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For £3,000 you can buy a Racing Pack, which adds sports suspension (including revised damping and springs, plus thicker anti-roll bars), as well as a fruity sounding sports exhaust and 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels.However, we'd stick with the standard chassis and smaller wheels, which make the driving experience a touch more civilised.• Alfa Romeo 4C Spyder 2016 review However you spec the car, the end result is a hard and raw driving experience.

Both cars feature composite moulded body sections made from glass-fibre reinforced plastic for low weight, strength and cost-efficient production.

Rivals to the Alfa 4C include the Porsche Cayman and Boxster, the Audi TTS and Lotus Elise.

But it doesn’t deliver the undiluted feel you’d expect.

In fact, there’s little sense of what the front end is doing.

What you do get is plenty of unpleasant kickback as the wheel fights and wriggles in your hands.

On bumpy and cambered roads the overactive steering and stiff suspension make the Alfa dart around, keeping you on the alert to maintain a forward heading as the car constanly bucks and dives for the edge of the road.From the moment you clamber across the thick sill and slide into the driving seat, you’re aware that the 4C is designed as a proper drivers' car.You sit low and forward in the chassis, the pedals are perfectly placed and there’s a wide range of steering wheel adjustment.While the 4C's looks caused a sensation and marked a revival of the brand as a thoroughbred sports car manufacturer, the reality is that this Alfa doesn't deliver the kind of driver involvement and engagement that a pure-bred Italian sports car should serve.There's a lack of powertrain and chassis refinement, and the car's performance is hampered by the slow-witted gearbox and laggy turbo power delivery, which the edgy chassis set-up struggles to cope with.There’s only one powerplant available in the 4C, but as a result of the car’s low weight that 237bhp 1.75-litre aluminium turbocharged engine has enough oomph to push the 4C coupe from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds.

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