Clarkson reckons 4C wont work - then says he loves it - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Clarkson reckons 4C wont work - then says he loves it

Was just watching an old episode of Top Gear and they introduced the 4C for the first time.

Hammond introduces the 4C as mid engine RWD 1.7 Turbo etc

Then Clarkson said he didn't like it and said "make it go away, it wont work" and to bring back the Alfa Spider with Dustin Hoffman.

Then recently Clarkson says he loves the 4C

I wish he would make up his mind. I reckon its all for dramatic effect. Hes either going to love something or hate it.
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He makes a fortune out of contradicting himself and winding people up. Fairplay to him!
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On Top Gear, I do not even see him as a car guy anymore, but more like a talkshow host / comedian. In his articles for the Times, he is more like a car journo. There he basically welcomes Alfa "back", after of course first (again) going on about his GTV6 which broke down 30 years ago -like he describes it, due to horrific maintenance failure more than anything else : gear linkages do not jam propshafts just like that. So again with the "Alfa is wonderful, there is always something wrong". Haha.

That line nags me because all - yes, ALL - of the 5 Alfa's I owned were without flaw or issue. The Golf V I bought after rave review by e.g. Mr Clarkson however, was a disaster and had to be gotten rid off when warranty expired. Not his fault, but mine : I was stupid enough to pay attention to a car journo opinion.

I have come to the conclusion no Alfa or Italian car minded person has any business buying a car magazine or otherwise paying attention to car journo's. All it does is get your blood up, because all they will EVER like or say is Porsche, Porsche, BMW, Golf, Porsche, Porsche and Porsche. If they really let their hair down they go "tuned Porsche", or after some LSD they may go out on a limb and confess to liking.. Singer Porsche. Should they be forced to write something different than that, for example after finding their magazine no longer sells (duh), they will publish bare faced lies about foreign brands that are German owned. They will say how wonderfully spirited a Seat is or that a Mini GP is faster than a Megane RS on the 'ring. Honestly...
 
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Originally Posted by GTV3.0Litre View Post
Was just watching an old episode of Top Gear and they introduced the 4C for the first time.

Hammond introduces the 4C as mid engine RWD 1.7 Turbo etc

Then Clarkson said he didn't like it and said "make it go away, it wont work" and to bring back the Alfa Spider with Dustin Hoffman.

Then recently Clarkson says he loves the 4C

I wish he would make up his mind. I reckon its all for dramatic effect. Hes either going to love something or hate it.
The episode in which he said it wont work was ages ago. And he will always be biased towards an Alfa V6

He then drove the car and he loved it! Made that clear on twitter and in his article in the Sunday Times: (which follows)

MY coffee machine is a complete and utter pain in the backside. Itís a wall-mounted Gaggia and I cannot recall a single occasion when, after pushing the button, I have taken delivery of a cup of actual coffee.

It always wants water, and after youíve filled up its bowl, it says: ďEmpty trays.Ē So you empty them, and then it says they arenít emptied properly. So you empty them again and then again, and then you scrub them until they shine like a furnace workerís face. And then you put them back and it says: ďTrays missing.Ē So you put them in again more firmly, several times, until it says: ďEmpty trays.Ē

Eventually, of course, you resort to extreme brute force, whereupon it becomes Italian and changes tack. ďAdd beans,Ē it says. So you open another tin of £900 Illy coffee beans and, being careful not to upset the trays in any way, you pour them into ó as I write, I can hear it doing things in the kitchen, but I donít know what ó the bean drawer. And then it says: ďClean unit.Ē So you have to go against every male instinct and find the instruction book, which tells you to hold clamp A while squeezing nozzle B for about a couple of hours, and then when you put it all back together it says it wants decalcifying.

Usually I donít get my morning coffee until itís time for afternoon tea. But, of course, itís worth persevering, because when the moment finally arrives the result tastes a whole lot nicer than the instant alternative.

