To finally get the 4C into a location where it’s able to show its best is to finally begin to understand what has, otherwise, been a troubled sports car.

If you only ever drove this car on smooth race tracks, we strongly suspect you’d love it. Yes, a Lotus Exige or fast Elise remains marginally more capable and engaging, but really there’s much less in it – under the right conditions – than we’d hitherto expected.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
In the right place or in small doses, it’s an invigorating sports car

It remains a pity, then, that the 4C is incapable of applying those basic skills where it counts, which is out on the roads where this roadster will surely spend most of its time.

If you’re a novice to sports cars or drive it only a short way, perhaps you’ll be fooled into thinking that it’s simply alert and keen.

But as Porsche, Lotus and a dozen small-scale sports car makers know, it doesn’t have to be this way: it’s possible to make a car that rewards in all places, not simply a chosen few.

To trouble the best in this small sports car section, Alfa Romeo need to sort out the suspension on the 4C, and then it will be come a true rival for the Porsche Boxster Spyder, Lotus Elise Sport 220, Zenos E10S and the Jaguar F-Type V6 Roadster, which are all better propositions as it stands.

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