Home > Lists > 2015 >

Delightful (and devilish) dozen: what to drive when styling and performance are paramount

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C

Base price $53,900

This is the passionate Italian brand’s return to the U.S. market after decades away. The Alfa Romeo 4C is a sort of junior exotic, with styling, layout, and materials found at the top strata of the sports-car world. This midengine, two-seater has a carbon-fiber body, a direct-injected and turbocharged 1.7-liter four-cylinder engine, and a dual-clutch gearbox. Despite a relatively small engine, the lightweight construction of the Alpha aids excellent performance from the 237-horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque that the power plant delivers. With each horsepower only having to move 10.3 pounds of weight, 0-60 mph comes up in just 4.5 seconds and the 4C will then carry on to a top speed that is set at 155 mph. Although some purists may bemoan the omission of a manual gearbox option, the six-speed, dual-clutch automatic performs better than any manual could be expected to in the same circumstances. The suspension, which is largely made of aluminum, features double wishbones in the front and MacPherson struts in the back that contribute heavily to the Alpha’s stunning handling. Like many sports cars these days, the 4C has a driving mode switch to change shift and throttle pacing as well as the gauge colors between dynamic (red), natural (grey), all-weather (blue) and a yellow-screen Race mode that turns off the stability control.

About Chuck Giametta

This nationally recognized, award-winning writer brings to Carpreview.com two decades of automotive testing and reporting for newspapers, books, magazines, and the Internet. The former Executive Auto Editor of Consumer Guide, Chuck has covered cars for HowStuffWorks.com, Collectible Automobile magazine, and the Publications International Ltd. automotive book series. This ex-newspaper reporter has also appeared as an automotive expert on network television and radio. He’s a charter member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, the president of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Media association, and a juror for the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards. Chuck writes from Colorado Springs, Colo. If you have a question for Chuck, write to him at [email protected]