Alfa Romeo 4C takes on the rivals
Hammond fell in love with it, but can Alfa's new coupe see off a Lotus Exige S and Porsche Cayman S?
Posted: 17 Mar 2014
To this is gifted a generous turbo, which huffs and puffs behind your head like a mad bicycle pump. On a four-hour motorway haul, with road noise and engine drone reflected around the bare floor, it all becomes mildly distressing.Less so in the Lotus. Its 3.5-litre V6 settles into a calm cruise, and, in Tour mode, the exhaust shuts its gob and the throttle loosens. The stereo is audible – in the Alfa, it feels like tuning into the shipping forecast from an actual ship – and you can even see rearwards through the glass engine hatch (the Alfa has one, but it’s useless). After the 4C, the Exige feels reasonably cushy, but it’s nothing compared to the leather-upholstered Porsche, which feels like a 325bhp La-Z-Boy in this company. Yes, it’s also bigger and heavier as a result – nearly 400kg more than the 4C depending on fuel and luggage – but it has storage compartments in the nose and beside the engine under the rear deck. The Lotus and Alfa require a separate courier service.