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Discussion Starter #1
By most people’s admissions, and clearly on here, 4C is one of the prettiest cars there is with styling cues from many classic, gorgeous machines, brought together in this car with stunning results.

I don’t understand why Alfa hasn’t made the most of this fantastic car by making the necessary changes and then marketing it properly - the design certainly hasn’t aged, and the market for this type of specialist vehicle is increasing as evidenced by Alpine, Cayman T, the promised new Elise/Exige and numerous very low volume manufacturers joining in the fun. I suppose it may be the excessive cost of producing a carbon fibre tub, or perhaps you haven’t recovered from the kicking Alfa was given by the press because of the crap suspension and handling. It may be that as a halo car to re-introduce the brand into the US, 4C ‘did enough’.

Renault, via the Alpine brand seems to be making the most of its A110 (certainly in Europe) and the first A110S model has just landed to join its softer A110 sibling. The ‘S’ model has more power and stiffer suspension to make a harder core version of the original softly sprung but reasonably comfortable car. Alpine has already publicised that an EV will be available within a couple of years, and a cabrio version will be produced too. Notice how Alpine produced the softer version first to gain public acceptance before introducing the hardcore one later.

So, come on Alfa, take 4C back to Dallara with a new spec for the steering and front suspension. Delete the clause that said ‘make it drive like a ‘60s 33 Stradale’ (which you’ve achieved very well) and substitute with ‘drive better than Alpine’. Make a few of the changes that others have proposed on here. Produce a QV too.

I’m looking forward to the re-launch. When do you want my deposit?
 

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Very well said @Y Cymro!

I am walking with the idea of something similar, now with the FCA-PSA merge.
Maybe a poll with current Alfa owners where they want the marque to be going.
Alfa had 200.000 customers, but while dreaming of 400k they raised the prices way to high for current owners.
Now with only SUVs on their way, I think they not only won't get the 200k new customers, but also loose the 200k existing ones.

The Alpine is the prove that there is a market for such a car. Production already over 7000 in a big year.

Some if we are thinking of making an open letter, sign me in. I'm even willing to sign a contract for a new 4C!
 

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I agree with the intent here, but hardcore sportscars .... and I mean hardcore (like the 4C) are not good business decisions. It's not like they can chassis share the tub. The 4C is a niche of a niche car. To make it into something people want (GT version) .... well .... it will no longer be what it was intended to be. A light weight, go-cart feeling, all in with compromises sportscar.
I believe Alfa needs to solve their dealership issues and continue to offer good products that builds confidence especially in the lucrative American market. Once the brand is more mainstream .... then throw out that 4C like model. Originally they threw out this 4C model in which most Americans had no idea what is was.
 

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with the 8C canceled for the time being it might make sense to spend a little to get the 4C sorted a bit to add a few more years to this halo car. but then again, i believe the carbon tub what makes this car so special might be the reason that it won't happen as most of us agree this car loses money on each one sold. Think about it, if Porsche created a special edition Cayman/Boxster with a carbon fiber tub it would go for $125k to$170k easily. The 4C is half of that. Alfa wanted to draw attention to the 4C when the brand was relaunched and probably felt the money was better spent on engineering that gear heads would appreciate than spending the same money in traditional marketing that falls on the ears of Kia and Skoda owners. i believe the Alpine has done well because it is playing the "retro" card that many appreciate it will be back to 1,000 to 2,000 units a year very soon once the initial demand dies off.
 

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Agree with the intent but don’t agree with the statement the suspension is crap. Everyone who has ridden in mine has commented that it was a far more comfortable ride than they were expecting, yet (at least on the road) rides flat. A very good compromise for the road. It just needed a tweak or two. A bit different for the track, but a track car and a road car are different animals unless you have that adaptive suspension that’s being developed....But the essence of the 4C is raw simplicity wrapped in gorgeous body. Extra tech I think rubs against the grain somewhat. Alfa was right to keep production limited. It‘ll be sure to keep it somewhat exclusive and rare on the road, unlike the millions of Porsches you see. A great car but are everywhere and with so many models and the same basic shape they hardly turns heads. The 4C is a special moment in history. No point in wishing that Alfa would have done something differently. They didn’t, our Godfather, Marchionne is dead, so is the vision for Alfa as something special within the FCA group...The death of the GTV and 8C is evidence of that.
 

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I share the sentiment of the letter, but fear that being a "me too" car chasing something like the Alpine (or Cayman) this long after the fact, is a recipe for disaster.

As pointed out above, first-year sales (if the car is all that one would hope it would be, and still priced affordably) would be good, but subsequent years tend to drop off spectacularly. Even worse when the next big "it" car comes hot on its heels.

