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2018 Alfa Romeo 4C vs 2012 Lotus Exige S: New vs Used

By Louis Cordony, 09 Sep 2018 Features

2018 Alfa Romeo 4C vs 2012 Lotus Exige S New vs Used feature

When you want some mid-engine exotica on a budget

Supercars are addictive. Drive a proper one and it will completely scramble your definition of performance. The problem, though, is unless you have $400K lying around, you won’t get that chance, which is where the two above machines come in.

While we’re not saying an Alfa Romeo 4C is a substitute for a Ferrari 488, cars like it, and the supercharged V6 Lotus Exige, promise to deliver half the experience for a third the price.

At the 4C’s core, there’s a stiff-as-anything carbon-fibre tub, into which goes a turbo inline-4 and dual-clutch transmission. Sure, the fastest all-wheel drive hatches would pip it in a straight line, as that turbo 1.75-litre Giulietta engine pushes it to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds. But the 4C is more about the uncorrupted, unassisted steering, rapid gear changes and exotic construction. And not being a Porsche Cayman.

In the “used” corner, Lotus has been creating small exotics since seemingly forever. Its Exige has an aluminium-based chassis and a supercharged Toyota 3.5-litre V6 churning out 258kW and 400Nm in S spec. That’s not going to frighten a McLaren, but when it’s pushing 1125kg you’re in for serious performance. Triple figures arrive on your dash in 3.9sec and it’ll keep most 911s honest anywhere twisty.

If you’re willing accept one in used condition, you can find an example for the same amount the 4C asks. We dare say the Lotus will have you pining for the next drive more than the Alfa.

2018 Alfa Romeo 4C vs 2012 Lotus Exige S
1750cc inline-4, DOHC, 16v, turbo ENGINE 3456cc V6, DOHC, 24v, supercharged
177kW @ 6000rpm POWER 258kW @ 7000rpm
350Nm @ 2200rpm TORQUE 400Nm @ 4600rpm
1025kg WEIGHT 1125kg
4.5sec (claimed) 0-100KM/H 3.9sec (claimed)
$89,000 PRICE $90,000-$110,000 (used)

One man's used car is another man's treasure on New vs Used

Classies Watch

Modern classic tempters we found on tradeuniquecars.com.au

2011 AUDI R8 - $179,000
5.2L V10, 386kW/530Nm, 13,954km, Melbourne, VIC
Proper V10 power matched to a sure-footed all-wheel drive chassis. Almost cheap.

2012 FERRARI 458 ITALIA - $389,900
4.5L V8, 425kW/540Nm, 28,800km, Richmond, VIC
Ferrari wrapped its last atmo V8 in a gorgeous body and capable chassis.

2008 PORSCHE 911 GT2 - $489,900
3.8L F6TT, 390kW/680Nm, 26,754km, Melbourne, VIC
Much more grown-up than the GT2 before it. Still demands respect.

2013 NISSAN GT-R - $112,888
3.8L V6TT, 404kW/628Nm, 14,899km, Cockburn, WA
A sports car with supercar-eating pace. Still just as fast today.