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It seems to me that Ferrari sells a lifestyle (or at least the impression of one), not a car.

It's like an expensive watch.
A $35 Timex will tell time just as well as one costing 200x as much, can be purchased at any Wal-Mart, and maintenance consists of taking it into the shower with you once in a while, and replacing a battery or strap every few years. You aren't afraid to do work on the car or in the garden with it on. But it will never impress anyone who sees it on your arm. Typically, only others with expensive watches, or those who aspire to own them, will notice or care. But it makes the wearer feel special.

A Honda Civic will get you from A to B just as well as an exotic does (usually more practically and definitely more comfortably), gets to the speed limit in not much more time (considering traffic and as a percentage of the length of your journey), costs next to nothing to own an maintain, and will even start after 2 weeks of not being plugged in and carefully stored. It isn't likely to leave you stranded, or require an equity loan to do some unexpected repair. Once the factory warranty is up, most Civic owners are not going to drop everything to seek extended coverage. The Honda may even have better fit and finish. But it's an appliance and is neither going to stand out on the street, nor will it give the owner chills when he picks up the key (unless it's their first car) the way that a Ferrari will. All the exhaust mods in the world won't raise the hairs on the back of your neck, and you won't do a double-take when you notice the "H" badge on the nose. Your friends will not be jealous, and you'll probably be restricted to visitor parking (or worse yet, the Ricer lot) at a cars and coffee. Driving a car with a prancing horse on the hood just makes you feel special. Maybe you've made it, achieved your goal. Or it is an extension of your race car fantasy. It's the heritage, the racing pedigree, and the legend every bit as much as the aluminum and leather under you.

Like your favourite vocalist, who could sing the phone book and you'd buy the album. It doesn't matter so much what car that logo is on, but rather that the logo is there.

It's an experience. A lifestyle. Not a car, per se. That's why they are so protective of the brand (despite its foibles over the years).

Unfortunately, it can also make the company lazy and arrogant sometimes. Most of the time, from what I hear, actually. But that seems to be just another part of the experience. A hazing ritual, perhaps. Welcome to the club. You've made it!
Well said...those that can't justify or dismiss those that can.
 

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It's fun to compare influences and design similarities.

But I find it more rewarding to focus and appreciate what the 4C (or any other car) is rather than what it isn't.

The 4C isn't a Ferrari. It's not as good of a car as a Cayman. It's not as raw or communicative as a Lotus. It's not as reliable, easy to drive, easy to maintain, or inexpensive as a Miata.

It's an Alfa, with a proud heritage stretching over a century. The marque that dominated the Targa Florio, Mille Miglia, and early Grand Prix. The factory that gave Enzo his start and spawned Ferrari. The brand than birthed the glorious Tipo 33 and so many other gorgeous cars. The symbols of the cars and racing teams are deeply rooted in the Italian community, racing glory, and tragedy.

It has a carbon fiber tub! A mid-engine! Flappy paddles! 21 pounds of boost!

It's a better car than a Lotus and a better go-cart than a Cayman.

It's Italian, beautiful, and flawed. And perhaps the end of the line for petrol-powered cars with this heritage.
 

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Ferrari or 4C ?
Have never driven a Ferrari, but I wonder, do I really need a $200,000 car to satisfy my automotive desires? I think not ! Most important, are they really any more fun than a 4C ? I would like to hear from those that have experienced both .
 

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Well, my stepfather has had a few Ferraris and having been a passenger in a few. Yes. They are incredible.

If you are wealthy and can afford a Ferrari, they will satisfy in a way our cars can't.

The sound alone of a Ferrari at high revs is reminiscent of an F1 90s screamer and tickles your spine.

Our 4C is a special car, but Ferraris are on another league altogether as they should be given the price difference.
 

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Ferrari or 4C ?
Have never driven a Ferrari, but I wonder, do I really need a $200,000 car to satisfy my automotive desires? I think not ! Most important, are they really any more fun than a 4C ? I would like to hear from those that have experienced both .
Recently sold a 2020 Porsche Taycan 4S and a 2017 Audi R8 RWS (V10, rear drive) and downsized, if you will. My toy at the moment is a 2015 Alfa 4C LE. Before purchasing the Alfa, I did the “what is the most car I can buy under $100k“ search. I even went back to cars that I loved a few decades ago, more for nostalgia (E46 BMW M3, Honda S2000, and so forth). In the end, the best car for all around enjoyment was the 718 Porsche Cayman S/GTS, but for $65k used or $90k new for the options I’d want — not a bad buy, just not special. Not exotic. It lacked the feeling of being “moved” while driving it; not a special event to drive. For a toy/extra car, I wanted something with a bit more “slap me across the face” experience. Ya know?