Corvette C8 is going to disrupt the market for quite some time. I get that this might not be a factor in Europe, but it certainly will be in the US and Canada which together are still the largest automotive market (by dollars spent) in the world. It is a game-changer whose price and performance have set the bar for anyone who wants to follow, and I would expect that even Nissan Renault are reconsidering further development of the A110 platform to ensure it remains both competitive and profitable.

I suspect that Taycan-derived future Porsche models will be the next step in that brand's evolution, as much of VAG will move toward electrification as Audi has already announced that it is doing.

For Alfa to commit assets in a bid to try and re-invent the 4C at this late date, the results of which would appear (in typical Italian time) somewhere in the first half of next decade, would be shooting at a target which simply isn't there anymore. In order to hit home, you have to lead your target, not follow it. A "new 4C Alpine/Cayman killer" launched just as those two are dying a natural death, wouldn't succeed and would in all likelihood drain off any funds and expertise required to bring on profitable models.

Sad as it is, Alfa Romeo is in survival mode now. it's built some very special new cars which were released to essentially good/great reviews, but they simply are not selling. The dealer network and sales/marketing strategy in this part of the world is abysmal, and this is partly to blame. But even in regions covered by excellent dealerships, the numbers are depressingly bad. Given the uncertainty of what will shake out from the proposed PSA merger, the folks at Alfa need to keep their heads down and fix what they already have. Then hope to revive the brand.

The only other hope would be that a stellar halo car, close to production readiness, gets thrown Alfa's way in order to "pimp" the brand for potential sale. I'd say Alfieri here, but for the fact that Maserati will need that vehicle for the same reason, and it's already been back to the drawing board about a million times and still isn't on the books to be made. Then, it's a 2-seat V8 and there is that C8 Corvette issue again....
 

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Agree with the intent but don’t agree with the statement the suspension is crap. Everyone who has ridden in mine has commented that it was a far more comfortable ride than they were expecting, yet (at least on the road) rides flat. A very good compromise for the road. It just needed a tweak or two. A bit different for the track, but a track car and a road car are different animals unless you have that adaptive suspension that’s being developed....But the essence of the 4C is raw simplicity wrapped in gorgeous body. Extra tech I think rubs against the grain somewhat. Alfa was right to keep production limited. It‘ll be sure to keep it somewhat exclusive and rare on the road, unlike the millions of Porsches you see. A great car but are everywhere and with so many models and the same basic shape they hardly turns heads. The 4C is a special moment in history. No point in wishing that Alfa would have done something differently. They didn’t, our Godfather, Marchionne is dead, so is the vision for Alfa as something special within the FCA group...The death of the GTV and 8C is evidence of that.
I wouldn't say the GTV and 8C are dead....just on hold. But certainly any company that invests heavily in regular cars and not SUVs and trucks here in the US is fighting an uphill battle. With the Peugot possible venture and state of auto industry, every company has to make choices as to how to survive and be a "player". It also helps that Renault had government support. Although I NEVER want to go down that route here in the US 🤬
I do think that we Alfisti owe a LOT to Sergio Marchionne. He was brilliant and a guy who recognized the history of ALFA and why it was worth promoting.
 

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Agree with 4Canada on dealer network not great, however I would add that Alfa Cares is just as worthless. I still have my 4C but these two items make me not enjoy the 4C as much as I did, nor do I plan to buy another FCA product.

"Needed" to buy another car last week for commuting to office now that we moved our US HQ to 4 miles from the house. I didn’t think twice, went back to Mercedes and bought another one (3rd for me in last 2 years + 1 for my Mom in last 2 years). MB has proven to be an excellent company with a great dealer network. I feel that both MB and dealers care about the customer experience.

My Dad must be looking down at me and laughing about the mistake of an Alfa purchase. Fact that I did the 'LOOS COG' plate in reference to him saying I would have a cog loose to purchase an Alfa should have been a wake-up. I thought it would be a joke in reference to the 80s...wrong! Lesson learned.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I agree with the intent here, but hardcore sportscars .... and I mean hardcore (like the 4C) are not good business decisions. It's not like they can chassis share the tub. The 4C is a niche of a niche car. To make it into something people want (GT version) .... well .... it will no longer be what it was intended to be. A light weight, go-cart feeling, all in with compromises sportscar.
I believe Alfa needs to solve their dealership issues and continue to offer good products that builds confidence especially in the lucrative American market. Once the brand is more mainstream .... then throw out that 4C like model. Originally they threw out this 4C model in which most Americans had no idea what is was.
Alfa has never marketed 4C as ‘hardcore’. That’s the name used by owners and others to mask its deficiencies. You know the sort of thing: it’s hardcore because it doesn’t flow with surfaces which aren’t perfectly flat; it’s hardcore because it tracks surface imperfections like a Kit car self-built by somebody in their shed; it’s hardcore because it wanders like a drunk under hard braking etc.

