By Oliver White
Six months on from taking delivery of the 4C the car had been brilliant, for the first couple of hundred miles the car will not allow you to put it into dynamic or race as the car needs to be run in so having a bit of mechanical sympathy I took it easy for a while. I also decided to have an oil and filter change done early May, the service schedule did not require this to be done, I just thought it would be good to do a “running in service”, while it was in the workshop some of the factory fitted paint protection film was replaced under warranty as it was lifting.
All of this was done in preparation for the European road trip I had planned with a few friends for June. We had planned a route around France driving through some of the national parks and ending at Montpellier. We had planned to do around 1800 miles over 8 days and having a passenger we had to be strategic about our luggage. We did manage to fit everything in we needed to which was a little surprising. If you pack the boot logically you can fit plenty in there. Plus you can fit a few bits behind the seats.
We left on the 30th of June and headed down to Dover to catch the Ferry. The 4C had no problem at all getting on the Ferry; ground clearance was not an issue at all. It was quite amusing being pulled into the search area at customs as they asked for the bonnet to be opened, this is bolted closed on the 4C so that was not happening! We opened the boot which was crammed and then they sent us on our way.
Once we got into the toll roads I stuck the cruise control on till we hit Paris, the 4C was surprisingly comfortable, I decided not to opt for the Race Pack when I ordered the car due to most of its use being on the road and I am glad I made that decision. The car also averaged around 40mpg which was brilliant as the 4C only has a 40L fuel tank.
We spend a couple of days in Paris and then headed for Clermont Ferrand, once we arrived we came off the toll roads and headed for Auvergne, this French region is particularly mountainous with vast forests and even a dormant Volcano (Puy De Dome). Our aim was to head south and arrive in Marseille that evening. The roads through the Auvergne region were amazing, quiet, good road surface and the views were stunning. The car handled the roads with ease, I also found that the added mileage from the toll roads really helped free up the engine, it had just ticked over 4000 miles at this point and though the twisty roads I could really push on. I felt I was starting to feel more comfortable pushing the car and was starting to understand it more. We came back out onto the A75 by Saint Flour to try and cover some distance before we headed into Parc National Des Cevennes which is just above Montpellier. Again the roads in this national park were brilliant. Firstly they were very quiet plus the quality of the road was great. We came across a few beautiful French villages where we stopped for fuel and then headed for Marseille.
After being in Marseille for a few days we headed for Montpellier where we spent most of the time on the beach after all the driving. We then headed home after this with an overnight stop in Dijon. The 4C behaved faultlessly the whole trip and I was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable the car was. The car didn’t use a drop of oil and the tyres/brakes still looked brand new, being a light car I expect these to last quite a while. Overall the 4C is a brilliant road trip car, don’t get me wrong there are plenty of more comfortable cars to do it in but the 4C makes everything feel like such an occasion. The last 8 days have really given me a chance to get to know the 4C and understand it better.
Thank you for reading, next part will be out in a couple of weeks.