Test Drive: Alfa Romeo 4C
Forgive me, but the Alfa Romeo 4C seems to have an eye problem. The headlights remind me of the eyes of the Henry J. Waternoose III character in Monsters, Inc. Wait, no, they remind me of a former neighbour with a severe case of strabismus.
Apart from that little detail (and I blame animated feature films for making us project faces onto vehicle fronts), the 4C qualifies as one of the top sports cars around, trailing just behind the likes of the Porsche Cayman and Jaguar F-Type.
This curvaceous, and arguably sexy, mid-engined Italian bucket fits perfectly on the track, but it doesn’t translate as well on a regular motorway. It drives hard and rough, and the loud, raw engine rumble is all you can hear (its own speakers struggle to be heard), which makes the car seem obnoxious to other road users besides depriving its driver of music enjoyment. The only silencing devices on board are the turbocharger and catalytic converter.
Emulating the purity of the Lotus, it sits real close to the ground and makes you struggle to get into the cabin with the low roofline. Seats are as thin as the rest of the cabin, and the one thing you’d appreciate in a powerful car like this is absent: it doesn’t have steering assistance. The steering is extremely heavy, and three days of driving the car has endowed me with better muscle tone in my arms.
I do realise that I am thrusting a sports car into the profile of a family car or a daily drive. In all fairness, the Alfa Romeo 4C is a great track car. If you’re a race enthusiast, you would get more than a kick pushing its limits, but you’ll have to take it out to Malaysia for that. On Singapore roadways, its beauty is lost.