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Who wants an exotic, open-air European sports car? “Who doesn’t?” is probably a better question. This week we compare the sultry Alfa Romeo 4C to the ever-lovable Porsche Boxster.


Which of these mean machines would YOU rather own? These two cars have as many similarities as they do differences, so let’s explore…


The Alfa is built around a handcrafted, carbon-fiber, monocoque structure. Let that soak in for a moment. This is Ferrari-caliber technology in a vehicle that costs tens of thousands of dollars less.

This platform graces the 4C with incredible rigidity; perhaps only a solid block of granite is stiffer. This gives the car tremendous handling and rapid acceleration thanks to its trim weight.

A mid-mounted 1.75-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine provides 237 horsepower along with 258 lb-ft of torque. This little dynamo is matched to a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission, the only gearbox offered. All told, this drivetrain combination can catapult the 4C to 60 miles an hour in as little as 4.1 seconds.

In comparison, Porsche’s new 718-series Boxster is motivated by a turbocharged flat-four engine. Displacing 2.0-liters, it delivers a stout 300 ponies and 280 lb-ft of twist.

When equipped with the optional PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission the Boxster can hit 60 miles an hour in a claimed 4.5 seconds. To beat the 4C in a drag race like this you need to step up to the Boxster S, which features a 350-horse stable. A six-speed manual transmission is standard in every version of this car.

When it comes to monetary concerns, the Alfa Romeo in this toss-up starts at right around $66,000; the Porsche is a good bit cheaper, kicking off at about 57 large, though it lacks a carbon-fiber structure, which no doubt adds to the 4C’s price tag.

Read More Here: Poll: Alfa Romeo 4C Spider or Porsche Boxster? » AutoGuide.com News
 

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Check out Ezra Dyer's column in the September 2016 issue of Car & Driver. Since I cannot find it online I'll pull a few quotations:

Yeah, a 4C Spider can run you 70 grand, and for that dough you could buy a Corvette or a Boxster. .... You should want an Alfa 4C because it's a beautiful anomaly.
This [steering] wheel is so sensitive, a beautiful sunset makes it cry.
..., I returned to the parked Alfa to find a guy and his two teenage sons standing there checking it out. "They told me this was here," he said, "so I came straight from work. Seeing this car made our day." I ask you, what $58,000 car makes anyone's day? I just drove a $54,000 Ford Explorer and it was very nice, but not one person asked for a selfie with it."
You, over there: Buy a 4C.
 

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If yo want to live with the car a long time and use it for long trips, get the Porsche.

The 4C will drive you crazy !
 

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Nobody is seriously cross shopping between a Porsche Boxster and an Alfa 4c.

I drove a 981 Porsche Boxster GTS at a Porsche event at found it to be rather boring. I nearly fell over at the $100,000 msrp.

I would buy or compare to the old 987 Boxster Spyder or Cayman R which used to have qualities like steering feel and a more connected feel.
 

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I own a 986 Boxster (with all factory sport options), and test drove the 4c and 2016 981 Boxster GTS and Boxster Spyder. The 4c is more like my 986, it can compare to a newer 981, but it doesn't. The newer Boxsters are refined and don't have the purity of the 4c. The difference in steering feel is HUGE.

I have a strong preference for a manual so I passed on buying the 4c, also wanted the n/a yet hardtop. I passed on buying the Boxster Spyder, because it lacked the feel and feedback of my 986 and in the 4c.
 
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