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£35k 4C's

My Elise is up for sale, and while originally planning to buy another Lotus, I've decided to push the budget slightly and try and get into a 4C.

However, I'm on a pretty strict £35k max. There are a few cars at dealers for this price, but they seem to be all over the place. I'm struggling to match up age/mileage/spec against price...especially as spec wise there isn't a great deal of difference. For example, on AT there are various cars for £35k, with mileage ranging from 1,700 right upto 20,000 for the same year...but why?

I'm assuming the LE has the greatest premium. Past that, I'm guessing Tri-Coat Rosso Red carries a premium, followed by Flat Red, then white, with grey/black being the least desirable? Again, the classic 5-hole 18/19's being the most desired, over the smaller 17/18's.
Otherwise, I can't see anything else there that would dramatically affect pricing, except for the ones that don't have parking sensors which I'll be avoiding completely.

Anyone car to offer any tips as I'll be essentially buying at the bottom of the market? As an aside, I do prefer to buy privately, so if anyone is selling soon (i'll hopefully be looking to purchase in the next 4 weeks) or knows of anyone looking to sell, let me know!

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I will probably get flamed for this. I have an Elise and have had 4 Alfa's over the years, so I’m not a hater of Alfa’s.
I was looking to buy a 4C last year and road tested a few, have to say dynamically they are way behind the Elise, they might be good on a circuit but how often do people drive on a circuit?
I honestly thought that the 4C would have extremely good residuals, after all they are portrayed as a mini supercar but I have been keeping an eye on prices and they don't look to be holding up that well, plenty of well spec'ed cars around under £40k, some with only 1500 miles on the clock and I remember Mango's trying to sell on for £70K a couple of years ago.
Don't get me wrong I would like to own a 4C, but I have the Elise as a weekend car and therefore residuals are important with it being a second car. I have an Elise that I can sell for what I paid for it 4 years ago and may even make a bit on it. V6 Exiges are now appearing under £40K and they have serious performance and I believe that they are a sound place for a person to put money into as they will never dip below £35K.
If you do go for a 4C, don't get one with the larger wheels (18" & 19"), and don't go for the racing exhaust.

