In-depth reviews

Alfa Romeo 4C (2014-2019) review - Interior, design and technology

Stunning exterior, but the 4C's interior finish lacks the Porsche Cayman's premium feel

Alfa Romeo’s back catalogue is full of pretty cars, and the 4C has the instant desirability to rival the best of them. Composite bodywork is wrapped tightly around a carbon-fibre chassis, and the proportions are straight from the supercar textbook. Yet at less than four metres long, the 4C is smaller than you’d expect, and its low and compact shape is more Lotus Elise than Ferrari 488. The taut rear end takes its inspiration from the late sixties 33 Stradale, while the angular nose recalls the recent 8C supercar.

It’s not all good news, though. For instance, the lines at the front end are spoiled by the awkwardly placed number plate, while the coupe's multi-bulb LED headlamps have come in for criticism. This has been remedied on the newer Spider model which features more elegant xenon lights, although the LED set-up is still available as an option. The Spider also features an exclusive yellow paint option, while the black fabric roof is opened manually.

Inside, the simple dash is angled towards the driver, but cheap plastics and borrowed Fiat switchgear mean the car lacks the upmarket premium feel that you'll find in a Porsche Cayman. The bare carbon weave in the footwells and on the high sills reminds you that you’re driving something special, while conventional dials are replaced by a TFT screen that perfectly displays revs, speed, gear position and trip information.

Elsewhere, leather door pulls, aluminium pedals and a flat-bottom wheel create a sense of occasion to match the flamboyant exterior. Leather seats, cruise control and floor mats are optional, but air-conditioning is a no-cost option. However, it's disappointing to find some exposed wiring in the cabin, which isn't really becoming of a £50k sports car.

The 4C coupe comes in black, grey, white, pearl white and two shades of red – Rosso Alfa and Rosso Competizione - while the Spider is also available in bright yellow at extra cost.

Interior trim options include black fabric with red stitching, red or black leather, or a fabric/leather mix. You can also add black alloy wheels and carbon fibre detailing to the exterior, although it all comes at extra cost.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The Alfa product planners want you to know the 4C was made for pure driving passion, so it doesn’t come with a radio as standard. There’s provision to fit one though, and a stereo with web apps, voice recognition and hands-free phone connection can be selected free of charge from the options list. However, the aftermarket unit looks pretty cheap in the cabin, and is a stark contrast to the TFT dials ahead of the driver.

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