For me the best car in the sub$100k price range would actually be an Audi R8 V8 6SPD gated. There is a black one 2hrs away from me, single owner but 40k miles — that i keep toying with getting. But even then its more GT, and less race car. There is something about a Lotus, or the 4C, and a platform this small/light, that few other cars really can touch. IMO there are some great Ferrari vehicles out there, and a 360 can be had for $85-125k right now — not a bad price — but even in those cases, they aren’t TWICE as fun as the 4C, any more than my $130k used Audi R8 was 3x the fun of the 4C. Bang for buck, the Alfa is just amazing.
 

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I own an older Ferrari and have driven a few others. I don't think they're more fun. The non-turbo cars, esp the F355, sound fantastic. That model in particular is probably similar in "fun" factor.

But the older ones feel dated, soft, and aren't any faster than a 4C. Modern turbo Ferraris are just "too much": too much power, too big, too expensive to buy/maintain, too complicated, too much depreciation. You have to push them too hard to really feel anything, and the track is really the only place for that.

I bought a 4C specifically instead of another Ferrari to enjoy much of the same characteristics at street-sane speeds and without the eye-watering depreciation and maintenance costs.

Great perspective on this here:

 

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Ferrari should have made a car like the 4C for entry level buyers, but are too interested in megabuck cars to care about something like that. I looked at F cars from the 360 down to the 308GT4. While I wanted an F355, the maintenance scared me away. The 4C is a monster of a deal.
 

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Takes huge balls to imply what is annually ranked as the #1 brand in the world, or close to it, should do to cheapen itself and come down-market.

Stand that up against the entire range from Fiat over the years and it makes less sense.

Ferrari is a racing team, specifically Formula 1, who funds racing by selling cars to people they hate to have money to go racing. This is an honor to the legacy of Enzo Ferrari, who let his own dying son build a groundbreaking car (Dino) that was down-market, then told him to slap a Fiat badge on it.

Critique Nissan, GM, etc, if you'd like.

Let me honor Enzo. To anyone uttering "Ferrari should," all I can say is vaffanculo!

(all in fun. I kid, I kid)
 

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The new SF90 is the fastest production Ferrari ever...yet critiqued as not a rewarding driver's car.

Still, can't blame Ferrari, a luxury lifestyle brand with an F1 team as marketing, for building ever-more powerful and advanced cars to cater to the 0.01%.

I do think they should build something light and simple focusing on driver engagement. But it would be a $500k special available only to their best prior customers ;)

The missed opportunity here is positioning a line of shared-platform Fiat Dino's and Alfa 4C/6C to compete with Caymans/911s/Lotuses and serve as entry to the family and a gateway to Ferrari.
 

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Not sure that cheapening the brand is something that Ferrari would ever need (and certainly would never WANT) to do.

As odd as it sounds to say, price isn't the barrier to entry for Ferrari. They sell more of their most popular models than Alfa sold 4C's.

Certainly, the cost of ownership (maintenance, depreciation, insurance, extended warranties) dissuade some owners, but on newer F-cars these are really not so bad. Used to be, when an engine had to come out every few years, that this was a real issue, but not so much with newer cars.

If Ferrari would have made a 4C variant, it would have either been a lot more money (think MC20 and go up from there - so homing in on 488 territory). Or a Cayman competitor (Cavalino on the nose of the 4C) it would have cannibalized a lot of the lower end of their market and really diluted the brand.

Were Ferrari interested in gaining a greater market share, they would need to change the driving experience. Or at least the perception. That's dangerous, as even though a lot of modern Ferrari cars are more GT than raw racers (at least at speeds we can use them at), they rely on the perception of being hot, fire breathing thoroughbreds. Some of their cars are for the 0.01% not by wealth, but by ability to use 600+ HP. Very few modern Ferraris are widow makers - the 599GTO might have been the last until the advent of the higher performing variants of the SF90.

When the company tried to introduce a more sedate, "entry level" F-car (the California), it was nearly universally panned as being "not a REAL Ferrari". That is of course, bullsh!t, but played well to people who trade controversy for clicks. The paradox is how to convince more drivers that the Ferrari experience can be less hard-core, without losing their loyal repeat following who buy into the glory days of olde and the notion that their car is really somehow only one generation off what Charles LeClerc is tearing around F1 circuits in.

