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Discussion Starter #1
For 20 years I've spent a lot of time around Porsches. I've driven a few but rode in many. Hours and hours. I always thought they were the pinnacle of the driving experience. The king of the mountain. One day.

The Lotus Exige was the realistic car I would perhaps one day buy...until we Americans couldn't. Luckily Alfa came along and the 4c ticked the boxes. A few years (many doubting it'd never happen) of dreaming later, it was made a reality. The last 8 months of ownership have been wonderful. A thrill each time. My therapy. My happy place. Take the roof off and feel the road. Enjoy the sounds. Love the drive.

Tonight I had the chance to drive a Turbo S Cabriolet. Being a passenger and being the driver are, as we all know, different experiences. Obviously this experience would remind me that there's more out there. A better car that's currently out of my reach, but one day won't be perhaps.

The first thing I noticed was the steering. So light. Easy. Nice. Then came the moment the gas pedal went down. The car took off. 80 came quickly. Very quickly. I had no idea how fast I was moving. First turn? Easy. Simple. No tight hold on the wheel. Wow. This was a machine! Incredibly engineered. So smooth. So calm.

This drive taught me something. I already have the perfect car - for me. Don't get me wrong. I understand why people buy the Porsches and why they drive them. I get it. But wow. The experience felt numb. It was everything the 4C isn't. Could two cars be more opposite?? I love the manual steering. Yes, driving hard requires two hands...and it should. The noise. Oh, the noise. Then there's that communication from the tires telling your right butt cheek that the dime you just ran over with the rear right tire was on tails. The feeling as the back wheels step out just enough to make you feel like a boss as you round the turn on a yellow, bc why use the brake pedal more than needed and who drives in 'natural mode' anyway???

No. The 4c isn't a Turbo S. And that's just fine by me. I can honestly state that if I were given a choice of being gifted one of these two cars, I would take the Alfa. Anyday. To many a foolish choice, but to me, the right one. No regrets. La meccanica delle emozioni. Grazie Alfa. Grazie.
 

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I can see your point but you cannot compare the 4C with the current Turbo S due to its modern layout.

A comparison works though with the 964 or 993 Turbo S edition as they are more cart-like than the heavy GT class of today. I drove my beloved 993 Turbo S (450 HP in 1998) for nearly 10 years and must say that I sold it for one reason - the more I pushed it to its limits the much more difficult it became to handle it. It's setup - apart from the 4WD - is similar to the 4C (no real assistance systems, electronics etc); the steering is power assisted but becomes direct with acceleration and at above 200 km/h the 993 will follow every single line on the road making it extremely difficult to handle at top speeds above 320 km/h. And as it is more heavy than the 4C it becomes also very strenuous to brake the car in critical situations. I had some of the most life endangering situations with the Turbo S (as well on track as on german highways) and getting older and wiser I sold it several years ago.

If I had to choose today between both I would always opt for the 4C: it is much more fun on the track and way better to handle. Who cares about top speed and two extra seats.... ;-)
(The new generation 911 Turbos from Porsche are nothing that interest me at all.)
 

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I can see your point but you cannot compare the 4C with the current Turbo S due to its modern layout.

A comparison works though with the 964 or 993 Turbo S edition as they are more cart-like than the heavy GT class of today. I drove my beloved 993 Turbo S (450 HP in 1998) for nearly 10 years and must say that I sold it for one reason - the more I pushed it to its limits the much more difficult it became to handle it. It's setup - apart from the 4WD - is similar to the 4C (no real assistance systems, electronics etc); the steering is power assisted but becomes direct with acceleration and at above 200 km/h the 993 will follow every single line on the road making it extremely difficult to handle at top speeds above 320 km/h. And as it is more heavy than the 4C it becomes also very strenuous to brake the car in critical situations. I had some of the most life endangering situations with the Turbo S (as well on track as on german highways) and getting older and wiser I sold it several years ago.

If I had to choose today between both I would always opt for the 4C: it is much more fun on the track and way better to handle. Who cares about top speed and two extra seats.... ;-)
(The new generation 911 Turbos from Porsche are nothing that interest me at all.)
Coming from a German, high praise indeed.
 

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I too recently drove a Porscheon a long trip, it was a 2016 Targa 4S. I totally agree with Heavyfoot. There was NO drama in the porsche, and unless you were into highly illegal triple digits it was just boring ! The tyre 'crabbing' in the parking area at full lock was awful. I know this is due to the very wide tyres, but it felt like all the tread was being scuffed off.
No, i like my cars with a sense of occasion and spitting fire at realistic speeds, Thanks Alfa
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The first real sports car I drove was a 96 twin turbo. This is the car that started my love for cars. It was alive. Much more 4c-ish than current turbo S. N4C- I completely understand.
 

