RAC Cars News


Alfa Romeo 4C Becoming Clearer

By raccars Published

Alfa Romeo has been releasing more information about its upcoming 4C, a rear wheel drive, two seater sports coupe priced at about £50,000 that is said to boast supercar levels of performance. The 4C has been carefully conceived to make the most of its agility and light weight against more powerful but cumbersome competitors.

In typical Italian style, the 4C is likely to shine on mountain curves and coastal hairpins rather than in a straight line battle with giants such as the Bugatti Veyron. Its technical design team has used a modern combination of composites and more traditional materials for an expected kerb weight of less than 1,000kg and a power to weight ratio under 4kg per bhp. Speed statistics include a sub five second 0-62mph time and a top speed electronically limited to 155mph. There have also been rumours of a more powerful engine option down the line.

Along with composite body panels, a 65kg carbon fibre chassis and aluminium and steel mechanical components, the 4C has even had its glass specially shaved to reduce weight.

The company believes that the 4C is the perfect ambassador for its illustrious sporting history, being faster and more agile than obvious competitors such as the Porsche Boxster or Cayman. Despite its modernity, the 4C is resolutely simple. The lack of powered steering is no oversight, it was explicitly designed to omit the extra weight of the hydraulics. Similarly, the air conditioning is pared down to manual controls to avoid any unnecessary engineering.

The engine is equally modest, a light weight, four cylinder 1,742cc turbo every bit as willing as more ostensibly powerful units but at 157g/km of CO2 still meeting tax friendly emissions regulations, an important feature in a mass production car. It produces 237bhp with the aid of a paddleshift twin clutch automatic transmission and Alfa's DNA dynamic control system.

A steel wishbone/alloy strut suspension construction fixed directly to the carbon fibre chassis is set lower than usual to maintain a sporty centre of gravity. In fact not only the engineering but also the production process uses techniques usually reserved for more exotic and expensive supercars such as those made by Alfa stablemate Maserati. Indeed the 4C's assembly line was previously the home of the Quattroporte, refined so that a completed car can be produced within three weeks rather than Maserati's two months.

The first 4Cs are expected to arrive in the UK by the end of August.

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