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The 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C. (Darren McGee/The Globe and Mail)
The 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C. (Darren McGee/The Globe and Mail)

Trans-Canada Highway

First drive: Alfa Romeo 4C teases and pleases Add to ...

It was short date. Too short. But, oh boy, it sure was sweet.

I took the new 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C for a quick spin – for one minute and 29 seconds over 1.127 kilometres, to be exact – around the twisting, turning autocross track at Chrysler’s Chelsea proving grounds this morning.

This pretty little package sits low, its spectacularly sexy lines gleaming in the bright sunshine – and stepping down into the sleek, black spartan cockpit, it was a tight fit. There’s plenty of legroom but it isn’t exactly ideal for uh, wide bodies.

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The engine, a 1.8-litre four-cylinder with a dynamic twin-clutch transmission capable of cranking out 237 horses with 258-lb-ft of torque, growled menacingly over my shoulder. Looking for quiet contemplation? This is not the place to be.

And off I went. The two-seat roadster shot forward like a bat out of hell with a press of the pedal, its gun-metal grey light-weight carbon-fibre body barely able to contain the engine’s rage. Alfa Romeo claims a 0-100 km/h time of 4.5 seconds. I believe it.

Twisting and turning around the orange construction pylons, the 4C held tightly and precisely to its line, the tires squealing gleefully with every quick crank of the manual rack-and-pinion steering wheel. Into the slalom part of the course, it briefly crossed my mind that the storied Italian auto maker – back in Canada after a nearly 20-year absence – surely had skiing legend Alberto Tomba in mind as the 4C took mastered each gate with dexterity and aplomb.

And suddenly, that was it. Finito.

Loud, proud, firm, fast and fun, the 4C’s ride is topped only by its striking beauty. Too bad it was only a speed date.

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The 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C coupe will retail for $61,995 in Canada. The 4C Launch Edition – only 500 will be made – will sell for $75,995. The Launch Edition lands in showrooms – there are four across the country – this summer and the regular 4C arrives in the fall.

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