If you ever come to Europe, take the opportunity to drive an Alpine A110. It drive’s like the 4C should do. It’s a similar niche product, and the soon-to-be released ‘S’ version will be hardcore, but because they’re very, very good, they sell in quantities that defy their specialism.

Britain once had the type of dealers that you allude to above. The brand was removed from the problematic ones and the company effectively restarted its dealerships. For the purposes of my message that’s nothing to do with the product, though I accept that some potential customers might be attracted by dealership facilities.

Certainly in the UK and probably in mainland Europe there’s a lot of respect and love for Alfa as a brand, and Alfisti always optimistically next new model to be ‘the one’. 4C could easily have been legendary, but Alfa blew it by possibly insufficient product testing away from the race track. It could be that when they told their designers to build an homage to 33 Stradale, the suspension designers thought their bored was to make the car drive like the lassic model too.

My point, is that away from North America people generally like brand Alfa, are positive towards it, appreciate the wonderful history, and look forward to every new model. If Alfa had given 4C competent front suspension so it wasn’t slagged off in every road test I’ve read where good test drivers drive it away from dead flat roads, then together with its stunning looks it would have been the world beater that it deserves to be. So close, yet so far.
 

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The Alpine has done absolutely nothing to stop Renault's global revenue and profit declining. Renault shares have collapsed -50% in 18 months.

The 911 has fallen from 80% of global Porsche sales to just 15% in the past 50 years.

Love the 4C, but you can't buck the market. The paying public want big SUVs, not small sportscars. Nothing we can do about it. just enjoy it to the max while it lasts 🚕 (y)
 

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I agree with those who believe this was a one and done halo car developed and sold for marketing purposes as much as anything. There will be no revised 4C, like 4Canada I hope Alfa simply survives in our market for the next decade or so.

The 4C is absolutely hard core, there is a reason nothing else like it exists in the market. Manual steering, no cabin storage, difficult ingress/egress, what must be the smallest trunk of any car sold today, essentially no creature comforts, etc. If the 4C isn't hard core what is? Porsche has sold 30k Boxsters and Caymans in the US over the same period of time that Alfa has sold 2,000 4C's because anyone can have one of those, they ask nothing from their owners. The 4C is a throwback to a time when having a sports car meant sacrifice in pursuit of performance and an experience. I'm sure glad they had the balls to build it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Agree with the intent but don’t agree with the statement the suspension is crap. Everyone who has ridden in mine has commented that it was a far more comfortable ride than they were expecting, yet (at least on the road) rides flat. A very good compromise for the road. It just needed a tweak or two. A bit different for the track, but a track car and a road car are different animals unless you have that adaptive suspension that’s being developed....But the essence of the 4C is raw simplicity wrapped in gorgeous body. Extra tech I think rubs against the grain somewhat. Alfa was right to keep production limited. It‘ll be sure to keep it somewhat exclusive and rare on the road, unlike the millions of Porsches you see. A great car but are everywhere and with so many models and the same basic shape they hardly turns heads. The 4C is a special moment in history. No point in wishing that Alfa would have done something differently. They didn’t, our Godfather, Marchionne is dead, so is the vision for Alfa as something special within the FCA group...The death of the GTV and 8C is evidence of that.
Providing that geometry is set correctly and more castor added then the car is very good providing it is driven on dead flat surfaces. Set like this, it’s good enough to take to the track too (though the rear lower arms with spherical bearings sold by 2 well-known suppliers on this forum will enhance it further). But driven on real roads with bumps and undulations, and crown camber and slope, then it becomes wayward due to lousy front suspension design that suffers from exaggerated bump steer, insufficient castor to stop it from wandering under braking, and steering that’s feel-less around the centre, and strangely inconsistent when driving it.

On top of all that is that the standard springs and dampers appear to be designed to give a race car like feeling (hard and pointy) but because the suspension stops the car from flowing with the surface it isn’t enjoyable to drive quickly on real roads because it’s a bit of a butt clenching experience. The Tractive adaptive suspension fitted to my car address this, the Alfa Works suspension blocks resolve the lack of front castor and the AW rear lower suspension arms makes the car more controllable. The bump steer is yet to be resolved (though there is a plan in place for this). But it doesn’t matter what I’ve done in an attempt to correct the car’s problems. An owner shouldn’t have to do all of this to make 4C better, and this isn’t the point of starting his thread. Alfa should have got it right in the factory.
 

