City mpg:
Highway mpg:

Actual rating will vary with options, driving conditions, habits and vehicle condition.

2018 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Overview

The standard features of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Base include 1.7L I-4 237hp intercooled turbo engine, 6-speed auto-shift manual transmission with overdrive, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), curtain 1st row overhead airbag, driver knee airbag, airbag occupancy sensor, air conditioning, 17" aluminum wheels, ABS and driveline traction control, electronic stability, power mirrors, power windows.

2018 Alfa Romeo
4C Spider

Starting at: $65,900

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  • Air conditioning
  • Power windows
  • 1-touch down
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Illuminated entry
  • Tilt steering wheel
  • Telescoping steering wheel
  • Front beverage holders
  • AM/FM radio
  • Radio data system
  • Speakers - 4
  • Wireless phone connectivity
  • 1st row LCD monitors - 1
  • Primary LCD size - 7.0"
  • Smart device integration
  • Basic warranty - 48 months/50,000miles
  • Powertrain warranty - 48 months/50,000miles
  • Corrosion perforation warranty - 144 months/ unlimited distance
  • Roadside assistance coverage - 48 months/ unlimited distance
  • Max seating capacity - 2
  • Front seats - bucket
  • Leather upholstery
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Sport steering wheel
  • Engine displacement - 1.7 L
  • Engine horsepower - 237hp @ 6,000RPM
  • Engine torque - 258 lb.-ft. @ 2,200RPM
  • Engine bore x stroke - 83.0mm x 80.5mm (3.27" x 3.17")
  • Compression ratio - 9.25 to 1
  • GVWR - 1,288kg (2,840lbs)
  • Exterior length - 3,988mm (157.0")
  • Exterior body width - 1,867mm (73.5")
  • Exterior height - 1,184mm (46.6")
  • Wheelbase - 2,380mm (93.7")
  • Turning radius - 6.2m (20.2')
  • Front legroom - 1,085mm (42.7")
  • Front headroom - 965mm (38.0")
  • Front shoulder room - 1,265mm (49.8")
  • Interior cargo volume - 105 L (4 cu.ft.)
  • Interior maximum cargo volume - 105 L (4 cu.ft.)
  • Rear cargo - liftgate
  • Power door mirrors
  • Heated door mirrors
  • Tailpipe finisher - chrome
  • Door mirrors - body-color
  • Bumpers - body-color
  • Engine liters - 1.7
  • Compressor - intercooled turbo
  • Cylinder configuration - I-4
  • Horsepower - 237hp @ 6,000RPM
  • Torque - 258 lb.-ft. @ 2,200RPM
  • Number of valves - 16
  • Variable valve control
  • Sequential multi-point fuel injection
  • Engine location - mid
  • Recommended fuel - Premium Unleaded
  • Transmission - 6 speed automatic with auto-shift
  • Mode select transmission
  • Manual-shift auto
  • Drive type - rear-wheel
  • Limited slip differential
  • Fuel economy combined - 28mpg
  • Fuel tank capacity - 10.5gal.
  • Fuel economy city - 24mpg
  • Fuel economy highway - 34mpg
  • 4 wheel disc brakes
  • ABS brakes
  • Brake assist
  • Dual front impact airbags
  • Overhead airbag
  • Knee airbag
  • Occupant sensing airbag
  • Perimeter/approach lights
  • Ignition disable
  • Security system
  • Electronic stability
  • Traction control
  • Four wheel independent suspension
  • Sport suspension
  • Front anti-roll bar
  • Rear anti-roll bar
  • Alloy wheels
  • Front tires - 205/45YR17.0
  • Rear tires - 235/40YR18.0
  • Wheel size - 17"
  • Rear wheel size - 18"
  • Tires - performance
  • Delay-off headlights
  • Variably intermittent wipers
  • Display - digital/analog
  • Configurable
  • Tachometer
  • Outside temperature display
  • Low tire pressure warning
  • Trip computer


  MSRP Engine Transmission City/Hwy mpg
2018 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Search New $65,900   237-hp 1.7L 4-cyl  6-spd auto with auto-shift  24 / 34  
2018 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Search New $65,900   237-hp 1.7L 4-cyl  6-spd auto with auto-shift  24 / 34  


Driving Impression

Mitch McCullough

You forget about all that inconvenience and discomfort when you get the 4C on a twisty road, preferably a smooth one. We think it offers more feedback to the driver than any other new car, with the Lotus Elise no longer in the picture. That manual steering that feels heavy at slow speeds turns totally responsive in quick corners, bringing the car’s agility home. It’s surgically precise, with just 2.7 turns lock to lock.

The braking distance is brilliant, from 60 miles per hour to full stop in less than 100 feet. The Brembo system is so capable that the 4C can be made to squirm under late-braking from high speed to a slow corner. The vented front discs are 12 inches in diameter with four-piston calipers, and the vented rears 11.5 inches with two-piston calipers. Not surprisingly, the pedal feel is very firm and there is little travel.

