Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Once you’ve clambered in over the sill, the Alfa Romeo 4C’s cabin is an altogether unique – and slightly confusing – experience. Alongside the stripped out carbon tub and bare metal pedal box you’ll notice the parts bin climate controls and in our test car an aftermarket Parrot Bluetooth stereo, which is especially fiddly and frustrating. It all sits rather incongruously together to be honest.

And there’s some flex in the plastics used, especially where the dashboard ends above the transmission tunnel, so you wouldn’t call it well-built or especially expensively finished. Still, it all looks quite cool, especially the multifunction digital display for the speedometer and rev counter etc directly in front of the driver. There’s an element of fighter plane to that.

We’re not overly convinced by the flat-bottomed wheel, though concede the lower portion’s misshape does allow easier ingress and egress, while we’d prefer the gearshift paddles mounted behind it to be a little longer and more tactile. Talking of transmissions, the push button controls on the centre tunnel aren’t an entirely intuitive device for first time users either, but they do make sense after time.

The electric window and mirror controls placed just behind these buttons does feel like an ergonomic afterthought though. Still, the seats are comfortable and offer plenty of support too, while ours car’s sports leather seats (£1,200) look great. They offer little adjustment but do at least sit low to the floor as they should in a sports car like this.

Thanks to our car being fitted with the Race Pack, Alfa Romeo 4C comfort wasn’t its strongpoint. With stiffer dampers, an uprated front anti-roll bar and one at the back where there wasn’t before, along with larger wheels (18-inch up front and 19-inch at the rear) and a racing exhaust, this is not a car made for long motorway journeys.

To be fair the ride isn’t that bad, but a Porsche on adaptive dampers will cope with our British motorway surfaces far better, and the exhaust noise is probably too much. At certain speeds, and engine revolutions, it’s especially boomy and at all times it draws extra attention to a car that gets its fair share of looks from its design alone. You’ll either revel in that or shrink lower into the seat as you pass the pointing crowd of onlookers.

The noise in the cabin, both from the exhaust and other factors, is unlike many other cars – in fact the Lotus Elise with its bare aluminium tub is probably the closest. You’ll notice every chunk of road debris being bounced off the underside, while the engine and turbocharger sited only inches behind your head always make themselves known, especially under hard acceleration. But then that’s really all part of the experience, and there are few more involving cars than this.

At least the seats are comfortable, and in the case of our Sports Leather pair (£1,200) look great too – though the passenger seat only adjusts fore and aft while the driver’s merely adds some adjustment for the backrest angle.