Previously, 146TI, 147 2L, Brera 2.2, Mito 135MA

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I wouldn’t wait until it becomes general knowledge that production has ceased. What has now been made is all that will ever be. Maybe then people might realise the value of their 4C rather than giving them away for a song.
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I wouldnít wait until it becomes general knowledge that production has ceased. What has now been made is all that will ever be. Maybe then people might realise the value of their 4C rather than giving them away for a song.
Have to agree, give it 12 months and price will be more stable and are only set to increase for good examples which pretty much all are as not exactly a go to daily unless you've got money to burn!
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Have to agree, give it 12 months and price will be more stable and are only set to increase for good examples which pretty much all are as not exactly a go to daily unless you've got money to burn!
Surprisingly, quite a few down my way daily drive theirs. Iíve had mine for a little over two years now. She comes out once every week or two after everyone has gone to work and she gets garaged away before the afternoon peak hour begins. Too special to be a daily. Thatís the ever reliable 147 Twinsparksí job.
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I will probably get flamed for this. I have an Elise and have had 4 Alfa's over the years, so Iím not a hater of Alfaís.
I was looking to buy a 4C last year and road tested a few, have to say dynamically they are way behind the Elise, they might be good on a circuit but how often do people drive on a circuit?
I honestly thought that the 4C would have extremely good residuals, after all they are portrayed as a mini supercar but I have been keeping an eye on prices and they don't look to be holding up that well, plenty of well spec'ed cars around under £40k, some with only 1500 miles on the clock and I remember Mango's trying to sell on for £70K a couple of years ago.
Don't get me wrong I would like to own a 4C, but I have the Elise as a weekend car and therefore residuals are important with it being a second car. I have an Elise that I can sell for what I paid for it 4 years ago and may even make a bit on it. V6 Exiges are now appearing under £40K and they have serious performance and I believe that they are a sound place for a person to put money into as they will never dip below £35K.
If you do go for a 4C, don't get one with the larger wheels (18" & 19"), and don't go for the racing exhaust.
You need to tweak the suspension for better dynamics. Uniball bushes at the rear and increase negative camber at the front. Add a decent set of tyres and an ecu and exhaust from Jamie Porter and youíll be very competitive with an Elise. In a straight line you will demolish one. As far as on-road civility goes the 4C is far superior. If you are an Alfista the 4C is a till death us do part proposition. Iíve no intention of ever selling mine. Take a ride in a well sorted one and Iím sure youíll feel the same. Itís that good.
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It's crazy that Alfa Romeo have created a car that needed a separate individual to develop their car. One day I'd like to own one. Is there a bike rack option?
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I'm sure they're good enough out of the factory but like every other Alfa I've ever known they can be so much more with a bit of tweaking. I always imagine the engineers designing it just right and then the accountants have their say and the marketeers have their say and before you know it, you've got a slightly compromised car which can be improved massively in the aftermarket. It doesn't seem to be all that different with other car brands though.
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It's crazy that Alfa Romeo have created a car that needed a separate individual to develop their car. One day I'd like to own one. Is there a bike rack option?
Yes! Not factory, though.
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There was a fantastic bike/canoe rack for the original Boxster!
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I have a VX220 test drove a 4C last Summer with a view to buying one as a replacement for the B road blaster, circa 1000m pa. Love the styling, the noise and was initially impressed, but once over the supercar looks and road prescence, less so. The Test Drive left me feeling pretty unconnected with the car it felt at times like the car was in control and I wasn't, it felt skitty and never 'settled'. I had not at that stage read any test reports and I noticed the car seemed to skip/jump on undulating surfaces which was very unnerving at speed, the steering felt vague too, I also found it was quite difficult to safely exploit it's power on the twisties unlike the VX220 (have since read the 'skip' or skittishness can be corrected with a mod). I am not after a car for purely straight line speed as it is pretty immaterial. I also did not think apart from the increase in cash and the badge the car added anything to what I already had, a pure driving experience. If the values continue to fall which I think they will do I will look to buy at £20-25K. Investment in years to come for sure.

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Interesting, two Elise/VX owners who were both disappointed. I've spoken to two other 4C owners (who were ex-Lotus) before this thread and they both said that the 4C was what a 'new' Elise should be - that is, with modern tech - and are pleased they swapped, although they did both say it wasn't quite as sharp, but the looks/character and slightly easier day-to-day usage made up for it. I'll need to drive one, obviously, but they clearly divide opinion.

Personally I don't think they'll drop below £30k. Anything below £33k disappears really quickly, and with no more supply I think the prices will flatten quite a bit before starting to creep up in a few years....if you can get hold of an LE with low mileage I reckon you'll be onto a winner in a few years time.
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Good points. Having had a quick scan of secondhand 4C's many are still being sold within the Trade and at Main Dealers (end of PCP deals/hand backs) so prices are kept firm and perhaps that is why the model/spec/mileage differences are having very little variance on their pricing? I would expect a car with 17K on it to be a lot cheaper than one with 1500miles but that appears not to be the case as you allude to. Perhaps my (hopefully) optimisitic £25K is just that, but once the Main Dealers lose 'control' of the secondhand market which should be about now at 5yrs+ prices should fall before the inevitable rise another plus to ownership would be the use of third party servicing as the AR service costs were/are astronomical.
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I have a VX220 test drove a 4C last Summer with a view to buying one as a replacement for the B road blaster, circa 1000m pa. Love the styling, the noise and was initially impressed, but once over the supercar looks and road prescence, less so. The Test Drive left me feeling pretty unconnected with the car it felt at times like the car was in control and I wasn't, it felt skitty and never 'settled'. I had not at that stage read any test reports and I noticed the car seemed to skip/jump on undulating surfaces which was very unnerving at speed, the steering felt vague too, I also found it was quite difficult to safely exploit it's power on the twisties unlike the VX220 (have since read the 'skip' or skittishness can be corrected with a mod). I am not after a car for purely straight line speed as it is pretty immaterial. I also did not think apart from the increase in cash and the badge the car added anything to what I already had, a pure driving experience. If the values continue to fall which I think they will do I will look to buy at £20-25K. Investment in years to come for sure.
They have come with notoriously poor alignment from the factory. There’s increased skittishness with the race pack too. Aftermarket Bilsteins I hear are a good alternative. You can’t just jump into a mid-engined car like the 4C and drive it hard with the same technique you’ve learned with a lifetimes’ experience with front engined front wheel drive. Vague steering? Alignment. Just a slight variation in specs gets massive differences up front. Add Jamie Porters’ steering blocks if you can’t handle the tramlining. You need to test drive Jamie Porters’ demonstrator to really get an idea of what a 4C can be.

