The Alfa Romeo 4C certainly ticks a few of the key boxes. As I write this, TG.com's test car is parping and popping lustily up and down a sinuous road in the glorious Aosta valley. This is where much of The Italian Job was shot, and the 4C is a very Italian job indeed.
So, it looks fantastic, a mid-engined two-thirds scale version of Alfa Romeo's 8C Competizione, a car in which even the world's geekiest specimen of mankind could - to paraphrase Daft Punk - get lucky. Ours is blood red, and its body panels fall blithely across the 4C's chassis - carbon fibre, remember - like a piece of haute couture on a lissom supermodel. See, it's technically impossible to write about a new Italian sports car without talking about sex. Or at least romance.
It also follows, therefore, that there are aspects of this car that are teeth-grindingly frustrating. We'll get back to you later with fuller impressions but so far this is what we're thinking: great chassis and steering, supple ride, great performance. It's properly quick. But its flappy paddle gearbox is a pain in the bum, the blown 1.75-litre engine is too laggy until the boost kicks in with a chirruping whooompfhh, and you have to stand on the thing to really get it moving.
So far, so Alfa Romeo. There is obvious pain to go with the equally abundant pleasure.