The Alfa Romeo 4C is the Sexy Mid-Engine Corvette You’d Rather Have
Mid-engine Corvette. Mid-engine Corvette. Mid-engine Corvette. Between that and the idea of a new Ford Bronco, it seems like nobody has anything else to talk about (unless you’re in to Pokémon Go). Heck, I’m guilting of beating that dead horse myself. But if you are someone who is really interested in the idea of a Corvette with the engine behind the driver, there is one that already exists. It’s called the Alfa Romeo 4C. Plus it’s far, far prettier.
Alfa Romeo loaned me a 4C Spider over the July 4th weekend to attend their Cars and Coffee, but I got to spend a great deal of time behind the wheel. While I have driven the 4C in the past, it’s the first time that I’ve done it off the racetrack and without some parental (re: FCA) supervision. There’s something about being able to spend some alone time with a car that really makes you love — or hate — it. There’s no well-planned narrative from the manufacturer about the experience you should have.
I’ve driven a Corvette here and there, and I can tell you that the 4C is a totally different experience. First off, while the Corvette is far from an ugly car, there’s no denying that the 4C is freaking gorgeous. It’s a car that you would see pinned up on a bedroom wall of a teenager if this was 20 years ago and Justin Bieber didn’t exist. There’s really no wrong angle to look at the car.
While many of the review cars you’ve surely seen have been red — because all Italian cars are red — the one Alfa Romeo dropped off for me to drive was yellow. It’s a refreshing change of color from what I’ve seen, and it helps draw even more attention.
When it comes to actually driving the 4C, it’s a very rewarding but spartan experience. The air conditioning isn’t an automatic temperature unit. The radio is just a radio, with no satellite radio or navigation. There’s no backup camera, just rear parking sensors. There’s no carpeting, just floor mats. It’s a pain in the butt to get in and out of it you aren’t small. Most importantly, the car doesn’t have power steering.
But all of those things are good things. Weighing in at around 2,500 lbs soaking wet, the car feels much lighter and more agile than the Corvette.
Why do I say it’s a mid-engine Corvette, though, if it’s nothing like a Corvette? Even though the Alfa has a 1.75L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, the 0-60mph and 1/4 mile times are close to that of a Z51-equipped Corvette. Heck, the cars are even near the same price, if you compare a spec’d Corvette convertible to a spec’d 4C Spider.
Many Corvette drivers don’t drive their cars everyday, just like many 4C drivers won’t. So if you’re going to buy a fun car for the weekend, why not get the car with sexy Italian styling, 34 mpg fuel economy on the highway, and Corvette performance, all with the engine where God intended it — behind the driver?
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or in the forums!