Originally Posted by Giuliettalfredo
Any successful sports car combines form and function. I never drove a 4C because I wouldn't even use it as a hearse. In other words, I wouldn't be caught dead in it. It has all the allure of a lug nut.
By contrast, the 8C looks invincible, as if it could cut through the wind like a missile and arrive with all the style of Milan. The 4C looks like someone from Gold's Gym whose taken w-a-y too many steroids and now can't walk or move without looking unnatural. And yet, that's the current trend among cars from Ferrari, Lotus, and other hyper-masculine brands. It's body building showboating instead of ballet power and grace.
Maserati, after the glow of the A6Gs, reached its pinnacle with the original Ghibli. Alfa had a multitude of post-war cars that merited acclaim. But the recent crop of crapulous designs has no distinction once you get beyond the grill. Even if they performed like a car being driven by Fangio, their appearance would make them unlovable. And that's what the market has made clear.
To each their own. To me, the 8C looks gorgeous from afar, but seeing one in person significantly reduced the appeal. The interior is not befitting an expensive exotic, and the whole package is a bit awkward. I honestly prefer the looks of the 4C.
My thoughts on Alfa's failure to (re)launch in the U.S.:
I think the biggest mistake on the 4C was going with a carbon chassis on a car at that price point. There's a reason why carbon had only been attempted on much more expensive cars. They blew the budget on the chassis and had little left over for everything else. Plus, U.S. regulations requiring an additional 300lbs to be added certainly didn't help the impression. It was certainly a small car, but nobody buys a 2-seat roaster for uitility. But I don't think going bigger or more plush with the 4C would have helped either. The only 2-seat cars that sell in any serious volume are the Miata and the Corvette. Both have dedicated built-in followings that will be hard to lure people away from. A 2-seater was never going to be a volume seller- the point was a rolling advertisement to announce the return. It did that to a degree, but they needed to sell in greater numbers to really make a splash.
Rather than the 4c, what they really should have done is reintroduced the Alfa Spider as a genuine up-market Miata-platform car. It should have had a motor with significantly more power than the Miata, along with the swoopier Alfa styling. The Fiat Spider we got was nothing more than an "alt" Miata. It had barely more power and lacked a truly distinctive look.
I think the Giulia itself is stunning, but they needed to be a lot more careful about making sure the bugs were worked out before bringing it to market. They knew (or should have known) that Alfa was working against a reliability stigma, and the early software issues cemented that stigma for the current generation. Even most car-folks I know who love the idea of driving a Giulia Quad are scared of actually buying one. It becomes a self-reinforcing cycle as frightful depreciation sets in, creating one more reason to be wary of buying one new.
The Stelvio was a shameless money grab given the strange obsession we collectively have with SUVs (and tall station wagons meant to look like them), but I don't thing the strategy was bad. I don't expect the new "Tonale" to go anywhere- it's the answer to a question few were asking. Plus, that name really needed to be run by a few more native English speakers who would have told them that Americans are going to say "Toe Nail."
Finally, I think the death of Sergio Marchione may have spelled doom for Alfa - he was a booster of the brand. Without him, I don't see the powers that be in FCA allocating it much resources, especially in light of recent performance.