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It's definitely "hard core" because:
One (virtually unusable) cup holder.
No storage. Unapologetically so.
Noise is deafening at highway speeds (especially if you get the drone of the race exhaust) or on a gravel driveway.
Audio system is a joke.
No infotainment, Apple Car Play, or other toys.
Manual everything except transmission.
Rough ride that cannot be altered by dynamic settings. Sportscar-appropriate, but unlike most modern "sporty cars".
No steering wheel hands-free controls for audio, cruise, etc. Or heated, Shiatsu massaging seats. Or even electric seat motors.
While we are at it, seats that adjust by removal from the car! Unless you count the 15 degrees or so of available tilt if you have the seat far enough forward to use it.
Not even an external trunk latch or hydraulic lid support.
Low overall height, doors that require a contortionist to enter/exit if there is any nearby obstruction.
Door sills wider than some residential streets.
No semi-autonomy / driver assistance re traffic avoidance, lane departure, etc (praise be to Sergio).
Outward visibility only slightly better than that from a submarine.

I think that the 4C is as "hard core" as a modern interpretation of a sports car can be and still be legal.
In making it so, Alfa missed a large market. We owe them a HUGE thank you.
 

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Providing that geometry is set correctly and more castor added then the car is very good providing it is driven on dead flat surfaces. Set like this, it’s good enough to take to the track too (though the rear lower arms with spherical bearings sold by 2 well-known suppliers on this forum will enhance it further). But driven on real roads with bumps and undulations, and crown camber and slope, then it becomes wayward due to lousy front suspension design that suffers from exaggerated bump steer, insufficient castor to stop it from wandering under braking, and steering that’s feel-less around the centre, and strangely inconsistent when driving it.

On top of all that is that the standard springs and dampers appear to be designed to give a race car like feeling (hard and pointy) but because the suspension stops the car from flowing with the surface it isn’t enjoyable to drive quickly on real roads because it’s a bit of a butt clenching experience. The Tractive adaptive suspension fitted to my car address this, the Alfa Works suspension blocks resolve the lack of front castor and the AW rear lower suspension arms makes the car more controllable. The bump steer is yet to be resolved (though there is a plan in place for this). But it doesn’t matter what I’ve done in an attempt to correct the car’s problems. An owner shouldn’t have to do all of this to make 4C better, and this isn’t the point of starting his thread. Alfa should have got it right in the factory.
I have the standard non-race suspension but with altered alignment, camber and uniballs.
I can’t boast how fast I drive on backroads, but it’s certainly quick enough. I had no trouble on Lowes Mount Road, Oberon, a bumpy backroad, signposted at 100km/h which makes the actual cruising speed interesting. Didn’t have a problem. I had Fas4C in tail. I don’t cruise on backroads at 160 so road handling at those speeds is irrelevant. Track handling definitely needs improvement so an easily adjustable setup like Nitrons, Bilstein or the adaptive set-up you’re involved with is my next step but not quite yet. It would have been nice for Alfa to do some development along the way but it didn’t happen. No point in complaining. It’s great that others (aftermarket parts manufacturers, vendors etc) have taken up the slack with so much enthusiasm.
 

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The problem is simple. More people say that they want a hardcore sports car than actually do want a hardcore sports car (or are willing to spend the $ for it, at least). This is amplified when it isn't an image booster badged car (Ferrari).

Look at current Ferrari lineup and which models sell. The Cali has been their high runner and yet people could buy any number of better sports cars than it. But what do you get with a Cali that you don't with a 430 Scud? You get a Ferrari badge AND an easy, comfy car that is "new" and not used. To non enthusiasts, those things matter. Then on the other end of the spectrum, most folks buying the track oriented cars NEW are buying to make $$$ (collectors, flippers, collectors again). Virtually no miles are put on most of those cars. Exceptions exist, but I am talking about the typical buyers.

The market the 4C occupies is a niche in a niche (as another poster said) and the volumes reflect this fact. There are plenty of other cars that fall into a similar bucket, and I happen to own at least one... the Viper. The Viper (original couple of versions in particular) was an uncompromising homage to the Shelby Cobra. It absolutely achieved that target but is just too extreme compared to its competition. It required (for most people) to be a third or fourth car, where a corvette or porsche could be a second car. The 4C (again, for most) is a third or fourth or fifth car. In my case, it was a sixth car when I added it. Could I live with it as a daily or even a second car? Maybe not... But it is an incredible and unique and definitely hardcore sports car.

