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Just wanted to see what you guys thought?

I recently upgraded to a 2020 Porsche 718 S Chalk and love it (wife loves to drive it) but I was thinking of buying a low mileage (7800 miles) 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider. I'm buying it from a car guy that has some done some upgrades, exhaust, suspension and really takes care of his vehicles.

Does anybody have any experience with a 4C or own one? I figured the ride won't be as good as the 718 but I thought it be fun to drive for a year or two.

Thanks!
 

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Just wanted to see what you guys thought?

I recently upgraded to a 2020 Porsche 718 S Chalk and love it (wife loves to drive it) but I was thinking of buying a low mileage (7800 miles) 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider. I'm buying it from a car guy that has some done some upgrades, exhaust, suspension and really takes care of his vehicles.

Does anybody have any experience with a 4C or own one? I figured the ride won't be as good as the 718 but I thought it be fun to drive for a year or two.

Thanks!
 

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I can only tell you my opinion after thorough research I did when I was buying my Cayman. This is only my opinion based on my wants and on my physique and age.

Pro: very lightweight, no assist steering, racecar feel

Con: impossible to get in and out for me (even Cayman can be a challenge on a bad day), turbocharged engine, no MT, horrendous ergonomic and hard to enjoy anywhere except for the track and punishing on the street

Tell you what, though. If I knew how to drive as I do now and had money I have now when I was 25-30 years old, that would have been The Car to get.
 
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I cannot recall what, but a lot of reviews slated reliability and service issues. This was on my list, along with Lotus, and I went with the 981 due to reliability. Lotus was excluded due to comfort and interior, considering I’m 6’1 /240# lol.

I’d have to go back and look. That said, if you’ve done your research and found that not to be the case, sweet. They’re pretty cars.


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I was thinking of a Giulia as I liked the looks and performance. Then I thought about where I might get it worked on (even though I do a lot of my own maintenance).


Shawn in VA (USA)
 

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Like others here I also looked at it as a contender when first considering my 718. It's a beautiful car, no question - I would say that my research found it to be lots of fun (loud, race car feel), but difficult to live with long term. As others note, reliability is also a real issue. I suppose it depends on what you're looking for from your sports car.
 

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The reviewer mentioned that it's not appropriate for a thousand mile run, that's a deal breaker for me as a toy. This year I went through the Smokey mountains passing old horse farms in VA, top down, was epic. I'll be doing it next year too. I'd love to drive one though.
Let us know and we’ll meet up! Hope you found a decent place to stay without putting your baby in danger of door dings, or worse.


Shawn in VA (USA)
 

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Thousand-mile days are more the proper domain of something like a Macan, but you could certainly do it in a 718 or 981. I've driven just as far in the 981 in a single day, but it's somewhat more fatiguing than the same 1K-mile run in a Macan.

I'm sure it would be survivable in a 4C... although I agree with CinciOH's suggestion that the 4C is a younger person's car. "Survivable" isn't good enough past a certain point in life. :)
 

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The seller is in Alabama so I was thinking of buying it and driving the 4C to Southern California (figure it be a cool road trip with my dad)
This… does not sound like a good time for either party. I have no personal knowledge driving one, but the anecdotes about how it can be a punishing ride are manifold. You’ll be eating rock chips from semis for a thousand miles while experiencing the world’s worst shiatsu massage, and risk getting stuck in Nowheresville, TX with a breakdown that cannot be quickly fixed.

There a guy in my town who has one, and I occasionally see him driving it around. Once in a while I will be in my Cayman and spot him in it. You know how, when you are in a “normal” car or SUV and look over and see a sports car and are like “wow that thing is so small and low!” Well that’s the feeling I get looking over at that 4C … from my Cayman. Which is itself small and low. If that makes sense. The 4C is that small and that low, it makes the Cayman feel like a “normal” car by comparison. There are only two other cars that have given me that same sensation from within my Cayman… the Lotus Elise, and the Ariel Atom.

I’d suggest having it shipped instead and spending the quality time with it and your old man at a track day or HPDE event or something like that. Any man with a child old enough to drive and afford a 4C is probably too old to much enjoy a cross country trip in one.
 

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I bought my 1972 Alfa Romeo GTV in January of that year when I didn't have a dime to my name and it became the best investment I ever made. I've followed the brand ever since then. When I sold it 3 years ago I bought my Cayman and paid off my house. Alfa Romeo left the US market for several years and returned with the 4C and Milano. If you are over 5'10" forget the 4C. its not a big man's car. The Milano has had electrical/tech issues from the get go and the support network is lacking from what I read. I love my 14 Base coupe having added a 82mm throttle body, IPD plenum and ECU upgrade. I would bet I could stay with any Cayman S up to 80 mph. Why pay $10K more for the S unless money is not an issue. The Cayman is not the easiest car to work on but if you are patient and do your homework you can do what the Dealership will charge you a fortune for or find a good independent shop. The Porsche maintenance program is designed to maximize revenues. for example: Plug change at 20K miles: $20 @ piece when the oem plug and be bought for $6-7 online. Nuff said..........
 