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Good points. Having had a quick scan of secondhand 4C's many are still being sold within the Trade and at Main Dealers (end of PCP deals/hand backs) so prices are kept firm and perhaps that is why the model/spec/mileage differences are having very little variance on their pricing? I would expect a car with 17K on it to be a lot cheaper than one with 1500miles but that appears not to be the case as you allude to. Perhaps my (hopefully) optimisitic £25K is just that, but once the Main Dealers lose 'control' of the secondhand market which should be about now at 5yrs+ prices should fall before the inevitable rise another plus to ownership would be the use of third party servicing as the AR service costs were/are astronomical.
Including chassis bolt tightening, my 2nd annual service was $830AU. My first annual was half that. Not astronomical. I was going to be charged for a cabin filter until I politely pointed out that 4Cs don’t come with one and had an e-manual to prove it. Got $200 off the service. They can fool some of the people some of the time....It was a dealership service on both occasions.
For expensive you’re probably referring to that UK service cost survey. We have our rip-off merchants here too. You need to hunt around. You’re so fortunate to have many excellent independent Alfa mechanics like Jamie Porter.

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They have come with notoriously poor alignment from the factory. There’s increased skittishness with the race pack too. Aftermarket Bilsteins I hear are a good alternative. You can’t just jump into a mid-engined car like the 4C and drive it hard with the same technique you’ve learned with a lifetimes’ experience with front engined front wheel drive. Vague steering? Alignment. Just a slight variation in specs gets massive differences up front. Add Jamie Porters’ steering blocks if you can’t handle the tramlining. You need to test drive Jamie Porters’ demonstrator to really get an idea of what a 4C can be.

My VX220, the MG F and MGTF are mid engined cars, having owned them for 14+ years I have some experience of rear wheel drive cheap/good value true 'sports' and what a rwd car can do (or not sometimes in my case). Given the 4C concept I was expecting something sublime with the connection of driver and machine, handling and feedback but unfortunately it simply did not deliver for me and I drove it locally on roads I know for about 100miles: it was vague and unwieldy with an all or nothing delivery of power which did not feel progressive nor linear; the performance of the car was simply not usuable on the B road twisties under my control which is the primary reason I would want to purhcase the car for. Highway/Motorway straight line blats surely is not what this car is about?. I understand some of the foibles/issues can be remedied with mods but driving one from the Dealership kept my wallet shut. I still do hanker after one as they are gourgeous to look at and are a very focused non mainstream car which is what I like. Perhaps when/if the prices fall a little I can get one with the mods undertaken or feel spending more than the purchase price is worth it; as for spending what the dealer was asking for it, it did not represent a viable decision for the money asked.
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My VX220, the MG F and MGTF are mid engined cars, having owned them for 14+ years I have some experience of rear wheel drive cheap/good value true 'sports' and what a rwd car can do (or not sometimes in my case). Given the 4C concept I was expecting something sublime with the connection of driver and machine, handling and feedback but unfortunately it simply did not deliver for me and I drove it locally on roads I know for about 100miles: it was vague and unwieldy with an all or nothing delivery of power which did not feel progressive nor linear; the performance of the car was simply not usuable on the B road twisties under my control which is the primary reason I would want to purhcase the car for. Highway/Motorway straight line blats surely is not what this car is about?. I understand some of the foibles/issues can be remedied with mods but driving one from the Dealership kept my wallet shut. I still do hanker after one as they are gourgeous to look at and are a very focused non mainstream car which is what I like. Perhaps when/if the prices fall a little I can get one with the mods undertaken or feel spending more than the purchase price is worth it; as for spending what the dealer was asking for it, it did not represent a viable decision for the money asked.
I see. In Dynamic the throttle response is very sensitive. You must develop a very fine touch with your right foot. It took me over a year to prefer Dynamic over Natural on my favourite 10km set of twisties due to the throttle sensitivity. Hit a bump and my right foot would be jolted, causing a response with the engine. Now I can blitz it. I’ve increased front negative camber to -1.5 deg (reduce understeer), rear to -2 deg and added uniball bushes to the rear arms (better rear feel). Experimenting with toe at the moment. For tractability, I have Jamies’ ecu and to deal with the drone, his Helmholtz exhaust. The car is pretty bloody good now. As I said, you need to give it a chance. Drive a well set up one first then see if it makes more sense.
My local haunt is the Putty Road, northwest of Sydney, much like your country B roads except with larger and more stupid native wildlife (both the fury kind and the ones on two/ four wheels).

