Saturday, November 15, 2014

Alfa Romeo 4C

Alfa is back!

The American video road tests are rolling in, and the testers love it.  Duh...  What impresses me most, aside from the 4C's specification, is the price: $55K.  (That is, once they've shipped the ridiculously priced "launch" cars priced at $70K).

As for the 4C's specification, what's not to like?  237 horsepower (258 lbs./ft. of torque) in a car that weighs 2650 lbs.  A 6-speed twin-clutch paddle-shifted box, that has an automatic mode.  Zero to 60 in 4.3 seconds, around 1 G of cornering power depending on who's test results you believe.  (They're +/- hundredths on either side of 1G.)  For us traditionalists, the engine capacity is 1750 c.c.'s, harking back to the lovely GTA/GTV.

Here are links to a video road test (first) and a print ditto (second):

It is entirely fitting and proper, as Abe said, that the first manufacturer to offer an all-aluminum d.o.h.c. engine in an affordable sports car (1953) is now the first manufacturer to offer a carbon-fiber chassis in an affordable car.  Thus the impressive sitting-in-your-garage weight.  The 4C is so light that it doesn't even need power steering. Your hands are connected to the tire contact patches right through the steering rack.

What a Dragon Slayer!  Better than a Lotus Elise/Evora (and better looking), for less money.  I could quibble about some styling details (and I'd replace the wheels).  And a roadster would be nice.  But, basically, the only downside is that someone of my age and creakiness has to roll out of the car onto his hands and knees to exit.  I'd surrender my dignity for the driving experience.

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