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.