It’s all about balance and light weight. The 4C tips the scales at a mere 2465 pounds, which is 500 pounds lighter than the Porsche 718 Boxster, 830 pounds lighter than the Chevrolet Corvette, and 900 pounds lighter than the Jaguar F-Type.

The 1.7-liter turbocharged four (1750cc, to be exact) makes 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It doesn’t use a muffler, which makes it raucous although not too loud for the street. There is some turbo lag, but the 4C can still squirt from zero to sixty in 4.1 seconds, but feels even faster because it’s so low. It sends power to the rear wheels through a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission that shifts in a lightning-quick 130 milliseconds. Still, a manual transmission would be fun in a car like this.

The suspension uses mostly aluminum components, with double wishbones in front and MacPherson struts in the rear. It’s quite stiff, with the standard staggered 17- and 18-inch wheels, and even stiffer with the Track package: more rigid dampers and anti-roll bars, with staggered 18- and 19- inch wheels. That package adds a Race mode that holds the transmission shifts for a longer time, makes downshifts even quicker, and turns off the stability control.

Thanks to the carbon-fiber tub, on the track the Spider feels as rigid as the coupe. The Spider has a carbon-fiber windshield frame to help with the rigidity, as well. It’s only 12 pounds heavier than the coupe, although we’re not sure where that comes from, since unlike other roadsters, the chassis is the same as the coupe. The Spider’s ride height is one-tenth of an inch lower than the coupe’s, and it’s roof height is one-tenth of an inch higher.

At Laguna Seca we found the 4C inspired sufficient confidence at speed that we took Turn 1 flat out on our second lap around. In most cars, it takes us a few laps to build up the courage for that.

Walk Around

Mitch McCullough

The 4C is striking, with a low and racy stance showing off its exotic curves and scoops. Its lines flow beautifully away from the iconic triangular Alfa Romeo grille to the rear haunches that make it look ready to pounce.

Alfa Romeo says the design was inspired by the 33 Stradale racecar of the 1960s. When we looked it up, we were impressed with how Alfa hit the mark. Bravissimo!

The nose features big intakes and dark oblong headlamps, the sides have glass like cat’s eyes, and the tail has round lamps and a spoiler.

The coupe’s profile is smoother than the Spider convertible. It features a transparent engine cover like a Ferrari, while the Spider has a Targa bar, a lower rear deck, and a canvas top that can be removed or installed in a few minutes, and stashed in the trunk. The Spider offers a removable carbon fiber roof panel, and with it off, the Spider looks more like a Targa than a roadster. Which one? We can’t decide.

Interior Overview

Mitch McCullough

The cramped cabin has few creature comforts and scant storage, not even a glovebox. It’s difficult to climb into and out of. The plastics on the dash are door panels are hard, and the radio looks like it came from a discount store; it takes options to cure that. But the flat-bottomed steering wheel and the carbon-fiber accents are cool. The digital gauges change colors with the driving mode: red for Dynamic, gray for Natural and blue for All Weather. It’s called a DNA switch, get it?

That cramped cabin is a compromise for performance, as the carbon-fiber tub requires wide door sills that take up space. That and the low stance and slim seats are what make entry and exit challenging. The head room is actually decent inside, with enough room for a helmet. The seats are suitable for only the slim.

And with a mere 3.7 cubic feet of space in the trunk, it’s hard to call it a trunk.


Mitch McCullough

We won’t say the 4C is only fun when you’re driving it hard on a twisty road. We’ll say it’s not comfortable. But it is SO comfortable on that twisty road, it might all be worth it. Take that silly “comfort” and “convenience” thing out of it, and the 4C is perfect: stunning racy Italian looks, beautiful small turbo engine, fabulous twin-clutch transmission, rigid carbon-fiber chassis, mid-engine balance, and most of all, maybe the quickest and most precise steering of any sports car on the road.

Sam Moses contributed to this report; with New Car Test Drive editor Mitch McCullough reporting from Monterey, California.

Model Lineup

Mitch McCullough

The 2018 Alfa Romeo 4C comes with air conditioning, power windows and locks, automatic headlamps, cloth sport seats with four-way manual adjustment, leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel, 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster with telemetry and a G meter; also a USB port, auxiliary input jack, 12-volt power outlet. The wheels are staggered 17- and 18-inch alloys on summer performance tires. The standard audio system is a primitive Alpine AM/FM/CD radio with satellite and HD, but fortunately there’s a premium Alpine system available.

Options start with a Convenience group that adds cruise control, an alarm, and rear park assist. A Carbon Fiber Interior package adds carbon fiber for the interior vents, instrument panel bezel and surround, and shift bezel. A Leather Interior package adds a leather-wrapped instrument panel and door panels, plus black (with red or new yellow accent stitching) or red leather seats and a leather storage bag.

Performance options include a Track package, which adds a racing suspension with front and rear sway bars, stiffer shocks, a flat-bottom steering wheel with a micro fiber insert, a carbon-fiber rear spoiler, and carbon-fiber exterior mirrors. Also available are staggered 18- and 19-inch wheels, an Akrapovic exhaust, xenon headlamps, and brake calipers painted red, black, silver, or yellow.

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