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Alfa Romeo 4C Helping To Create a New Auto Class

By raccars Published

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It's a couple of years since the Alfa 4C was previewed at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and the first production models are due to hit the roads this year. The 4C is part of a new wave of sub-supercar, along with Renault's Alpine-Caterham, hoping to bring in serious driving enthusiasts who lack the budget for whom a Lamborghini or Ferrari doesn't fit the budget.

The curvy, ultra-sleek 4C comes with a turbocharged 1.75 litre, in line 4 cylinder engine which, with a kerb weight of only 900kg, will get you from 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds and to a limited top speed of 155mph. If that's not enough for you, there are rumours of a more powerful 1.8 litre engine becoming available down the line .The super-light weight is achieved with a carbon fibre body and aluminium frames, front and rear. Similar to modern supercars, the 65kg chassis is a single carbon fibre unit – however, unlike modern supercars, the Alfa 4C is to be priced around £40,000.

For that, you get a decidedly modern design, the Alfa Romeo TCT twin clutch six-speed gearbox with paddle shift, plus the Alfa DNA system to adjust dynamic controls according to driving conditions, including the 'Race' mode as seen in the brand's Giulietta. The 4C will come with Pirelli P Zero tyres as standard, with different sizes fitted to the front and rear for optimum traction and Brembo ventilated disc brakes all round. For those armed with more enthusiasm than skill behind the wheel, the 4C fortunately manages a stop from 62-0mph in 36 metres.

This is a rear-wheel drive, mid-engined, two seater Coupe in the old style, designed with maximum driving pleasure in mind and packed with Italianate details. The original production run, called the Launch Edition, will be limited to 1,000 numbered units and available in 'Rosso Alfa' red or 'Carrara White.' Going forward, annual production figures are expected to be 2,500 per year. Such expensive, supercar style production methods are rare for a car at this price point, which is likely to sell in such limited numbers, but Alfa owners, Fiat, are allegedly planning to spread the costs by sharing components with various other models.

The Alfa 4C is likely to be going head to head in the marketplace with rivals like the Audi TT, Jaguar F-Type, Nissan 370Z and the Porsche Cayman, but is, in many ways, forging its own path in ways which will hopefully encourage other manufacturers to update their production methods.

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