After being shown in concept form at least twice since 2011, and also inspiring a couple of “Alfisti” to come up with a similar concept, Alfa Romeo have finally revealed the production version of the eagerly-awaited 4C sports car.
The all-new Alfa Romeo 4C will make its debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show next month, and sales will start later in the year. The compact mid-engined sports car is one of the most exciting new cars of this year. Partly due to its gorgeous styling, and partly because it won’t be out of reach of virtually everyone – unlike the heart-achingly beautiful 8C Competizione supercar.
The 4C was designed by by Alfa Romeo engineers, but will be produced in the Maserati plant in Modena, Italy. The car will be available for purchase in 2013, marking the return of the Italian brand to the United States and kicking-off Alfa Romeo’s global growth plan.
Powering the Alfa Romeo 4C is a mid-mounted 1.8 litre, 4-cylinder, turbocharged engine, which is an evolution of the engine already in use in the Quadrifoglio Verde (Cloverleaf) version of the Giulietta. In the 4C the engine is lightly tweaked – with specific intake and exhaust systems – taking the output to 240 horsepower.
The transmission is an Alfa Romeo TCT automatic twin dry clutch unit which offers gear shifts via the paddles located behind the steering wheel.
The Alfa Romeo 4C also sees the debut of the new Alfa DNA selector which not only features the three standard settings available until now – Dynamic, Natural and All Weather – but also a fourth mode: ‘Race’, – do I really need to explain what that’s for?
Below is the official Alfa Romeo 4C press release:
The acronym ‘4C’ draws its inspiration from the brand’s glorious past, projecting the values of technology and emotions into the future. Indeed, it refers to Alfa Romeo’s great sporting tradition: the acronyms 8C and 6C in the 1930s and 1940s distinguished cars – both racing and road – fitted with the powerful ‘eight cylinders’ and the innovative ‘six cylinders’, confirming in its design layout and construction the goal of achieving the power/weight ratio of an authentic supercar, less than 4 kg/HP, yet focusing not merely on the maximum power delivered, but on limiting the weight to guarantee maximum agility and top performance. To this end, the Alfa Romeo 4C uses technologies and materials derived from super sports cars (including the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione) – carbon fibre, aluminium, rear-wheel drive – and technologies from the latest standard models from Alfa Romeo, but updated to enhance the sports appeal of the new car even further. This is demonstrated by the new 1750 Turbo Petrol all-aluminium engine with direct injection, the sophisticated Alfa TCT twin dry clutch transmission and the Alfa DNA selector with the unprecedented Race mode.
Designed by the Alfa Romeo Style Centre, the 4C immediately brings to mind some of the traditional iconic models which have left a significant mark in the history of the Brand. Above all others, in terms of dimensional and layout similarities, one stands out in particular: the 33 Stradale, a car that combined extreme mechanical and functional requirements with an essential style which ‘clothed’ the engine and chassis appropriately with unmistakable Alfa Romeo treatments. The 4C has followed suit, and thus completes a journey which was embarked upon with the 8C Competizione, emphasising some particular concepts of the brand, such as compact size, dynamism and agility.
The development of the 4C’s exterior was characterised from the start by the need to enhance the style of the car and the technical characteristics both the from a dynamic and aerodynamic point of view. For this reason, all the style solutions adopted have been optimised in accordance with the ultimate goal of the car: performance.
The rear volume, sinuous and enveloping, simultaneously encloses and embraces the throbbing heart of the car: the mechanics and the engine, visible through the rear window.
All this, thanks to the development of a marked musculature above the wheels, lends strength and power to the rear end.
The rear musculature supports its structure on round rear light clusters and on the side air intakes necessary to cool the intercooler and the air intake for engine aspiration.
From this energy-charged rear volume and the two side air intakes spring the two long muscles which lend speed and dynamism to the side, generating the necessary volume at the front end to house the headlights and, on the central part, the two robust ribs running along the bonnet, tracing the unmistakable “V” come to their natural conclusion around the shield.
This, together with the two side intakes, forms the famous ‘Trefoil’, a substantial facet of Alfa Romeo’s profile.
The elemental design and essential materials also distinguish the interior, which is all designed and built for maximum driving satisfaction. Specifically, the carbon fibre in the interior immediately stands out, used to make the central cell, which has been left in full view to enhance the sense of light weight, technology and uniqueness. The dashboard and door panels have an “asphalt ” treatment to recall the vocation of the Alfa Romeo 4C, conceived to convey maximum driving sensation from the road.
The seats, made of composite material, ensure dedicated sports posture, favouring the driver’s contact with the road without, however, compromising the comfort required for everyday use of the car.
The dashboard, simple and designed to make using functions simple too, reaches its zenith in the concept of extreme driver-orientation, thanks to digital instruments and gear shift controls located on the appropriately shaped steering wheel.
The cockpit, which powerfully suggests the world of motorcycle racing and race cars, brings together all information necessary to drive and control the car.
The information, which is rendered captivating through powerful, high-impact graphics, allows the driver to keep everything under control without distractions from controls that would be superfluous on this type of car.
The pedal unit and footboards for driver and passenger are all made of aluminium and embellish the lower part under the dashboard, highlighting sports character down to the smallest detail.
Dimensions and aerodynamics
The compact dimensions make this car with 2 bucket seats truly unique amid its competitors: it is just under 4 metres long, 200 cm wide, 118 cm high and with a wheelbase of less than 2.4 metres. These dimensions serve both to emphasise the compact size of the car and to accentuate its agility. What’s more, owing to the designers’ excellent work, the car achieves maximum aerodynamic efficiency levels, recording a negative Cz (downforce coefficient) which, as in racing cars, contributes towards achieving increased stability at higher speeds.
New 4 cylinder 1750 Turbo Petrol
An evolution of the engine already in use in the Quadrifoglio Verde version of the Giulietta, the new 4 cylinder 1750 Turbo Petrol engine implements an innovative aluminium block and specific intake and exhaust systems which have been optimised to enhance the sports appeal of the car even further. In addition, it boasts cutting-edge technical solutions including direct fuel injection, dual continuous variable valve timing, a turbocharger and a revolutionary scavenging control system that gets rid of any turbo lag.
Alfa TCT automatic transmission
The 1750 Turbo Petrol engine is teamed with the innovative Alfa TCT automatic twin dry clutch transmission, which is a genuine benchmark in its segment due to its low weight and extreme speed of activation. The gears can also be changed in sequential mode using the shift paddles located behind the steering wheel.
The new Alfa DNA selector with Race mode
The Alfa Romeo 4C also sees the debut of the new Alfa DNA selector which not only features the three standard settings available until now – Dynamic, Natural and All Weather – but also a fourth mode: Race, designed to enhance the driving experience on a race track even further.
Excellence made in Italy
The very best technical and industrial expertise of the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands were used to develop the final version of the 4C. Specifically, the teamwork between the two brands was aimed at the integration of the Alfa Romeo design department with the Maserati production plant. In short, this too is a distinguishing trait of Alfa Romeo, a brand with a century of history that continues to be one of the most famous and popular ambassadors of Italian products across the world.
Source: Alfa Romeo