Plenty of praise has been heaped on Alfa’s little 4C sports car. Not only is it lightweight, quick, and achingly good-looking, it’s the first Alfa to be sold in the U.S. since the 8C in 2008. For a lot of folks, this Italian beauty is the culmination of the age-old automaker’s history. On paper, all is well. But what is it actually like to drive? XCAR’s Alex Goy decided to find out in this 12-minute video.

In typical fashion, the review is in-depth, starting with general perceptions, a few facts and engineering statistics, and a brief recap of Alfa’s extensive motorsport history, ending it with the pros, cons, and final conclusion. All of it is done with stunning rolling shots of the British landscape under an epic soundtrack.

In the end, Goy found the looks, the dual-clutch gearbox, the interior room and the engine all quite impressive. However, he didn’t like how the 4C felt at higher speeds, saying that it gets “...a bit unnerving. The wheel start’s grabbing and shimmying left and right, and in the end you end up hanging on for dear life more than actually feeling as though you’re in total control.” He was also disappointed by the harsh ride, expecting something a bit smoother.

The verdict? “The magic is there, it’s just not being seen properly yet.”

Alfa Romeo 4C

2014 Alfa Romeo 4C High Resolution Exterior
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Personally, I think Goy went into the review with the wrong idea of what the 4C should be. Alfa went whole hog when it came to cutting pounds, using a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis and lots of aluminum to keep the curb weight under a ton. The interior is stripped down to only the bare essentials, and the high-double-wishbone suspension up front and McPherson struts in the back are all about performance, generating over 1 G of lateral grip. Take this thing to a proper race track, and I’m guessing it’ll make a lot more sense. Sure, you could put a Porsche in your driveway, but for my money, I gotta go Alfa.

Read our full review here.

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