and the elusive and unmistakable something that makes Alfas special.

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In fact, the very core of the sensation caused by the coming of the Alfa 4C was about this repositioning of the brand – a shift right back to where Alfa Romeo should have always been.

But think about it. Wasn’t it a little bit too much to expect a true pint-sized supercar from Alfa Romeo? It’s a physical and economic impossibility to produce the sort of car that goes for six figures in a pared-down package that you can afford.

And as could have been expected, this Alfa fails, by all accounts to do that which it set out to do.

But what a beautiful failure this is.

The car apparently never feels settled. Performance disappoints via a laggy turbo and a soft gearbox.

But so what if you can get more bang for your Porsche Cayman-like bucks?

This Alfa looks so good in the flesh it transcends practicalities. I mean, if you want reliability, ‘settledness’ and refinement, then BUY a Porsche, right? With this baby – you’re buying into something purely aesthetic.

And as long as cars like this exist, there will be enough of us to buy them. These pictures. No pictures do the car justice. Search one down in the flesh, then make your judgement.

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