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I bought my 1972 Alfa Romeo GTV in January of that year when I didn't have a dime to my name and it became the best investment I ever made. I've followed the brand ever since then. When I sold it 3 years ago I bought my Cayman and paid off my house. Alfa Romeo left the US market for several years and returned with the 4C and Milano. If you are over 5'10" forget the 4C. its not a big man's car. The Milano has had electrical/tech issues from the get go and the support network is lacking from what I read. I love my 14 Base coupe having added a 82mm throttle body, IPD plenum and ECU upgrade. I would bet I could stay with any Cayman S up to 80 mph. Why pay $10K more for the S unless money is not an issue. The Cayman is not the easiest car to work on but if you are patient and do your homework you can do what the Dealership will charge you a fortune for or find a good independent shop. The Porsche maintenance program is designed to maximize revenues. for example: Plug change at 20K miles: $20 @ piece when the oem plug and be bought for $6-7 online. Nuff said..........
HOWEVER: this one set sedan lap record at Nurburgring.
 

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Does anybody have any experience with a 4C or own one? I figured the ride won't be as good as the 718 but I thought it be fun to drive for a year or two.
For context, I've spent time driving MINI's (including a foray into a 305HP race prepped R53 JCW), Lotus Elise's, Exige-S, various 911's, various BMW M cars, Corvettes, Mustangs, Hellcat and in the past some Sport Bikes. Currently I have a 2018 718 CS PSE. For the money, IMHO the 718 is an amazing car and has been a super reliable and a super fun car at most any speed. Yeah it's not a 6 cylinder engine, but man is it a good car and great even on longish road trips, very civilized and comfortable/livable as a daily driver, utterly stable at triple digit speeds and very drivable/livable when tooling around town. And I actually like the exhaust note in Sport mode : )

My friend has a 2016 Yellow 4C Spyder w/ the factory track suspension and exhaust package. It is a TOTALLY different animal. I've had a chance to drive his 4C Spyder quite a bit and in comparison to the 718 CS, it's a fun second car but I am glad that it's not a car that I'm using as my daily driver. It totally reminded me of a (curvier) Lotus Elise/Exige in terms of its handling, but also in the rawness/not particularly refined build quality of the interior, though the 4C is more finished than those Lotuses lol. The reviews you'll find on YouTube break down the 4C's driving characteristics quite well (and I totally agree that it is a great/fun driver's car) so I'll mainly touch on some of the day to day issues/concerns.

Getting in and out is a rather athletic endeavor, the interior is not nearly as nice as the 718's (already basic but well done and I appreciate simple). The 4C is much less refined, creakier, has lower quality plastics, odd ergonomics and quirky controls. The seats aren't very padded but hold well (but if you're uh heavier, it'll be uncomfortable/cramped) and they won't recline much if you're not super short. The stereo (which was an Alpine head unit that I believe was not after market) is very basic/doesn't sound good vs the 718's BOSE system (which isn't exactly extraordinary as a point of comparison), the AC is anemic, almost zero usable storage (a molded in slot in the wide sill on driver and passenger's side that holds a cell phone, one up holder, door to a small storage compartment in the firewall between the seats that doesn't lock) unless you want to put stuff in the passenger foot well and on the seat to fly around, shifting isn't as fast or precise as a PDK, it takes some planning/time to put on/take off the soft top (which does store neatly in the tiny trunk, but if you're also putting stuff in the trunk, you'll be shuffling stuff around a bit), my friend has had some very small water seepage from seams of the removable soft top during the rare times it rains hard around here. If you don't can't garage the car, it may not be a good thing.

The 4C Spyder however is super fun to drive, more akin to a 4 wheel motorcycle but also with many of the associated issues. Really noisy inside (even w/ the soft top in place, but honestly who cares about how good the stereo sounds when it makes all those fun turbo/burbling/farting noises : ), lots of wind buffeting and yelling to talk w/ the top off, but you get to feel EVERYTHING when you're driving it. The suspension is very tight and responsive but travel and ground clearance are not great (you'll scrape the front splitter a lot), it's easy to bottom it out and it's better on a smooth track/new road rather than public roads that are badly maintained.

The non-power steering is very direct (though yes, you do tend to tramline when there are pavement irregularities), and you'll have to accept that turning at low speeds/backing up is going to be a bit of a workout. Be very careful backing up and parking, rear quarter visibility is nil and there is no backup camera (at least on the year 4C Spyder my friend has). Even then, it's better to back into spots when parking so you can see what you're pulling out into. It's really easy to scrape/curb the very low front bumper/splitter and the wheels due to the very low driving position/limited visibility.

Assume everyone else on the road cannot see you and are all actively trying to kill you as you're very small and hard to see (apparently even being bright yellow doesn't help!).

Here in So. Cal (Orange County) one of our local Alpha Romeo dealership shut it's doors. So for service it's a hike down towards Irvine or San Diego or finding a decent indie shop (hard to find). Also....one big maintenance nightmare is that it is recommended that every 1 year/12K miles, the body panels and chassis/mechanicals that are bolted to the carbon fibre tub need to be re-torqued down...a non-trivial bit of work that costs $1200-2000....and not all shops know how to do this or want to spend the multiple days required to do this right...and it's an out of pocket/out of warranty expense to get done....

The 4C IS super unique, fun and very cool looking. I do find the exhaust a bit loud/obnoxious for my taste (my friend's car has the upgraded track exhaust so I haven't heard the stock exhaust to see if it's less uh...flamboyant). Super fun to drive short distances on a sunny day on perfect road surfaces. Yeah...it's definitely unique, but it's definitely a labor of love. It's a great second/weekend/fun car and in many ways more like a motorcycle than say a 718 which is perfectly capable as a daily driver even if you give up some of the raw sharpness of a 4C.

Just my thoughts from the perspective of a car guy who does spirited driving and tracks occasionally, but mainly wants a car that is fun AND reliable nowadays : )

Dave

(edited to clear up some of the info about torquing down the body bolts)
 
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