The two-seat Alfa Romeo 4C has been shown at the Geneva motor show, two years after its debut in concept form

Fiat is relaunching the iconic Alfa Romeo brand with the new mid-engined, rear-drive Alfa 4C compact sports car. The stunning new lightweight model, seen here officially for the first time at the Geneva motor show, will be the first of a range of new Alfas over the next few years, and will spearhead the Italian firm’s return to the US market.

The production two-seater 4C coupé, complete with its carbonfibre chassis, returns to the Geneva show two years after a concept of the same name was introduced.

Power for the new sub-1000kg model, which is tipped to cost less than £50,000 when it launches in the UK at the end of the year, comes from an all-aluminium turbocharged 1.7-litre engine. Alfa is keeping exact technical details of the 4C under wraps until Geneva on 5 March, only confirming figure being a power to weight ratio of less than 4kg for every 1bhp.

Information leaked by Alfa dealers in Switzerland suggests the 4C will be offered with 237bhp in its initial launch guise, which would mean the 4C would weigh 950kg, a figure that’s likely given the concept weighed 850kg and a production-spec interior is now fitted. A 0-62mph time of around 4.5sec has been mooted, with a top speed limited to 155mph.

The four-cylinder engine known as 1750 TBi is familiar from recent Alfas, including the Giulietta, but the block is now cast aluminium instead of iron, saving around 25kg. The engine gets direct-injection, MultiAir dual continuous variable valve timing and a new scavenging system that “gets rid” of any turbo lag. Bespoke intake and exhaust systems have also been developed for the 4C.

The result of these technologies is an engine with the potential performance of a 3.0-litre six-cylinder unit, but with the fuel economy and CO2 emissions of a smaller four-cylinder engine.

The 1742cc engine powers the rear wheels through Alfa’s own twin dry clutch automatic transmission, adapted from its application on the Giulietta and Mito. The transmission has a sequential mode that can be controlled through paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel. No manual option will be offered.

The 4C is just less than 4000mm long, is 2000mm wide and 1180mm high. The wheelbase is 2400mm in length. These dimensions place it between a Lotus Elise and Evora in length, height and wheelbase.

Underpinning the 4C is a carbonfibre monocoque chassis, something previously reserved for supercars like the McLaren MP4-12C and only seen on a small number of sports cars at this price. 

Tub-mounted aluminium frames carry the 4C’s running gear and engine, with the front assembly carrying a double-wishbone, coil-sprung suspension set-up, and MacPherson strut suspension features at the rear. 

Alfa’s DNA driving mode selector also makes an appearance on the 4C with Dynamic, Natural and All Weather modes now being joined by a new track-focused Race mode. 

Production of the 4C will start in the summer at Maserati’s Modena plant, with 2500 units set to be the annual output from 2014. Europe and North America will get 1000 units per year each. The remaining 500 being distributed around the rest of Alfa’s global markets.

This production run will include the other models in the 4C’s range that the Swiss dealer source revealed. In 2014, a track-only Racing version of the car will be introduced, with a road-going Stradale version of that car set to follow with 266bhp. A convertible will crown the line-up later in 2014.

Our Verdict

Alfa Romeo 4C
Alfa 4C is built to encapsulate all of the Alfa Romeo brand values

The 4C is Alfa's first true driver's car for decades, and it shows how brilliantly a small turbo four can go and sound in a lightweight package

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Comments
44

12 February 2013

STUNNING and may God have mercy on Lotus

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

5 March 2013

And the car's not bad either!

R32

12 February 2013

I can't help but think that £50,000 is way to expensive for this car.  It will put it into the dreaded (for Alfa) Cayman/Boxster sector and as a result will likely lose lots and lots of sales to these models.

As stunning a car as it is and much as I'd love to see Alfa survive, this car at £50k just won't sell enough.  Make it £30k and they've a far better chance of shifting decent quantities of it.

12 February 2013

R32 wrote:

I can't help but think that £50,000 is way to expensive for this car.  It will put it into the dreaded (for Alfa) Cayman/Boxster sector and as a result will likely lose lots and lots of sales to these models.

As stunning a car as it is and much as I'd love to see Alfa survive, this car at £50k just won't sell enough.  Make it £30k and they've a far better chance of shifting decent quantities of it.

 

That is the point, I guess they figured with the 8C that limited numbers= exclusivity and better brand image. Plus extra $$$$ because it is exclusive. Porsches are so common here no one even looks twice at them. Alfa don't want to go that route and all the better for it.

 

 

12 February 2013

paul896 wrote:

R32 wrote:

I can't help but think that £50,000 is way to expensive for this car.  It will put it into the dreaded (for Alfa) Cayman/Boxster sector and as a result will likely lose lots and lots of sales to these models.

As stunning a car as it is and much as I'd love to see Alfa survive, this car at £50k just won't sell enough.  Make it £30k and they've a far better chance of shifting decent quantities of it.

 

That is the point, I guess they figured with the 8C that limited numbers= exclusivity and better brand image. Plus extra $$$$ because it is exclusive. Porsches are so common here no one even looks twice at them. Alfa don't want to go that route and all the better for it. 

Plus, the Cayman weighs something like 400 kg more which is like carrying an extra 5-6 full size men around, if nothing else it'll make Porsche force their cars to diet

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

12 February 2013

paul896 wrote:

R32 wrote:

I can't help but think that £50,000 is way to expensive for this car.  It will put it into the dreaded (for Alfa) Cayman/Boxster sector and as a result will likely lose lots and lots of sales to these models.

As stunning a car as it is and much as I'd love to see Alfa survive, this car at £50k just won't sell enough.  Make it £30k and they've a far better chance of shifting decent quantities of it.

 

That is the point, I guess they figured with the 8C that limited numbers= exclusivity and better brand image. Plus extra $$$$ because it is exclusive. Porsches are so common here no one even looks twice at them. Alfa don't want to go that route and all the better for it.

 

 

It's what they should of done with the brera instead of making it half arsed car and ended up becoming a bit of flop as both a car and in terms of sales.  If you make it exclusive charge the preimum to buy the car then you can spend the requirement to make it better.  The problem lies in whether you can charge a premium for the brand only time will tell.

12 February 2013

Back to the glory days?,a cute little Alfa that goes and handles, but being Italian, it will be expensive,got to keep up the image etc,even if it were £70,000 people would still buy it,because it's an Alfa.

Peter Cavellini.

12 February 2013

I am very pleased to see this, but would i spend £50k on this or a Cayman S? The Porsche wins i suspect, but it would be nice to have the choice.

12 February 2013

Very expensive, but they have to pay for that carbon tub somehow. No car with a carbon tub is nearly this cheap. The KTM Xbow is next cheapest at 60k+

12 February 2013

But £50k is too much.  It needs to be sub-£40k.

 

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