This is, at long last, the production-ready Alfa Romeo 4C. The mid-engined sports car will make its debut at the 2013 Geneva motor show in March and go on sale shortly afterwards in Europe. The 4C will also spearhead Alfa’s revival in the United States.
In the UK, prices are expected to start at £40,000 – smack in the middle of Porsche Cayman territory. Read on for the more details to see if the Alfa upstart can challenge the mighty Porsche.
The Alfa Romeo sports car is back!
At less than four metres long, around two metres wide and 1180mm tall, the 4C is only a handspan longer than a Lotus Elise, but wider than a Porsche Cayman. It’ll be lightweight, too: the carbonfibre chassis structure (exposed in the cabin) has survived the bean counters’ axe and makes it to production. Alfa claims the 4C has a power-to-weight ratio of 4kg/hp – the 4C develops 237bhp and weighs 960kg, according to Alfa. For comparison, a Porsche Cayman musters a slightly worse-off 5kg/hp.
The body looks identical to the 2011 concept car’s, and has been aerodynamically honed to produce downforce at high speed.
Tell me about the Alfa Romeo 4C’s powertrain
Sitting amidships is a new, all-aluminium four-cylinder petrol engine. The 1.7-litre '1750 Turbo' engine is turbocharged, and sends power to the rear wheels via Alfa’s own twin-clutch paddleshift gearbox – the only transmission available in the 4C. Alfa’s engineers have used direct-fuel injection, variable valve timing and ‘scavenging control system’ to keep turbo lag to a minimum.
4C drivers can tune the car’s behaviour through a reworked version of Alfa’s ‘DNA’ system. In addition to the usual Dynamic, Natural and All-weather modes, the 4C boasts a ‘Race’ setting designed for better performance during on-track antics.
Any other Alfa 4C information?
The 4C will be built for Alfa Romeo at Maserati’s Modena factory; Maserati also helped with the final dynamic development of Alfa’s new flagship.
Want one? The Alfa Romeo 4C goes on sale later in 2013.