La meccanica delle emozioni
…or the mechanics of motion is the tagline Alfa Romeo uses to describe the essence of the handcrafted 2018 Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe and Spider, along with the rest of the Alfa Romeo lineup.
But how do you put the “mechanics” into something as immeasurable as the emotions of love, joy, passion, surprise and astonishment? You build a car with styling cues from a timeless classic (a 1967 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale) and give it a superb power-to-weight ratio in a tiny package.
You build the 2018 Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe
Yes, it’s all wrong. But in all the right ways.
I’m a bad-news-first kind of guys so let’s get it out of the way. Cargo space of any kind? Negative. Rear visibility? Hardly. State-of-the-art infotainment system? Yeah, right. Superior legroom and seat reclining adjustability? Ha! How about an easy entry/exit point? Gracious, no. Quiet cabin that blocks out exterior noise so you can enjoy a leisurely Sunday cruise around the city. Nope. In fact with no power steering the slower you’re going, the more difficult it is to maneuver the car – especially in tight spaces.
But that’s precisely the point – none of the above items stirs the emotions that matter when you buy a $55K sports car ($75K as tested). In fact, you buy a 2018 Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe for everything BUT the above.
Things like a carbon fiber monocoque and aluminum chassis, a mid-engine 1.75-liter Turbo 4-cylinder with 6-speed Alfa TCT (twin clutch transmission) pumping out 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and a sub-2500 lb. curb weight are the shot of adrenaline that brought here in the first place. With a 4.1-second 0-60 mph and a visceral connection between you and the pavement, the Alfa Romeo 4C taps into the part of the brain that makes you the star of your own movie. This power-to-weight ratio in a rear-wheel drive car takes your inner-child from Zero to Hero in an instant.
Yes, it’s an absolute thrill to drive.
Carving the windy backroads of far North Texas, the 2018 Alfa Romeo 4C delivered consistent bursts of excitement and joy around every turn. Straightaways were treated like launch pads and no matter how many times I mashed the throttle to the floor, I was just as excited to hear the 4-cylinder turbo spooling and exhaust growl as the first time. The balance of mid-engine, rear-wheel drive 4C no only handled like a charm but also sounded incredible doing so.
The 4C Coupe comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels in the front with 18-inch wheels in the rear, a flat-bottomed leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, LED taillights, LED daytime running lights, Brembo front calipers with drilled rotors, a dual exhaust system with chrome tips, a sport-tuned suspension, an electronic rear differential, a drive mode selector: Normal, Dynamic, All-Weather and Alfa Race, an Alpine audio system with Bluetooth, a 7.0-inch instrument panel driver’s display, four-way manual adjustable cloth sport seats, and a rear console lockable leather storage compartment.
Our test model came with almost $20K in upgrades (ouch!) and a 4C Coupe Package. Upgrades included racing microfiber and leather seats, Alfa Rosso (red) paint, carbon fiber appointments throughout the interior and exterior, a race-tuned suspension, Bi-Xenon headlights, upgraded dark fan spoke wheels — 18-inch in the front and 19-inch in the rear and other convenience upgrades.
The 2018 Alfa Romeo 4C would be a tough daily-driver pill to swallow, and especially at a price point that brings in several competitive options. But if your goal is to become one with the road through a stripped-down yet gorgeous machine, capable of stirring your emotions to their limits, then I’d say let your emozioni lead the way.
See you on the road,
Engine: 1750cc Turbo 4-cylinder
Power: 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque
Transmission: 6-speed Alfa TCT (twin clutch transmission)
Drivetrain: Rear-Wheel Drive
Seating: 2 adults (shorter ones preferably)
MPG: 6-speed automatic – 24 City/34 Highway/28 combined
MSRP: $55,900 6-speed manual, $75,495 as tested