“Do you want a mini Ferrari 458 for under $60,000? Of course you do.” That seems to be what Alfa Romeo is hoping as it mounts its first serious attempt in 19 years to sell a car on American soil. “Sexy as hell and unmistakably Italian,” this “loud, raucous” two-seater won’t arrive until spring. But get your orders in. Alfa Romeo plans to ship only 1,200 4Cs this way each year, and we predict a sellout and long waiting lists.
“She’s a total dreamboat, my friends”—and she backs up those looks with “delightful, all-singing, all-dancing” performance. Though a turbocharged 1.7-liter four-valve engine “may not sound like much,” the coupe it’s powering weighs only 2,500 pounds, so 0 to 60 flies past. Driving enthusiasts will love the “snappy” transmission and “racy” suspension, but they’ll be even more excited about the total absence of power steering. Your hands can almost read every line in the road.
Thanks to that “nervousness” in the steering, the 4C “feels like a car that has been 98 percent developed.” But anyone who’s likely to consider buying one will worry no more about the jumpy steering than the absence of a glove box in the bare-bones cockpit. Those people want a car that’ll “make their heart sing and their passengers scream.” If that’s the target audience, “this Alfa is dead-on.”