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To be honest I thought the 4c with the race pack was dangerous, way too skittish for me. The standard 4c was better but nowhere near Lotus behaviour on the road, as much as I love Alfa I think they really missed a trick with the 4c
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To be honest I thought the 4c with the race pack was dangerous, way too skittish for me. The standard 4c was better but nowhere near Lotus behaviour on the road, as much as I love Alfa I think they really missed a trick with the 4c
Nah, it’s a solid base from which to build a giant killer. Just look at what Jamie Porter (Sorry if I sound like a Porter fanboy, but no shame in that.) is doing with it. It has a much more solid feel than the kit car feel of the Elise. Remember Lotus has had years of experience with mid-engine set-up. Owners of 4Cs have quite few enthusiastic vendors of performance mods that deal with its shortcomings. As an Alfista you should know that very few Alfas of the past have been perfect out of the box. They most always needed tweaking to get the best from them. The 4C continues the tradition.
Thanks, Tony, Pud, Matty and Flanners, for engaging in conversation about the 4C on this Forum. It’s been pretty dead of late. As a 4C owner I appreciate the opportunity to defend the faith as it were, and maybe, to educate the doubters.
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Marchionne recently commented ,in an Italian interview , about the demise of the 4C and mentions it will soon be unable to homologate. Is this the engine or something else?
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You have got me thinking/dreaming of how amazing an NA V6 Busso powered 4C would be (even with a possible weight penalty).
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Marchionne recently commented ,in an Italian interview , about the demise of the 4C and mentions it will soon be unable to homologate. Is this the engine or something else?
Yes, it can’t meet the next set of emissions regulations. They’re slowly strangling the internal combustion engine. I’m getting close to an average of 6.5L/100km in regular real world driving. A supercar with econocar frugality. What more do they want? ...Hybrids then full electric... but what will they do with all the used batteries? I hope someone has got this covered. You know I feel privileged to have lived during the last days of steam and the age of the internal combustion engine. I can’t see the same passions being aroused by a whirring electric motor as by a screaming V10 (or a V12 RR Merlin).
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"I canít see the same passions being aroused by a whirring electric motor as by a screaming V10 (or a V12 RR"

Except perhaps by the people who have to live next to the powerstation sourcing the power for all the cars that get about half of its output from a cable?
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This 4C market is really strange. Loads of cars bunched up in the £35-£40k range with a huge difference in mileage and spec, yet as soon as something drops below £35k, it get snapped up. Loads of cars hanging around too. It's all very unusual.
That white one from Alexanders looks good, despite some unusual styling choices (which I guess are reversible).

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Thanks, Tony, Pud, Matty and Flanners, for engaging in conversation about the 4C on this Forum. Itís been pretty dead of late. As a 4C owner I appreciate the opportunity to defend the faith as it were, and maybe, to educate the doubters.
It is quiet here! I skimmed over the dedicated 4C forum but it seems very Americanised, so I prefer chatting on here where people are more familar with Lotus (an obvious competitor) and our terrible roads
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It is quiet here! I skimmed over the dedicated 4C forum but it seems very Americanised, so I prefer chatting on here where people are more familar with Lotus (an obvious competitor) and our terrible roads
Shhhh...I’m actually a moderator on that Forum but have a couple of other Alfas which is why I’m here on occasion. I mightn’t always agree with what is said but I enjoy the good humoured English banter on here...as well as the wealth of knowledge shared.

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