The anticipated return of Alfa Romeo to America’s shores with the tremendous little 4C was an auspicious event, and introduced a car whose performance and value utterly demand to be dissected, evaluated, and thoroughly studied.
And so it is that we find ourselves watching Chris Harris compare it to an essential hallmark of modern performance sportscars: the Porsche Cayman S. Topically, the two seem ripe for comparison; they are both small, lightweight, mid-engined two-door performers. The Cayman, however, must also concede to being an all-around comfortable people-pleaser, where the Alfa 4C has the luxury of being unabashedly, harshly Italian.
Those are, in so many words, Chris Harris’ sentiments regarding the two. In fact, very quickly the presenter announces that the Porsche Cayman S is the winner – indeed, perhaps one of the all-time greats. He asks instead: is there anything about the Alfa Romeo 4C that might warrant its purchase instead?
The Alfa 4C’s NVH levels (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) are much higher – as should be expected, for a carbon fiber monocoque design weighing over 800 pounds less (or about 500 pounds less, in U.S. trim). The rear-suspension, says Harris, feels comparatively unsophisticated. This struck us as ironic, as both the Alfa and the Porsche have McPherson struts in the rear.
Harris ends on the sentiment that regardless of its shortcomings, the Alfa 4C is a very “special” little car, and more importantly, not just another Porsche. If you want the best sportscar a moderate budget can afford, buy a Cayman.
But if you rather want to stand out from the crowd, an Alfa Romeo 4C might just be for you.