Alfa Romeo's all-new Alfa Romeo 4C sports car will be appearing in prototype form during the middle of next year before going on sale in 2013, Fiat engineering chief Mauro Pierallini has revealed to Autocar. He is also forecasting a 45,000 euro (£38,000) price tag for the mid-engined machine, and targeting a 900kg kerb weight.

With Alfa’s 230bhp direct injection 1750 turbo four powering it, the 4C is expected to hit 62mph in 4.5sec. By the time it’s launched the 1750’s block will have been switched from cast iron to aluminium, says Pierallini, saving 25kg.

Early development of the car was carried out by Italian race-car specialist Dallara, but Alfa has subsequently taken the development process in-house, handing responsibility to a small specialist team headed by Pierallini. Dallara also developed the carbonfibre structures for the Alfa 8C, Bugatti Veyron and the KTM X-Bow.

Tub-mounted aluminium frames carry the running gear and the 1.8-litre turbo powertrain, while the 4C’s exterior panels are made from sheet-moulded composites. Dallara’s aerodynamic work is also said to generate positive downforce, improving the 4C’s high speed grip.

Pierallini says that Alfa will build 18,000 4Cs over the lifetime of the car, although the factory that will make it has yet to be chosen.