What is it?
This is the first time we’ve had the chance to drive Alfa Romeo’s 4C coupé in the UK. When we drove it overseas we liked it a great deal, reckoning it would breathe some valuable life back into an Alfa Romeo brand which, today, is otherwise limited to just the Mito and Giulietta. Even Ferrari has a bigger line-up than Alfa.
So if there’s a car to spark Alfa’s renaissance, the 4C could be it. What better way than a mid-engined coupé with a carbonfibre tub, to be built by the thousand rather than the hundred? Punters seem to think so, too: the UK’s allocation of cars for 2014 is sold out, as are the launch-edition cars like our test car – a white, left-hooker with a few choice options that lift the price to around £54,000.
The mechanical spec of all variants is the same, though. A 1750cc turbocharged engine, transversely mounted behind the cabin, drives the rear wheels through a six-speed, twin-clutch gearbox, and Alfa’s ‘electronic Q2’ differential (an extension of the stability control that brakes a spinning inside wheel to mimic a mechanical limited-slip diff).