Itís the same story with your choice of pet. A dog requires almost constant attention. It raids your bin, gets the bones itís nicked stuck in its throat, bites the postman, eats the milk lady, poos on the carpet, wants a walk when itís raining, barks in the night for no reason and gets ill on Christmas Day, when the vet is too drunk to come over. But despite all this itís so much more satisfying than a feed-and-forget cat.

Which naturally brings me on to Alfa Romeo, an experience thatís subtly different. I had one once, a GTV6, and it was like a coffee machine ó that had been designed by a dog. At night it would let all the air escape from its tyres, its clutch would weld itself to the flywheel and once it dropped its gear linkage onto the prop shaft, causing an extremely loud noise to happen, followed by the rear wheels locking up. It was a constant nightmare.

But hereís the thing: even when it was a sunny day, and it wasnít being premenstrual, it was a pretty horrible car to drive. The steering was too heavy, the driving position was tailored for an ape, second gear was impossible to find and it handled as though it was running on heroin.

Itís not alone, either. At present, the Giulietta is ho-hum and the MiTo is ghastly. And if we plunge into the pages of recent history, we find the 8C, which wasnít quite as good as it looked, and the SZ, which was the other way round. But only because it looked as if it had been designed by a madman. The 33, the 75, the 156, the 159 and the 164? Thereís not a great car there. Just many puddles of oil on your garage floor.

And yet Alfa Romeo is still my favourite car maker. I still believe you canít really call yourself a petrolhead until youíve owned one. So why is this?

Itís no good going back to the Sixties and saying: ďItís because of the GTA.Ē Yes, it was fabulous, but it was one car in a torrent of rubbish. Judging Alfa on this one achievement would be the same as ignoring all of Mussoliniís crimes simply because he once bought his mother some flowers.

Iíve had a good, long think and reckon that in all its history Alfa has made only four or five really good cars. Memorable cars. And that in the past 30 years it hasnít made one.

Yet the love remains and I think itís because we all sort of know what Alfa could and should be making. We have in our minds a mini Ferrari. A supercar on a shoestring. Pretty as hell, lithe as a greyhound, cheap as chips and built for fun. We have in our minds the car you see here this morning. The 4C. Sadly, pictures do not do this little car justice. In the flesh it is utterly gorgeous. Spoilt, some say, by the headlamps. Yes, maybe, in the way Cindy Crawford is spoilt by her mole ó that is, not spoilt at all.

But itís not the looks that impress most with the 4C. Itís how itís made. Before this, if you wanted a car with an all-carbon-fibre tub, you had a choice: you bought a machine such as a McLaren MP4-12C or you bought a Formula One racer. Itís expensive to make a car this way, but thatís what Alfa has done.

The benefit is lightness, and thatís a theme it has continued throughout. So, if youíre after luxury and soundproofing and lots of standard equipment, forget it. Thereís no satellite navigation. You donít even get power steering.

The result is a car that tips the scales, fat with fluids, at well under a ton. Which means it doesnít need a big engine. Instead, mounted in the middle of the car, is a 1742cc turbo unit that itself is made to be so light it has to be bolted in place to stop it floating away.

Disappointed that it only has the four-cylinder engine from a motorised pencil sharpener? Well, donít be. Because, thanks to the lightness, you can get to 62mph in 4.5 seconds and onwards past 160mph. Way past, I found. Oh, and 40mpg-plus is on the cards as well.

I shall make no bones about it. I loved this car. Itís like being at the controls of a housefly. You can brake later than you think possible into corners, knowing that thereís barely any weight to transfer. And it has so much grip. Then thereís the noise. Or rather noises. It makes thousands. All loud. All mad.

Yes, the interior trim is shocking, but if you want that lightness, itís the price you pay. And you do want it. Because lightness is coming. It has to. It makes both the polar bear and the petrolhead happy. And in the Alfa it made me very happy indeed. I drove the car round Lake Como on a sunny evening and there was almost a tear in my eye. I kept thinking that life didnít really get any better.