As for complaints around its handling etc... It does have a little bit of tramlining as a trait but (at least in my case) it doesn't seem nearly as bad as some describe. Perhaps too much variation in alignments from factory? Room for improvement, YES, but a deal breaker, NO. Substantial enough to make it unappealing given its nature (hard core sports car) absolutely not. A Viper is a handful, a Carrera GT is a handful, heck, classic 911s (turbos especially) were REAL handfuls. It is just that the modern interpretation of sports car has gotten so soft (or the potential buyer universe treated as too broad) that these are now considered negative...

I have driven just about every modern 911 variant and several caymans, boxsters etc... I posted another time about my experience coming out of the 718 Cayman S... now THAT is a disappointingly boring experience. The car has been neutered to the point where, yes, it is fast, yes it is capable, but wow is it ever dull and completely lacking in character. But go and read the comparisons and reviews and overall it is deemed a winner (with the exception of the exhaust note). And it is a great car but the 4C is so much more memorable.
 

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It's definitely "hard core" because:
One (virtually unusable) cup holder.
No storage. Unapologetically so.
Noise is deafening at highway speeds (especially if you get the drone of the race exhaust) or on a gravel driveway.
Audio system is a joke.
No infotainment, Apple Car Play, or other toys.
Manual everything except transmission.
Rough ride that cannot be altered by dynamic settings. Sportscar-appropriate, but unlike most modern "sporty cars".
No steering wheel hands-free controls for audio, cruise, etc. Or heated, Shiatsu massaging seats. Or even electric seat motors.
While we are at it, seats that adjust by removal from the car! Unless you count the 15 degrees or so of available tilt if you have the seat far enough forward to use it.
Not even an external trunk latch or hydraulic lid support.
Low overall height, doors that require a contortionist to enter/exit if there is any nearby obstruction.
Door sills wider than some residential streets.
No semi-autonomy / driver assistance re traffic avoidance, lane departure, etc (praise be to Sergio).
Outward visibility only slightly better than that from a submarine.

I think that the 4C is as "hard core" as a modern interpretation of a sports car can be and still be legal.
In making it so, Alfa missed a large market. We owe them a HUGE thank you.
Yep, I’m glad they made it just as they did. I got my wish. A long-held dream realised.
 

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When the 4C gets all the things 'fixed' it'll be something else. The Giulia is a Ferrari. The Stelvio? Is it an Alfa? Nope.

The 4C is an Alfa. Wanting the essence of Alfa Romeo to continue means wanting imperfect 'if only they would do this, it'd be perfect' cars around.

Know what... thank og it just needs some things to be perfect, and thank og one more time it ain't ever getting those things.
 

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I was reading the latest car magazine which has an annual VIR comparison of cars. The Giulia Q two years ago had a bunch of electronic gremlins and sat out last years test. This year they came back and hoped to redeem itself. So while all other brands of cars were noted for various plus and minuses....what did the Giulia do? You may remember the embarrassing report on the previous car of lots of electronic gremlins and one magazine on a long term review slammed it for many recurring electronic glitches. So yes the latest test remarked at how fast it was, handling great, etc. but the SAME gremlins happened with this car again..even a coolant leak at a hose clamp similar to what happened last time!

Come on ALFA....I love you but somebody has got to get their hands around these type of things. When someone reads a report like that...they quickly get their list of desirable cars out and cross that one off. Luckily our 4Cs have been quite reliable and pretty much bullet proof....but since the 4C most likely is gone from their model lineup.....there won't be much left to sell. The Giulia, like all cars, is not popular. That leaves one SUV and perhaps the new small SUV....if it comes to market in a reasonable time.

I know that many have Giulias and Stelvios and theirs have been very reliable and a blast to drive.....but all it takes is a couple of reviews like this to kill the marque. The hardware is strong, well engineered mostly, and of course the body design is rolling art. But how hard can it be to get the electronics right?
 

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A great letter, and I basically agree, but we need to face reality, and its not necessarily bad. The Alfa 4C IS a halo car. It is what it is. Alfa built an affordable dream car, complete with carbon fiber chassis. Fiat 500's are flat, and Fiat Chrysler is struggling with all the Italian brands in the U.S., from Fiat's to Maserati's. I would hate to see the dealer network go, but that's out of our control. All we have to show for this is some pretty amazing cars.

I think the question becomes, what do the owners do, and its entirely up to them. Do they go the way of the DeTomaso Pantera, making their own modifications to a car which has been completely acceptable to that market? Or do they leave them stock and be happy with how Alfa developed these cars? I have no opinion, but suffice it to say improvements are up to the individual owners, and not Alfa Romeo. They built a fabulous car, misread the market for hardcore low price carbon fiber based two seat mid-engined sports cars, and we, on this forum, are lucky, quite frankly!
 
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