Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

8 August 2014

South Africa: Alfa Romeo 4C - Minimalism, Maximised

analysis

Right now, one of the motoring world's most desirable production cars is a small two-seater with a four-cylinder turbo engine and a dual-clutch gearbox. That may sound decidedly ordinary, but all doubts are dispelled when you see it in all its composite splendour. DEON SCHOEMAN drives the arresting Alfa Romeo 4C.

Minimalism is a rare commodity in sports car design these days. The last real exponent of the lightweight sports car art was the late Colin Chapman, whose Lotus cars have always epitomised the magic of wieldy, simple featherweight designs: cars that don't need hundreds of kiloWatts to be fast and rewarding.

Most current sports cars have traded simplicity for complexity, and need lots of engine muscle to achieve decent power-to-weight ratios. But there are exceptions to the rule. The slim, trim and sexy Alfa Romeo 4C is one of those.

This is an Alfa like no other: a compact, low-slung two-seater with the stance, the attitude and the arresting aesthetics of a supercar. The surfaces are tautly stretched over the car's frame, allowing function to determine form.

It's certainly not pretty in the conventional sense - but then, there is nothing conventional about the 4C.

The front view's elements...

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