Now the boring stuff. I fitted easily. The boot is big. The dash readout is clever and clear so you donít need spectacles to see how fast youíre going. And you can choose how you want your car to feel. Really. Just put it in Dynamic mode. And leave it there.

There are only a couple of drawbacks. The gearbox is a bit dim-witted and the steering isnít quite as sharp as I had been expecting. Also, itís wider than a Mercedes SLS AMG, which means itís wider than Utah. And it costs around £45,000. That, for a carbon fibre-tubbed mini-supercar, is not bad at all. But it does put it in the same price bracket as a Porsche Cayman.

Of course, the Cayman is more in tune with where we are now. It feels sturdy, and well made and luxurious. But that sort of thing will have to stop. We will have to go down Alfaís route, which means, in fact, the 4C feels like the future.

It also feels like the Alfa that the company made only in your dreams. It feels wonderful. Iím sure, naturally, that it will be like my coffee machine to own. But, unlike with any other Alfa in living memory, the rewards will make all the effort worth it.

Verdict:
Alfa, itís good to have you back
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I reckon its all for dramatic effect. Have a strong opinion either way and that gives you character and personality which Clarkson has in bucket loads.

Also having worked in TV Im sure all their dialogue conversation and jokes are pre-scripted.

And with any story and script there MUST be some Drama associated with it and the key essentials to any Drama going all the way back to Aristotles time is Love and Hate.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coniglio View Post
On Top Gear, I do not even see him as a car guy anymore, but more like a talkshow host / comedian. In his articles for the Times, he is more like a car journo. There he basically welcomes Alfa "back", after of course first (again) going on about his GTV6 which broke down 30 years ago -like he describes it, due to horrific maintenance failure more than anything else : gear linkages do not jam propshafts just like that. So again with the "Alfa is wonderful, there is always something wrong". Haha.

That line nags me because all - yes, ALL - of the 5 Alfa's I owned were without flaw or issue. The Golf V I bought after rave review by e.g. Mr Clarkson however, was a disaster and had to be gotten rid off when warranty expired. Not his fault, but mine : I was stupid enough to pay attention to a car journo opinion.

I have come to the conclusion no Alfa or Italian car minded person has any business buying a car magazine or otherwise paying attention to car journo's. All it does is get your blood up, because all they will EVER like or say is Porsche, Porsche, BMW, Golf, Porsche, Porsche and Porsche. If they really let their hair down they go "tuned Porsche", or after some LSD they may go out on a limb and confess to liking.. Singer Porsche. Should they be forced to write something different than that, for example after finding their magazine no longer sells (duh), they will publish bare faced lies about foreign brands that are German owned. They will say how wonderfully spirited a Seat is or that a Mini GP is faster than a Megane RS on the 'ring. Honestly...
Going off topic - I hate the Singer Porsche. I mean I love the concept and maybe even to drive it. But it must be the ugliest car Ive ever seen. It looks like its stuck in the 70s and worth 100th of the price it is only worth about $20,000 USD not $500,000 USD. For that sort of money get a Lamborghini or something that looks like $500K

If they thought about the aesthetics in a different way then it would be much better.

Compare it to say a Ferrari of the same period of the 70s / 80s A Ferrari would still look classic as well as being acknowledged as being old but still classy and elegant.

The Singer just looks plain old with nothing classic about it at all. To a non Porsche person they just look cheap and nasty.
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Sure, drama, keeping things interesting... but this is not very interesting is it?

I mean it is a positive review but goes again with the schtick of using a broken down italian coffee machine as example (Swiss Jura machines are as expensive and even less reliable), Clarkson says "the interior trim is shocking" while Auto, Motor und Sport (not exactly known for their positive bias towards anything Italian or not from Stuttgart area) were amazed by how solid the interior is ("as if hewn from a solid block"). He like every other journo raises a Cayman as an example of quality, while the local Belgian car mag, which is the only one I know of has a referendum of car owners on reliability, reports numerous problems on brakes, electronics, gearbox, much more than for example Lotus. A 75 was not a great car? No, I guess a Golf II or a Granada of the time was much more interesting then? They were really advanced balanced cars with rorty engines, distribution, brakes, were they?

