The 2018 Alfa Romeo 4C, offered as a coupe or semi-convertible called Spider, is a scaled-down supercar in more ways than one. First, it is simply smaller than Ferraris and Lamborghinis. Second, in price, it comes in way below those cars. And third, it undercuts them in weight, thanks to a carbon-fiber tub and a turbo-4.
We rate the mid-engine 4C a 5.8 overall. We give it high marks for handling, driver feedback, and power. We subtract points for its tiny cabin, rough ride, lack of amenities, and cut-rate materials. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
For 2018, the 4C offers a front fascia with carbon-fiber vents and yellow stitching for the black leather seat option.
Review continues below
The Alfa Romeo 4C is best bought as a specialty car that is used for fun. It looks special, with its low, menacing stance, scoops, and curves. Lines flow from the triangular grille up front, and pronounced rear haunches give the look of a predator ready to pounce.
The 4C comes alive on a twisty road or racetrack. The turbo-4 puts out 237 horsepower and sends it to the rear wheels via a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission. The mid-engine layout gives it great balance and the light weight lends amazing agility. Add in great grip and the car is purpose-built for a racetrack.
The manual steering that is so great at speed, however, is tough to deal with at lower speeds. Team that with cramped seats and a harsh ride and this car is a pain to drive on a regular basis.
Get inside and the 4C has very little to offer. The materials are low-end, it has few amenities, and the radio looks like it came from the Best Buy clearance bin a decade ago or more.
Not surprisingly, the 4C also lacks any of today’s active safety features. Don’t expect it to ever be crash tested.
Fuel economy, however, is pretty good for a sporty car at 28 mpg combined.