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
Over in the Lotus, things are simpler. Here’s an interior in its most literal sense: it’s inside the car. There’s a steering wheel, which is round. There are two basic dials and some knobs for the heater. There’s a metal gearstick. The stereo fits in a rectangular slot and plays something called a compact disc. And none of this matters one bit when you start driving, because the lack of stuff means lack of mass. You notice this whenever you turn or stop or summon the earthy strength of the 345bhp V6, which delivers its power in a smooth arc, thanks to the supercharger. You can be fearless with the throttle and place your trust in the tyres. Forces build quickly but surely. The steering gathers texture with every degree of turn. The brakes are meaty and talkative and don’t mind abuse. It’s the torquiest and the fastest accelerating by some margin: four seconds to 62mph and onto 170mph before you run out of gears. It is, arguably, the most enjoyable science lesson ever: lots of physics, a little chemistry and some dodgy biology in the driver’s seat…