Having progressed from concept to production form for its showing at the Geneva auto show this spring the Alfa Romeo 4C sports coupe is now being produced and it's on sale in Europe and the U.K.
The stylish coupe is expected to be the cornerstone of the brand's relaunch in North America, although the timing of that return, originally planned for this fall, remains uncertain.
Designed and engineered by Alfa Romeo and built at the Maserati plant in Modena, the mid-engined 4C employs a new, turbocharged 1750-cc four-cylinder gasoline engine, the latest-generation "Alfa TCT" dry twin-clutch transmission and the "Alfa DNA" driving mode selector, now with a "Race" mode.
Its one-piece carbon-fibre monocoque combines high levels of structural rigidity with exceptionally low mass – just 65 kg. It is built using Formula 1-derived technologies, evolved especially for Alfa Romeo for series production of up to 1,000 units per year.
SMC (Sheet Moulding Compound), which is lighter than both steel and aluminium, is used for the bodywork and the glass thickness has been reduced by 15% to help reduce overall weight.
Less than 4 metres in length, with a wheelbase of 2380 mm, it dry mass is just 895 kg in U.K. trim. With a 40/60 front-to-rear weight distribution, it is said to be capable of generating 1.1g of lateral acceleration and in excess of 1.2g under braking.
Its double-wishbone front suspension is secured directly to the monocoque, while the rear uses a performance-tuned McPherson strut arrangement.
Brakes are by Brembo and 17-inch front/18-inch rear wheels are standard, with 18/19-inch wheels of Alfa Romeo’s signature, five-hole "telephone dial" design optional.
The 4C's turbocharged engine boasts a maximum power output of 240hp at 6,000 rpm and peak torque of 258 lb ft, available between 2,100 and 4,000 rpm.
Acceleration from 0-to-100 km takes just 4.5 seconds, according to Alfa Romeo 4C and it has a og more than 250 km/h.
Inside, in place of traditional dials, a multi-function digital display occupies the instrument cluster and controls are grouped together on the tunnel console, including a button-operated TCT transmission selector and the DNA system selector. Composite bucket seats and aluminium pedals complete the minimalistic cabin.
The all-new Alfa Romeo 4C is priced between the Porsche Cayman and Cayman S in Britain, which may give some indication of what it will cost when it arrives here.