Many cars have lapped Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in less than 8 minutes, the Alfa Romeo 4C is not one of them. That’s the first thought that came to mind as Alfa reminded us yet again that the 4C is (in their words) a ‘supercar’.
The lap time was set by Sport Auto journalist and Nordschleife expert, Horst von Saurma on 12th September as part of a series of test performed by Alfa Romeo prior to putting the 4C on sale.
Forgive me if I seem a little critical of Alfa Romeo – I’ve been an Alfisti for many years having owned numerous Alfasuds and Alfetta GTVs in my youth – but I see the 4C as a fun, light-weight sports car, which in itself should be reason to rejoice – not a supercar or track day weapon.
Alfa say in their press release that the 4C’s ‘record time’ is the fastest ever recorded for a road car powered by less than 250hp (246bhp), which sounds a little like they’re clutching at straws.
The 230bhp 1.8-litre Caterham R500 completed the same 12.93 mile lap in 7 minutes 55 seconds back in 1999, while the 261bhp Renault Megane RS 265 Trophy set the fastest time for a front-wheel drive hatchback in 2011 with a time of 8 minutes 7.97 seconds.
The 4C’s most direct rival, the 150kg heavier 345bhp Lotus Exige S has lapped the ring in 7 minutes 53 seconds, while the Porsche Cayman S (with a similar power-to-weight ratio) and driven by Walter Rohrl lapped the ‘ring in 7 minutes 55 seconds.
Clearly the Alfa 4C is in the ball-park of some thoroughly well-sorted sports cars, so can we just leave it there?
Alfa go on to say “..the 4C’s performance is in line with times set by sports cars with much higher prices and more powerful engines”, although the base price of the Porsche Cayman S is just £3,800 more than the 4C.
The 4C used for the Nordschleife lap was shod with special Pirelli Zero Trofeo tyres, the most sporty version in the P Zero line – these were developed by Pirelli and Alfa Romeo especially for the 4C to deliver a balance of grip, performance, sportiness and precision.
These special ‘AR Racing’ P Zero tyres are available only in 18″ front and 19″ rear sizes, with ‘AR’ P Zero tyres fitted to the smaller 17″ front and 18″ rear wheels supplied on the standard car.
Source: Lap times provided by fastestlaps.com.