The stunning new Alfa Romeo 4C will officially will go on sale here in October but, in reality, it could be late next year before it is delivered.
Worldwide production for the Alfa Romeo 4C is limited to just 3,500 units per year, and due to an exceptionally high demand and limited product availability, prospective buyers are invited to register their interest now for deliveries in late 2014.
This latest Alfa marks the welcome return to the world of lightweight sports coupés for the Italian brand. It is a real compact beauty with aerodynamically-efficient shape, making it a worthy descendent of one of the most beautiful coupes of all time - the Alfa 33 Stradale.
Designed and engineered by Alfa Romeo and built at the Maserati plant in Modena, the Alfa Romeo 4C employs the latest technologies of Alfa Romeo’s newest models - the new, all-aluminium 1750 turbo petrol engine, the latest-generation ALFA TCT dry twin clutch semi-automatic transmission; and the Alfa DNA driving mode selector, which now has a new ‘race’ mode.
Carbon-fibre was chosen for the one-piece monocoque due its high levels of structural rigidity and exceptionally low weight (just 65kg ). And the new 4C is built using sophisticated Formula 1-derived technologies, evolved especially for Alfa Romeo. Sheet moulding compound, which is lighter than both steel and aluminium, is used for the bodywork. while even the thickness of the glass has been slimmed down by 15 per cent to help reduce the Alfa Romeo 4C’s overall weight.
Less than 4m in length and with a wheelbase of 2.38m, the Alfa Romeo 4C’s compact shape accentuates its remarkable agility: With a dry weight of 895kg and a 40:60 front-to-rear weight distribution, the Alfa Romeo 4C is capable of generating 1.1g of lateral acceleration and in excess of 1.2g of deceleration force.
To optimise handling, its double-wishbone front suspension is secured directly to the monocoque while the rear uses a performance-tuned MacPherson arrangement. The brakes, engineered with track use in mind, employ a patented aluminium/cast iron hybrid construction complete with ventilated, cross-drilled 305mm/292mm discs (F/R ) clamped by Brembo® calipers. 17-inch front and 18-inch rear alloy wheels are standard, while 18/19-inch wheels with Alfa Romeo’s signature five-hole design are optional.
Power comes courtesy of a new four-cylinder turbo engine which, thanks to its aluminium block, is 22kg lighter than the engine that powers the Alfa Giulietta Cloverleaf. Turbo-charged and with direct injection, this new1750 turbo petrol unit sets new torque and specific power records for this size of engine, at more than 200Nm and 137hp-per-litre respectively. Its maximum power output is 240hp at 6,000rpmm while its maximum torque output is 350Nm, available between 2,100 and 4,000rpm. To underline the flexible nature of this new engine, 80 per cent of its torque is available from just 1800rpm.
Accelerating from 0-100 km/h takes just 4.5 seconds in the new Alfa Romeo 4C and top speed is 258km/h, but this supercar performance is not at the expense of the environment. Due to its light weight and advanced engine and transmission technologies, the emissions of the Alfa Romeo 4C fall well within the strict limits of Euro 6. Its official combined-cycle fuel economy figure is 6.8L/100km (or 42mpg ) and its CO2 emissions are 157g/km.
The exhaust has been tuned to emit a full, rich sound and particular attention has been paid to the seat design to ensure the movement and reactions of the car can be ‘felt’ properly. The unassisted steering is progressive, direct and engineered to convey as much feedback and feel as possible. The steering ratio (16:2 ) allows 90 per cent of bends to be taken without having to take hands off the steering wheel. Both brake and throttle response have also been tuned to match the dynamic nature of the Alfa Romeo 4C.
Inside the Alfa Romeo 4C, the exposed carbon-fibre chassis and driver-oriented controls leave you in no doubt as the purposeful nature of the car. In place of traditional dials, a multi-function TFT digital display occupies the instrument panel and the steering wheel is a bespoke, flat-bottomed, two-spoke item with integrated gear-shifter paddles.
The remaining controls are grouped together on the tunnel console, including the button-operated Alfa TCT transmission selector and the Alfa DNA system selector, which alters the operational parameters of the engine, transmission, ESC and electronic Q2 differential depending on the driver’s requirements. Composite bucket seats and aluminium pedals complete the minimalistic, drive-focused cabin.
The Alfa Romeo 4C offers high levels of customisation including six exterior body colours; black, white and Alfa red, one metallic (basalt grey ), and two three-layer metallic finishes (madreperla white and competizione red ). There are four different coloured brake calipers available and well as four different upholstery options.
Pricing details for Ireland will be announce shortly.