The 4C is one of the most powerful cars we’ve ever driven: it forces you to draw all your attention to her. It draws your soul into her aggressiveness, beauty and spirit. It can be best defined as a go-kart re-imagined by an artist in love with the color red.
Its presence on the road shouldn’t be taken for granted and it’s the sort of car that can completely make your day when you see it.
The 4C is so special because it’s the symbol of the rebirth of one of the biggest names automotive history: Alfa Romeo. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel: it’s something completely new, extreme and incredibly exciting. It was about time that Alfa could design something so special and meaningful capable of breaching through the hearts of all enthusiasts once again.
In Italy, this car generates the same reverence that is reserved to the Lancia Delta HF Integrale, the old Giulia and every Ferrari. It’s something that I am sure will be remembered in the future and will become a classic. We’re sure that The escape we had in the 4C will be a tale that will be passed down to our grandchildren
We admit that we were honored to team up with Alfa Romeo for this Escape, as we drove the 4C for an entire week. All we had to do is go to Turin, sign some papers, start the engine and drive to the nearest mountains and get lost. Isn’t this top class organization? Thanks Alfa!
We had no maps, no nothing, just a full tank of 100 octane and the eagerness to drive away. The 4C rarity and special character made this escape even more intriguing: some say that you should never meet your heroes but sometimes spending a lot of time with them is the only thing to do.
The 4C has an unique aura all around herself. It is a catalyst of all sort of emotions you feel when you’re moved by your favorite car. It is so special. When the bar went up at FCA Hq in Turin and I drove out in the streets I felt like Valentino Balboni on his first day out testing the black Miura.
As soon as you step on the accelerator pedal it seemed like conquering the world. The 4C is a magical mix of sounds: the turbine hisses violently at your back, the engine is loud inside the cabin and makes all the right crackles when you upshift. You almost do not need any gauges because the 4C has so little filters that will warn when you have all of its potential at the ready. To drive cars like these, you need to use your senses more than your eyes: just Niki Lauda once said, “you have to drive cars with your butt”. Concentrate, feel the car and you won’t need anything else.
The 4C has modern technology with no filters. The connection between you and the chassis is amazing: you feel everything the car is doing.
On the first leg of our escape we reached the Moncenisio. We couldn’t resist to take this car to some twisty roads nearby on the first day out. Sadly for us, the fog and the wet surface made us impossible to enjoy the road as we normally would. Yet being enthusiastic about any car we drive in about any condition we saw this as the opportunity to test the 4C in the wet. It shoud come as a no surprise that even with the controls on, the car can lose traction easily and swing its tail when powering out of the corner. The electronics seem to have been cut back a little to let the driver play a bit with the oversteer and it never feels that it cuts down on power when it enters. Put the car on a wet twisty road without any controls and it will feel like holding between your hands a grenade with the safety pin off. On wet conditions it demands the attentions of a seasoned driver. In this conditions, the 4C understeers when entering a corner. To solve this it’s easy: kill it with power! Use little more throttle to help the car turn and if you’re experienced you can use the throttle to slingshot the car out of the turn, making the tail swing a little. The suspension set up is what surprises anyone, including experienced racing drivers. It has no roll while cornering, and you have the clear sensation the car is rolling on tracks. it is stable and when you push it hard it tightens around you and becomes even more effective. If you find the proper road, you never have to use the brakes: just keep the momentum and enjoy the ride to the fullest. It also has a very predictable handling and the ride is surprisingly supple for a sportscar. Of course, things can change quickly when you hit some disconnections on the tarmac.
The Moncenisio is one of the best roads where to go for a drive, in spite of the speed limits. Sadly it was all wet and I had to keep a slow pace. The fog was so thick that it was impossible to see more than 20 meters in front of you. The atmosphere was surreal and as I reached the top, I needed to take a break, just for the sake to sit and look at the car for the simple pleasure of enjoying its lines against the thick fog.
The 4C is an exaltation of what we should love about a modern Alfa. It looks like a passionate work of art, its design draws inspiration from the great 33 Stradale. While some may critic the car as too short and compressed, in real life it shows a perfect balance of aggression and elegance. It’s the suitable car for every occasion and It always begs you for one more look.
One of the most impressive features of the 4C it’s the engine. It has plenty of torque from the bottom to the top and allows you to climb even steep mountain passes using higher gears than normal. The turbo boost builds up from 2000 rpm and it is relentless all the way up to the redline. With this ample torque delivery, the 4C is also a fantastic highway cruiser. You just floor the pedal in 6th gear and you’ll get a wonderful surge of torque that will make any attempt to reach hyperspeed successful.
The natural habitat for cars like these are mountain passes and any sort of roads with a lot of turns. This is why we choose to explore the lesser known roads of Trentino Alto Adige, just to savour the wonderful suspension set up and get lost in some of the World’s best driving roads.
From Moncenisio, we headed to the east to spend a couple of days in the mountains, exploring the passes there. We loaded the 4C fully of bags and equipment and we drove north on the Gardesana, and then up to Valsugana, where we made a small chalet the base for our escape.
Let’s bust another myth here: if you can organize your stuff, the 4C has enough space for everything. We packed the cameras, bags for two full of warm clothes, some water and food (that we were able to warm up a bit in the trunk).
The mountains are the perfect playground for any motoring enthusiast. In september you hardly find anyone descending or climbing on the passes, so you have a “free-fire-zone” most of the time. We climbed on the narrow roads between Valsugana and Val di Fiemme, where we can fully exploit the 4c cornering capabilities. Oh and we stopped for a slice of Strudel and a warm cup of coffee on top of each peak.
With the perfect climate, the 4C was eager to unleash all its potential, making us enjoy some of the last good days of the motoring season.
This car is so good you forgive her anything. You forgive the fact that you need to pay an extra for the adjusting passenger seat, the plastic interior, the fact that it’s not a manual…it’s one of the best cars we’ve driven in 2015, no doubt.
We just wish we could see a GTA or QV version of the car and we beg Alfa Romeo to think about one. If our car was just this good and with no “racing pack” we can just wonder how would it be to drive with a more aggressive package.