2019 Alfa Romeo 4C Review
Robert Pepper’s 2019 Alfa Romeo 4C Review With Price, Specs, Performance, Ride And Handling, Interior, Ownership, Verdict And Score.
IN A NUTSHELL: The Alfa Romeo 4C is refreshing, invigorating joy on wheels, a stark contrast in today’s world of beige identikit transportation, but there’s a price to pay both literally and metaphorically.
Alfa Romeo 4C Review
What does the Alfa Romeo 4C cost and what do you get?
- Alfa Romeo 4C Spider – $99,000 plus on-road costs
- Metallic paint – $2000
- Red brake calipers – $1000
- Racing Package (suspension, tyres, exhaust, wheels) – $12,000
- Carbon and Leather Package (carbon mirror cover, bezels, gear buttons, leather surround instrument panel) – $4000
Total price: $118,000 plus on-road costs.
What’s the practicality like of the Alfa Romeo 4C?
How does the Alfa Romeo 4C work?
- CBC – Corner Brake Control – when the car corners, there’s less weight on the inside wheels and therefore less grip. CBC is a variant of ABS which distributes braking force around the four wheels when cornering so each is braked to its maximum effect, which means more braking force on the outside wheels where the weight is shifted to, and less on the inside.
- DTC – Drag Torque Control – when the car is braked, the car may be in too low a gear and lock up the rear wheels due to engine braking. DTC ensures that doesn’t happen by increasing torque to the drive wheels.
- ABS with EBD – similar to CBC, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution works in a straight line and distributes braking force across all four wheels to best effect. Normal ABS simply stops a wheel locking under brakes and doesn’t try to maximise braking effectiveness per wheel.
- E-Q2 – no idea what this stands for. Think of it as a kind of electronic limited-slip differential, or brake traction control. When the 4C is cornering and accelerating there is a weight shift from the outside wheel of the car to the inside wheel. This means there’s less grip on the inside wheel which is liable to spin, and therefore there’s less torque going to the outside wheel which has plenty of grip. E-Q2 monitors this and brakes the inner drive wheel which has the effect of sending more torque to the outside wheel. That’s good for traction out of corners, and also if you want to cut the rear end loose for a bit of oversteer action.
- ASR – Anti Slip Regulation – this is two programmes, better known as Brake Traction Control (BTC) and Engine Traction Control (ETC). The ETC function detects when both drive wheels are spinning and cuts the engine power, and the ETC programme detects when one wheel is spinning and brakes just that wheel, so pretty much the same as E-Q2 but not oriented specifically for acceleration out of corners.
- All-weather– the E-Q2 system is disabled, the ASR intervention threshold (degree of fun before interference) is decreased. Standard throttle map. This mode is for low-grip surfaces.
- Natural – the E-Q2 system is active, ASR is set normally, and this is your usual daily-drive mode according to Alfa.
- Dynamic – ASR intervention is reduced, throttle response sharpened, and gearshifts are earlier to change down and later to change up.
- Race – manual control of the gearbox only, and you’re on your own as ASR and stability control are off, E-Q2 is highly active so the back end can and will step out under brakes or power, and if you don’t catch it, well, that’s your insurance claim. That said, Alfa say: “when the vehicle is in unstable conditions, the ESC reactivates automatically when the brake pedal is pressed until the ABS intervenes, thus returning the vehicle to stable conditions” which I think is hugely optimistic as if you’ve got it that wrong then you’d best just sit there and hope you hit nothing expensive on your way to the scene of the accident.
What’s the Alfa Romeo 4C like to drive?
The fun stuff!
How safe is the Alfa Romeo 4C?
Read Jane Speechley’s RiotACT article “Three Great Drives for a cool car close to Canberra”.
What are the competitors of the Alfa Romeo 4C?
Alfa Romeo 4C Spider
Lotus Elise 220
Porsche 718 Boxster
Price (approx driveaway)
135396 (man) (VIC)
129964 (man) (ACT)
35592 man, GT (VIC)
1.7L 4-cyl turbo petrol
1.8L 4-cyl supercharged petrol
1.8L 4-cyl turbo petrol
2.0 4-turbo cyl petrol
2.0 4-cyl petrol
177kW @ 6000 rpm
350Nm @ 2200-4250rpm
162kW @ 6800 rpm
250Nm @ 4600 rpm
185kW @ 6000 rpm
320Nm @ 2000-5000 rpm
224kW @ 6500 rpm
380Nm @ 2050 – 4500 rpm
152kW @ 5700 rpm (man)
147kW @ 5700 rpm (auto)
205Nm @ 6600 rpm
Tare Weight (kg)
Spider (not named as such)
Convertible, coupe as Cayman
Top speed (km/h)
Fuel tank (L)
Combined cycle consumption (L/100km)