This gorgeous creation is the new Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione. It looks familiar because it's the production version of the 2003 concept car which bore the same name. Alfa has confirmed that the 450bhp V8 coupe will go on sale in September next year. In a tactic borrowed from Ferrari, production will be limited. Insiders hint that as few as 500 examples of the 8C could be produced. That may be partly due to the price tag. Expect to pay around £110,000 for the carbonfibre sports car – unusually steep for an Alfa.
Under the 8C's nose is a Ferrari/Maserati V8, bored out by Alfa Romeo. It now displaces 4691cc - a 400cc rise over the Maserati Quattroporte. Power naturally takes a big hike. The 8C produces a storming 450bhp at 7000rpm (50bhp up on the Quattroporte), and 346lb ft of torque is channelled through a paddleshift six-speed gearbox to the massive 285/35 profile 20-inch rear wheels. Expect performance to be ferocious with 62mph dispatched in around 4.0sec, with a top speed in excess of 180mph. Reigning in the power are a mighty set of brake discs linked to sophisticated VDC traction control that can be switched off for track work.
The bespoke GT uses a unique spaceframe chassis clothed in lightweight carbon fibre panels, to maximise performance. A big diffuser runs beneath the body, suckering the 8C to the ground and avoiding the need for an ungainly rear wing. Alfa claims the platform is unique, with a long wheelbase to boost stability.
The 8C makes its public debut at the Paris motor show later this month. First customer cars are likely to arrive next summer, for those buyers who originally expressed an interest in the 8C concept car. Alfa Romeo is yet to confirm whether it or an outside firm will produce the 8C.