So how interesting is it being constantly stereotyped and being lied to? He will probably bow out at the end of the next season and I hope all of the Car Magazine, EVO etc Troy Queefs with him.
 
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The Singer just looks plain old with nothing classic about it at all. To a non Porsche person they just look cheap and nasty.
It is an odd looking thing as it has the GT40 trim, odd proportions, wierd bumpers and modern lights. It is a hotrod which is fine but how journo's go on about it being a dead ringer for a classic 911... not if you have eyes it isn't. But it gets wierder as they idolise that Walker guy for stickering old 911's as if he invented the automobile. Just wierd.
 
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As others have said, about-turns on car reviews is the Clarkson way. Nothing new. He has been doing it for years.

The Alfa 8C was rendered "art" in one review. Then totally berated in another.

Like others, I enjoy his entertaining writing style, but little else.

These days if I want a review from a driver's perspective, I'm more inclined to listen to people like Chris Harris.
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I sorta halfway gave up on Chris Harris after he gatecrashed Mille Miglia together with that pompous, posh twit in a Jaguar. Being smug about never having heard of MM is pushing a lot of wrong buttons for me.

He's entertaining and enjoyable enough to watch, but not really my kind of car guy. There's enough Porsche owners obsessing over lap times, acceleration and turbo size in this world. Give me Clarkson's silly antics and stupid similes any day
 
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Yeah Clarksons definetly more entertaining than Chris Harris

I would rather Clarkson say I love this car or this car is pathetic - Simple entertaining bottom line.

Chris Harris goes on and on and on about gear ratios, degree settings, camber changes compression ratios that I have no idea or interest in what they are.

Sometimes I feel like saying : "Can you shut up - talk less - just say what you like or hate about the car"
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Horses for courses I guess.

Still, IMO, Harris' review on the 4C was once of the most enjoyable I've seen on the model.

Period.
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Must agree. Hourses for courses, and of the current batch of English speaking journo's, Harris is the most pallatable to me.
But a new Setright is not for this generation me thinks.

My main beef with the current generation of English speaking journo's is that it is all "feeling", garnished with a ring time and a 0-60mph number.

To their credit, a German mag tried all they could to smuggle a 4C onto a scale. A Belgian mag even got their measuring equipement out and measured performance times far better than the official ones, going into Ferrari 360 territory. They also evaluated what in their opinion was the reason for the twitchyness of the 4C and came to the conclusion that it was a compromise between agility, no power steering, stance and width, castor and camber. Their UK counterparts did not get further than "feeling" the steering was "wierd". But I guess they have nice glossy pictures and movies on the internet with smoking tires.
 
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Originally Posted by Coniglio View Post
Must agree. Hourses for courses, and of the current batch of English speaking journo's, Harris is the most pallatable to me.
But a new Setright is not for this generation me thinks.

My main beef with the current generation of English speaking journo's is that it is all "feeling", garnished with a ring time and a 0-60mph number.

To their credit, a German mag tried all they could to smuggle a 4C onto a scale. A Belgian mag even got their measuring equipement out and measured performance times far better than the official ones, going into Ferrari 360 territory. They also evaluated what in their opinion was the reason for the twitchyness of the 4C and came to the conclusion that it was a compromise between agility, no power steering, stance and width, castor and camber. Their UK counterparts did not get further than "feeling" the steering was "wierd". But I guess they have nice glossy pictures and movies on the internet with smoking tires.
Like the thinking Coniglio.

Would much rather a detailed, technical break down as to why or why or not something drives well.

Not interested so much in the vague opinions, fuzzy cliches and throw away lines.
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