I'd say that FCA did it right with the 4C. Throw a curve-ball to wake up the market and produce a buzz around the Alfa Romeo brand, stirring purists, journalists, and dreamers alike. Price it well below what it could have sold for, in true Alfa style, and thereby not detract from the more senior performance marques in the stable. The plan was brilliant, however the execution (North American dealer network, long lead times, lack of follow-up models) failed miserably.

My take on it - your mileage may vary.
 

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How far removed are common folk from the Ferrari consumer?

Commoners chastise Ferrari for the model line up. People who want light, aggressive, driver-focused cars have a pathway via Ferrari that is unrivaled by other manufacturers.

Hardcore cars that scream rawness, lightness and aggression are tagged as XX models and owned via the Corse Clienti program.

Again, too many look to Ferrari and don't quite comprehend what type of brand they are given that they tell billionaires to fuck right off. They don't even have the time, nor the care, to tell us to fuck right off.

Rolex should make a 750-dollar Seiko competitor -- am I right? Patek Phillipe could have a new 2500-dollar plated watch -- it would sell well. They should do that.

.
 

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A few years back, at a an evening function, I had a chance to put back a few (espressos lol.....it is funny a decade before this, it would have been an Amaro or Grappa) and pushed some of the representatives of the Maranello brand on this same line of questioning. Heck, I was upset that they were making TOO many model types and volume. The resulting comments were not at all surprising, the value is in the BRAND, and after a few more kicks at the internal combustion engine, electrification will take a huge chunk of their advantage. Hence, the models and the volume at their intended targets.

Every year, with advancing technology we move away from the 'analog' way of things. This happens in everything from coffee makers (I like to grind/measure/tamp/insert portafilter/lever up-down/pour/rinse-repeat while some like @Philster just want the damn coffee -understandable) to automobiles. That does not suggest that we always want the easier (tech) or harder (analog) way it may just depend on the mood and/or individual at any given point. I probably logged close to a million kms in generations of VW golfs/rabbits. They got better with each year.....but man oh man was the analog 1984 GTI the most fun!!! But....also the one with the most headaches :ROFLMAO:

Ferrari knows what it is doing....and the "enthusiast" will be addressed ...as long as it meets the criteria of Maranello.
 

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the value is in the BRAND, and after a few more kicks at the internal combustion engine, electrification will take a huge chunk of their advantage. Hence, the models and the volume at their intended targets.

great observation. I think many marques are struggling to define how to differentiate in the age of electrons. cheap, high powered batteries will give every manufacturer access to high HP cars, and they'll all sound the same.

which is why i'm hoarding favorite examples of the rich diversity and brand-specific identities of modern ICE cars: air- and water-cooled Porsche flat 6s, small displacement Ferrari NA V8, and the high-boost turbo I4 of the 4C. Some day hope to acquire a Ferrari V12!
 

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great observation. I think many marques are struggling to define how to differentiate in the age of electrons. cheap, high powered batteries will give every manufacturer access to high HP cars, and they'll all sound the same.

which is why i'm hoarding favorite examples of the rich diversity and brand-specific identities of modern ICE cars: air- and water-cooled Porsche flat 6s, small displacement Ferrari NA V8, and the high-boost turbo I4 of the 4C. Some day hope to acquire a Ferrari V12!
Of course, at some point we'll all be fighting over the last few gallons of gas to run them!
#notinmylifetime

;)
 

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Of course, at some point we'll all be fighting over the last few gallons of gas to run them!
#notinmylifetime

;)
true, but I have two responses, in order of prefrence:

1) Synthetic Fuels
or
2) Retrofit a Yamaha Electric motor on a 4C, old school 911, Ferrari, etc...

The second option will still make "me" feel better than driving an appliance at 300km/hr
 

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I know that the 4C is a reinterpretation of the Tipo 33 Stradale.
But I've already noticed that the 4C would also pass as a reinterpretation of the Ferrari 246 Dino.
At least I think that the side view of the two beautiful cars has something in common ...

But I feel like 4Canada. The longer I own the car, the more I love that it's not a Ferrari! It's an Alfa Romeo.


View attachment 116790
4C takes it (at least i those 2 specific pictures). 4C Spider vs 246 GTS is a closer call.
 

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View attachment 116795
View attachment 116796
Yes I consider myself blessed. The 4C is the closest thing to the Dino. No question. Always hoped Ferrari would build the next gen 246 on the 4C chassis. But they opted for the MC20...
I also believe the 4C Spider is a modern reinterpretation of the Dino 246 GTS. For all those interested in this topic, see a previous thread that touches on this subject entitled given-the-same-price-tag-would-you-buy-a-coupe-or-a-spider-and-why
 
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