Whenever the mainstream automotive media – of which I am definitely a member - talks about a sports car as raw as the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C, the word ‘compromise’ is inevitably used in describing what it brings to the table. It’s important, however, to understand that while compromise is a two-way street, it’s almost never presented as such within the context of these discussions. A quick survey of the available materials reveals that ‘compromise’ as applied to the Alfa Romeo 4C and its ilk almost exclusively refers to the perceived curtailment of a vehicle’s comfort and/or practicality, with ride quality, features availability, and storage capacity the three most commonly-cited concessions.
But what of the flip side of the automotive compromise blame game? What if the car in question has been engineered from the viewpoint that stuffing its interior with such niceties as heated seats and a sunroof, or softening its suspension for the daily drive to work are not in fact desirable design elements but rather themselves ‘compromises’ of an unacceptable order that go too far in separating the pilot from the visceral thrill of motoring?
This is the perspective from which the performance-mad designers at Alfa Romeo have assembled the all-new 4C, and it’s from this angle that the tantalizingly-gorgeous coupe must be evaluated. Roll up your yoga mat and cancel your spin class, because it’s time to chalk up your hands and slap on some sunscreen: the 4C is trading in your safe and predictable daily routine for the automotive equivalent of a 1,000-foot free climb.