Afternoon in heaven
I went on a short date with the Alfa Romeo 4C ...
Photos by Malene Raith
"Hallooo? Can you hear me ...? "I shout with a smirk into the hands-free phone, because I’m not able to hear a thing. That is ... actually I can hear everything.
The center engine of flat sports car that I'm sitting in, is placed just behind my neck, and every time I touch the accelerator a tiny bit, it sucks, whistles and rumbles throughout the whole cabin.
"Well, if you are there, just listen to this ..." I hit the gas and with the imminent danger of getting tinnitus, I fly away on motorway in the stunning red Alfa Romeo 4C.
Here we go ...
It did however not promise that well earlier in the day, as it started out with thick black clouds in the sky, sending cascades of rain onto the roof of the Alfa Romeo 4C.
On the positive side it didn't rain inside the car. On the negative, I'm behind the wheel of a lightweight sports car that weighs about 900 kg and has 240 horsepower to pull them.
Not the best combination in pouring rain, but then, after all, I have now successfully unfolded myself and is well placed on the hard leather seat. The winding of a 185 cm body through a small door in the low and flat sports car demands a lot of coordination of the limbs. Especially in a short skirt, forget a quick exit.
That said, it is wonderful to sit here with my butt 5 cm above the asphalt in a small cabin, that only offers room for my handbag on the available passenger seat.
And you know, you are entering a racing devil, when you can see the carbon fiber in the doorway (Alfa Romeo 4Cs light weight is due to a body consisting mainly of aluminum and carbon fiber) and an interior that offers nada accessories.
Infotainmentsystem? Ah, forget about it ...
Well, there’s a radio, air conditioning, a hazard flash button disturbingly close at hand, electronic windows and sidemirrors to name highlights, and that's it. In fact, the radio is redundant, but I will return to that.
On the center console there are also four buttons: 1 means Drive, A/M is automatic or manuel gears, R is … well, reverse, and N is, yearh, you get it, neutral.
Of course, here also Alfa Romeo's DNA button, that offers the driving modes Dynamic (sports mode), Neutral (in between) and All Weather.
Multifunction steering wheel is out of the question, but you get the paddleshift, so you can shift gears yourself, and a digital screen in front of you gives you the most important information.
And so I start the car ...
Breathe in the air
Oh, yes, goodafternoon!
The Alfa Romeo 4C dosen’t offer you the largest roar in the segment, but as soon as I step on the accelerator, the whole machinery comes to life behind me.
There’s already heavy breathing of the turbo, and pulse from the engine, eventhough the red devil is only strolling out of the parking lot.
The chassis is rock hard and the steering wheel as well. Forget soft suspension and forget power steering.
I need a little time to adapt to the heavy steering wheel, as I rumble out the driveway at Alfa Romeo, but that’s okay. I am quite ready to forgive this car everything, if the driving experience is just a little bit as amazing as the sound suggests.
The rumbling goes on on several levels. Yes, the engine is noisy, but the hard suspension also means that I feel every little stone and markings on the road.
It’s almost like a kind of sports massage, I giggle, but of course it’s also because I know, that is means that this car is optimized for one thing: speed.
"Wuhuu ..." I drive in Neutral (not even Dynamic), the rain has stopped, and the car shoot away with a hollow yell, as I reach the highway.
Alfa Romeo 4C is very much alive on the road, like an animal, you always need to tame and it's both hands on the wheel. Continually.
And the sound becomes louder and more intense with all the activity going on: here is the vacuum cleaner-ish sound when the turbocharger builds up pressure, the deep roar from the engine, noise from the tires - forget all about noise insulation - and when I step on the brake, there are great pops the turbo, while it shuts out air, and the gearbox is gearing down.
Yippeee! I can hear everything!
Except the radio.
Nice one ...
Up North I finally reach the sun and the dry roads, make a short stop (and roll drop out of the door) to photograph the car, before I continue my speedadventure in the red devil with rear-wheel drive that constantly requires my full attention.
As I drive back towards Copenhagen late in the afternoon, the Alfa Romeo 4C has gotten under my skin and all the way into my bloodstream.
The low sports car is so pure as a wild, and at the same time, simple creature. It screams for speed and fun, but also requires the full attention of the driver.
The Alfa Romeo 4C is raw, unpolished and demanding - give it what it wants, and the car will return your effords with a pure driving experience, that makes you feel like a real race driver.
Forget about boring stuff like radio programs and cupholders, stop thinking about shopping lists and Christmas gifts, forget luxury, forget the luggage, the children and backseat ... well, just forget about the rest of the world and live the moment with both hands on the wheel of the Alfa Romeo 4C. An Italian sports car at its best, full of beauty, temperament and above all: personality.
Alfa Romeo 4C is hand-built by Maserati in Modena, Italy, produced in a total of 3500, 1000 of which is for the European marked.
Top speed of 258 km / h
0-100 km / h: 4.5 seconds
Kilometers to the liter: 14.7
Cylinders: 4 (1.7 liters)