Alfa will reveal a concept version of a new high-performance '4C' coupe at Geneva
3 February 2011

Alfa will preview a new styling direction at the Geneva motor show with the launch of small, high-performance, coupe concept.

Tipped for a limited production run of around 5000 cars per year, the new car is described as a ‘baby 8C’ by insiders and is expected to cost more than £35,000.

The mid-engined concept - rumoured to be badged 4C - is not intended as a spiritual replacement for the classic Alfa Romeo Spider, instead placing greater emphasis on outright performance and intended to give the ailing Alfa brand a huge image boost when it arrives in the US in less than two year’s time.

Read more on Alfa sister brand Abarth's Elise rival

Alfa is not alone is aiming for the ‘Audi TT effect’, where a single model can transform wider perceptions of the brand.

Alfa insiders have told Autocar that rumours that the car is based on a development of the KTM X-Bow’s carbonfibre chassis are “wide of the mark”. Industry reports suggest that the 4C will be built around a carbonfibre monocoque, allied to aluminium subframes front and rear. Engineers are aiming for a particularly low all-up weight.

It’s thought that the concept is also related to the proposed Abarth roadster, uncovered by Autocar last autumn. However, as well as greater use of expensive lightweight materials, the Alfa is likely to have a more powerful engine, more seductive styling and more lavishly appointed interior than the less expensive Abarth concept.

Read more on Alfa's future model plans

The Alfa’s transversely mounted powertrain will be lifted from the Giulietta and is expected to feature highly-tuned versions of the acclaimed MultiAir engine line-up.

In the longer term, Alfa Romeo is expected to launch a direct replacement for the classic Spider, a model which is felt to be particularly important in relaunching the brand in USA. It’s possible that Alfa will work on a conventional steel monocoque rear-drive platform for the car with partners Chrysler, which already makes the rear-drive 300C.

Fiat sources told Autocar that $1bn was invested in re-engineering the platform underpinning the new 300C and the platform underpinning the front-drive 200C. Both cars make their European debut at next month’s Geneva show wearing Lancia badges. The 200C will not make it to the UK, but the 300C will arrive early next year.

Hilton Holloway

See all the latest Alfa reviews, news and video

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Audi A7 front
    First Drive
    14 March 2018
    The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out