Sunday, December 21, 2014

Track Testing the Alfa Romeo 4C

We spent a couple of days at Spring Mountain running the new Alfa Romeo 4C. It is a fun car that offers real performance for a broad range of drivers.  These cars are designed to work in all kinds of weather conditions so naturally some weaknesses are found on the track.  Overall it is a fun car and I think that Alfa have hit a homerun.  In a nutshell: Good Handling, Good Brakes and Excellent Acceleration!

Two different tracks were run the 2.1 East and the 2.9 mile Stewart A.  We ran the 2.1 with the bowl in the morning and then as shown above in the afternoon.  The 2.9 mile course is a fast course - maybe not the best for this car but it did well.

Check out the video:

I ran the car in Dynamic Mode for two sessions and then switched to Race Mode for the remainder of the testing - though I did forget on one session.  I wish it could be left on permanently!  Even a beginner will be able to drive this car well as it has approachable performance and electronic aids that will step in.  When I turned on Race Mode, traction control was disabled.  The car remained very benign at the limit and easy to control.  I have experience driving Atoms, Monos and our new Drakan Spyder so this car was a sweetheart in comparison.

We had two clients out having fun with us, one in a highly modified FRS and the other in his MP4-12C.  The FRS was quick with uprated everything so Jack was able to give me some heat under braking (he car was better) and with cornering speed.  Straight acceleration was no comparison though - even with his E85 tune.  The Mac was in another league.  I took a few laps in it and wow, it was awesome.  At least until the carbon brake rotors started to have problems.  This was the second time Chris brought out this car and the second time it failed.  He keeps his Elise with us as it is fun and more reliable - and clearly cheaper to maintain!

4C track parts are still in the works and this testing has revealed a few items that are needed. We have already begun working with Girodisc on lighter rotors - much like our well proven ULTRAdiscs. We have also started to look for more aggressive brake pads. Track wheels will also be welcome. The exhaust sounded good on track but the drone on the way to the track became overly tiring. Race seats and harnesses will be a welcome addition for any serious track work.

 We've begun offering some products for the 4C and have a few on our website now. We'll continue to follow the proven path we paved for the Lotus Elise. The 4C is a true alternative to the Lotus and we'll develop a pile of molto tasty bits.

MPG on the 4C was 27.5 up until I got to the track - it then plummeted to 7.5 MPG.  8^)

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