The Alfa Romeo 4C will be officially unveiled in production form next summer, months earlier than the January 2014 Detroit show, where it had been tipped to take its public bow.

Insiders have also confirmed that development of the 159-replacing Giulia saloon is on track and will be built at “two global production sites”, which hints at North America as well as Europe.

The 850kg, carbonfibre-bodied 4C and Giulia are vital cars in Alfa Romeo’s relaunch, which will focus primarily on success in North America. The 4C sports car will be the halo car for the brand.

Other Fiat sources also revealed that the 4C’s new 296bhp turbocharged 1750cc engine is destined for other 
Fiat Group models. The aluminium-block engine will be launched in the new Spider, confirmed last week for 2015, and find its way into Dodge, Chrysler/Lancia and Jeep models in a lower state of tune to boost economies of scale.

Fiat chief Sergio Marchionne confirmed last week that he wanted to launch a high-performance SRT version of the new Dodge Dart saloon, and the potent Alfa engine would be a natural fit.