Alfa Romeo 4C
Just 237bhp but plenty of performance

Generally, the way the 4C flows down a road and particularly through high speed corners is quite delightful.

To be clear, that sense of fun at lower speeds doesn't mean less excitement. It means the excitement comes without the need to flirt with figures like 200mph.

Indeed, it's a measure of how much fun the 4C is to drive that the paddle-shift gearbox doesn't really detract from the involvement factor. There's plenty to keep you busy.

Speaking of which, the downside is a busier, less refined car to drive. There's a fair amount of tug and weave from the steering on less than perfect road surfaces.

Alfa Romeo 4C
LCD instruments and robo-box paddles are the main in-car highlights

For some – including us – that adds to the fun for this kind of car. It feels alive. For others, it may reduce the 4C to status of weekend toy.

Anyway, our only serious objection to the 4C is its engine. Not in terms of shove. But rather in terms of noise and response.

237bhp is a lot from a such a small engine and the result is quite a bit of lag. In truth, it doesn't sound that great, either, which is a great pity for such a fun, pretty performance car.

For our money, a 4C with a small V6 engine would be an absolute delight. But maybe in this emissions-conscious age it would detract too much from the overall proposition. We'd sure like to give it a try.

Alfa Romeo 4C
Alfa's 4C ain't perfect, but it is a delight to drive

Verdict

There's an awful lot to recommend the 4C. It absolutely rumbles the usual supercar candidates for the overblown, irrelevant willy-waving exercises they surely are.

We reckon you'd have more fun driving an Alfa Romeo 4C on public roads than a McLaren P1 or Porsche 918 Spyder.

Carbon-fibre aside, the 4C doesn't do anything truly revolutionary. Nor does it sport any really ground-breaking technology. But it does pick and choose from the latest tech in an intelligent way to provide surprisingly pure driving thrills.

The Alfa Romeo 4C is on sale now in the UK starting at £45,000. Pricing in the US is expected to be around the $85,000 mark.