Join Date: May 2008
Location: Venice, California, USA
The 308 holds a certain amount of lure, no secret there. My uneducated guess is maintenance costs will be murder. Not that it might be unreliable, but the cost to the same service job on the Ferrari will be greatly exaggerated as compared to the Alfa Romeo 4C.
I realize that I'm an anomaly when it comes to cars. I can't afford to own a car that I can't drive. There's desire, ability to afford (financially), practicality (as a daily driver), and justification.
I have the desire, I'm in a position to afford (financially), I'm used to driving race cars (on the track) and am willing to overlook certain aspects of the car, and I don't need to justify the 4C.
When I started getting serious about purchasing my 4C, I looked at other cars in the price range. Back then we didn't know what the price would be, so I guessed at $80,000 to 90,000 USD. I looked at plenty of performance minded cars in that price range. Porsche, Corvette, Jaguar, and so forth. I toyed with the options.
What I wanted in a car was, a true coupe that seats only two. Small and lightweight, 3,500 pounds is not lightweight, under 2500 pounds is. The essence of a race car that is street legal, not an armchair with a big engine. A Sports car, not a GT car.
That's really a hard order to fill in today's car market. The Miata fits, except I've driven my brother's and I wanted more power. All the cars I looked at are good cars, I'm sure of that, and I might have liked them. But I kept trying to justify them.
When I went back to the 4C, I wasn't justifying anything. It was the nameless car of my dreams. Besides, my dad is an old Alfa guy from way back when. I had driven his GTV enough to have an appreciation for Alfa and an understanding of what I might expect.
There are times where the 4C leaves something else to be desired. When I'm stuck in traffic listening to the idiot next to me yelling into his cell phone, for example. The radio is so terrible that I don't bother with it. But, that's an easy fix if I really wanted to change it. I've worked on enough Ferrari's and Lamborgini's to know that, "The higher the car's performance level, the crappier the radio." The Alfa Romeo 4C had a really crappy radio.
That's it. That's my biggest complaint. The 4C has a crappy radio. But then again, I didn't buy the car for the radio.
There's a fine line of compromise between being so track oriented that it's not streetable or so street oriented that it's just another boring car. Alfa did a good job at finding that invisible line. If the suspension was any stiffer it wouldn't be streetable, if it was any softer I'd be disappointed. The same with the exhaust note and everything else.
For me, it's just perfect. But, I realize that I'm not everybody. The 4C is not a car that everybody can appreciate.
My wife is not a car person. But she loves my 4C also. I think some of it is just being in, or being seen in, a car of this status. But when asked about the noise or the (expected) stiff ride, she smiles and says, "That's part of the experience." She has almost as much time in the passenger seat as I do behind the wheel.