Currently reading: Geneva motor show 2013: Alfa Romeo 4C
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 Alfa Romeo 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 Lotus 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. 


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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.

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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132453335422 8 March 2013

A little future classis in the making ....

This is a complete bargin how much would another car cost that can do 0-62.5 mph in 4.5 sec.

The Porsche Caymen S is 48 grand and much slower at 5.4sec, consumes more, polutes more and not as good looking.

Here's a list of cars that have the same acceleration as the Alfa;

Porsche 911 GT3 996

Audi A5 RS5 4.2 Quattro

BMW 7 Series 760 Li

Bentley Continental GTZ Zagato 6.0 W12 2d

Ford Mustang FR 500

Lotus 340 R

Mercedes CL Class 600 Coupe Bi Turbo

Mercedes CLK 63 AMG

Audi A6 RS6 Avant 4.2 V8 Twin Turbo

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III




C2_Matt 7 March 2013


I'd pay 70k for that car IF (and only if) that blonde comes with it. 2 gorgeous looking things. Still not sold on the headlights, but the exposed carbon fibre or the effect of it does look better than I thought. 

Zimmerit 7 March 2013

Cayman will have no effect

Cayman will have no effect whatsoever on the 4c. Even with the Stradale, Race and convertible versions to come this will be built in such small numbers that demand will be satisfied simply by those who would rather push an Alfa than drive a Porsche or anything else German for that matter.

Presumably those who are saying £52K is way too much for an Alfa are the same dellusional souls who said the 8c was overpriced and that the 4c apes an Elise - it doesn't; see T33 Stradale which somewhat pre dates the Elise. The 'official' 4c website shows a 50/50 morph of the two cars just to reinforce the connection.

The big big question is how it drives, not really interested in why it uses LED headlamps or Fiat 500 mirrors. Too often has Alfa snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. This is a halo car so needs to create an aura/interest call it what you will. The Giulia is the 'saviour' - fingers crossed.

Damian27 25 March 2013

T33 Stradale Versus 4C

The problem is that the T33 is still the far more exotic looking of the two, with more styling, sensual lines, even the curve of the front wings,  a nicer grill......and well for a better word......soul.....The 4C obviously has the tech to be a great car. but its too heavy around the 3/4's....but I don't look at it and think - I want that car! I do with the T33