Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Alfa Romeo 8C Road Test

2008 Alfa Romeo 8C Road Test

Test Vehicle: Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione Coupe

The hardest part of this review is knowing where to start. This car is as rare as hen’s teeth.

There are to be only 500 made of the Alfa Romeo 8C, and only about 50 to make it to the US, so the fact that I am about to drive this is not lost on me. Pictures have circulated on the web and their various tubes for a while of this car, but *sigh* good god, it is jaw dropping in the paint.

If there was a naked woman on the 8C’s bonnet, you’d want her to get off it. Honestly, it’s just ridiculous.

Alfa Romeo 8C Front

Curves everywhere. The body is carbon fiber and is draped over the chassis to create the most delicious shape on the road. Its like Christina Hendricks on wheels, and if you don’t know who that is, Google her (Note by Adnan: Megan Fox on wheels would do the trick too). Christina’s a red head too, so it’s fitting that the red metallic paint accentuates them all, and those wheels look tremendous. Giant circles reminiscent of the wheels on the VW GTi a little.

The way the front centers around the grill is a thing of beauty, with a little circle of white LEDs in the grill.

Alfa Romeo 8C Rear

The rear end reminds me of the old racing Porsches, and the circular rear lights are the perfect touch. I am a little besotted by the looks of this thing as you can probably tell.

It is now my favorite looking car on the road, beating the Aston Martin DB9. I never thought that phrase would ever come out of my mouth…

Alfa Romeo 8C Interior

The interior is also just breathtaking. The leatherwork in the seats alone is something to study, the aluminum on the wheel and the dash, and the long aluminum paddles behind the wheel are in just the right places. The twin cowls on the main gauges separated with a red screen with a number of other supplemental gauges set off the interior beautifully, and the carbon fiber center console just adds to the overall experience. Its a sense of occasion that can barely be explained.

It was the sexiest car I had ever clapped my eyes on…

…and then I started it up.

Holy mother of god, who tuned that exhaust note? That can’t be legal, surely.

Alfa Romeo 8C Centre Console

A throttle blip rendered me speechless for about a minute. There are loud cars that are just too loud, and then there are cars that you could listen to all day. I’ve never heard a rumble like this outside of a pit lane. It is intoxicating. A low rumble, with the 8 cylinder 4.3 liter engine just bellowing down the exhaust pipes with no regard for public safety.

After some time to compose myself, I put this thing in sport mode, put it in gear, and released the little electric handbrake, and off I went.

It felt a little light to start with, but then I got used to it. Accelerating towards the first corner, the noise is off the charts, but its a beautiful noise. I let my foot off the accelerator for a moment, and the exhaust just cracked and popped in a way that reminded me of the Panoz race cars, crack, pop, rumble…what road car makes that noise?! Oh, this one. I don’t care how many miles to the gallon this thing was getting, that noise had me accelerating and lifting off more times than I should. I was probably waking the dead in nearby cemeteries and people within a 5 mile radius, but it was an orchestra. They probably woke, listened to it, and smiled. How can you not?

Aside from the the noise, the gearbox was great. Changes up and down were smooth, lots of power, great acceleration, not as tight around the corners as the Gallardo, but still a level above virtually all other cars on the road. Its a taller car, even though its still a small car, so there is lots of headroom and shoulder room. Good visibility out all round. Seats were comfortable and held you in place really well as it went over dips and through curves.

The brakes were good too, as you would expect on a car like this, but moving your foot from one pedal to the other caused the thunderclaps out of the exhaust, so I sort of forgot about the brakes to be honest with you. The aural rewards were far outweighing the driving experience.

Alfa Romeo 8C Steering Wheel

The team at Centro Stile Alfa Romeo deserve a medal the size of a large dining table for getting this on the road. If this doesn’t get Alfa noticed, then nothing will. An incredible experience. Not the finest drivers car on the road, but if you want to make a statement, this is the one to get, and being one of only 500 will make it an even rarer proposition. I know its basically a Maserati under the skin, but its a totally different animal and improves (if that’s even possible) on the looks of the Gran Turismo.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...