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Similar comparison. Bought an Audi RS3 to replace my first 4C. Ridiculously quick, but my wife could take it as quickly around a track as I could, while only half paying attention... which is why I have another 4C, and no more Audi.

And...
Not a 911, but have had many opportunities to drive a Cayman GTS and my 4C back to back. The Cayman is an awesome car, but mediocre to drive compared to the 4C, but you all know that, else you would not be here.
 

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I have been blessed to have driven and owned several Pcars, the only one/s that would draw a similar driving experience to me would be the earlier 911 SC/Carreras. I truly have not driven anything 'current' that would compare to the 4C ....closest thing might be my previous 2008 R52 JCW :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Not a 911, but have had many opportunities to drive a Cayman GTS and my 4C back to back. The Cayman is an awesome car, but mediocre to drive compared to the 4C, but you all know that, else you would not be here.
I've wondered how it'd compare to the Cayman GTS. Good to hear!
 

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To get an interesting comparison to a 4C you need to be in a 987.1/.2 Cayman S, not one of the later cars. In that generation, the Cayman will be noticeably slower off the line than a 4C but will have a beautifully balanced chassis and feel like a real sports car. Go beyond the 987 generation and the cars get electric steering and start becoming bloated. The gap widens and the 4C driving experience becomes another (much higher) tier.

911s being characterized as bloated is an exaggeration btw. A 997 generation 911 looks and feels smaller than a later-gen Cayman. It also has that great analog steering feel through what is probably the best steering this side of lotus... maybe better than Lotus. It still has too many creature comforts and is just too good an all-rounder to compare to a 4C. Where the 4C feels like a race car that has been transplanted to the street, even the best generation 911s (the 993 and 997 imho) are more cars that feel like they will be at home on a track but are still meant for the street. So the sense of occasion is missing.

997 GT3RS cars get the balance back but then you are talking $150K+ for a well sorted one. I was on the brink of a GT3RS or Scud before getting my 4C and I think it says something that the search went from active to extremely passive now :)
 

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I had a 987 Cayman S, and it was excellent car, but no real sense of occasion. When it was brand new, I loved it because the engine was very noisy right behind my head. Little did I know how much the engine would quiet down after putting some miles on it. Eventually it was just kind of boring to drive. Capable, mind you, but not terribly exciting. Plus I had to look at the way over-engineered cupholders in that thing - for some reason the flap that covered them up when closed never lined up right on the dash - even had it replaced, still looked like a saggy trim piece you'd find in a 1970s General Motors car. Excellent car, but not the visceral experience of a Lotus or the Alfa.
 

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See my sig. Had 3 911s. The 996TT was my dream car. The 997cab was ok. The 997TT was amazing. The 997TT was a work lease car. A daily driver. I actually miss that car. The looks of a 911 just seems dated.
 

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Modern Porsches are beautifully balanced... but TOO refined. It's not necessarily a bad thing, it means that it's car you can drive everywhere comfortably, yet still fly around circuits. It's just... different.

Like many have said, every time I drive my 4C, its an occasion, and that's what I looked for in my weekend car.
 

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I agree

My old man has a 991.2 Turbo S cab
I have driven it many times. Reliable, fast, very fast, decent looks, insane steering, etc...
It does everything you ask of it so perfectly and yet, I dont seem to smile unless im severely breaking the law.
It's a great car and a great car for certain people. He drove my alfa once and asked "what the hell is wrong with you?"

Different strokes for different folks

If you love your alfa, you probably wont love (like is different) a Turbo S. Emotionless car.

However a GT3 is different and I would trade the alfa for one.
 

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I have ridden in several different cars over the past several years with my instructors on track. The Turbo S surprised me just how fast it can be (and it wasn't the most recent version). The McLaren 570S was simply amazing, given the balance, agility, and speed. The GT3 was with a friend (not instructor), and the noise from the flat 6 was SOOO much fun. He is a good driver, but not THAT much faster than me in my 4C. The Porsche make great all around sports cars, perhaps a little too boring and too many models, but still nice cars. The ride in the TurboS just convinced me that a GT4 Clubsport or slightly modified Turbo would be perfectly great track cars and the GT3 would likely be too expensive and wasted on me...
 

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