The final version of the Alfa Romeo 4C makes its début at the 83rd International Motor Show in Geneva. This mid-engined rear-wheel drive coupé with two bucket seats represents the true essence of a sports car at the heart of Alfa Romeo's DNA: performance, Italian style and technical excellence, offering maximum driving satisfaction in total safety.
Designed by Alfa Romeo engineers and produced in the Maserati plant in Modena, the new 'compact supercar' will be available for purchase in 2013, marking the return of the Italian brand to the United States and inaugurating Alfa Romeo's global growth plan.
The Alfa Romeo 4C derives directly from the concept which raised many eyebrows in wonder at the Geneva Show in 2011, so much so that it won three prestigious awards: the 'AutoBild Design Award' (2011, Germany), the 'Design Award for Concept Cars & Prototypes' (2012, Italy) and the 'Most Exciting Car of 2013' - 'What Car?' (2012, Great Britain).
The acronym '4C' draws its inspiration from the brand's glorious past, projecting the values of technology and emotions into the future. Indeed, it refers to Alfa Romeo's great sporting tradition: the acronyms 8C and 6C in the 1930s and 1940s distinguished cars - both racing and non - fitted with the powerful 'eight cylinders' and the innovative 'six cylinders', confirming in its design layout and construction the goal of achieving the weight/power ratio of an authentic supercar, less than 4 kg/HP, yet focusing not merely on the maximum power delivered, but on limiting the weight to guarantee maximum agility and top performance. To this end, the Alfa Romeo 4C uses technologies and materials derived from super sports cars (including the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione) - carbon fibre, aluminium, rear-wheel drive - and technologies from the latest standard models from Alfa Romeo, but developed to enhance the sports appeal of the new car even further. This is demonstrated by the new 1750 Turbo Petrol all-aluminium engine with direct injection, the sophisticated "Alfa TCT" twin dry clutch transmission and the Alfa DNA selector with the brand-new Race mode.
Designed by the Alfa Romeo Style Centre, the 4C immediately brings to mind some of the traditional iconic models which have left a significant mark in the history of the Brand. Above all others, in terms of dimensional and layout similarities, one stands out in particular: the 33 Stradale, a car that combined extreme mechanical and functional requirements with an essential style which "clothed" the engine and chassis appropriately with unmistakable Alfa Romeo treatments. The 4C has followed suit, and thus completes a journey which was embarked upon with the 8C Competizione, emphasising some particular concepts of the brand, such as compact size, dynamism and agility.
The development of the 4C's exterior was characterised from the start by the need to enhance the style of the car and the technical characteristics both the from a dynamic and aerodynamic point of view. For this reason, all the style solutions adopted have been optimised in accordance with the ultimate goal of the car: performance.
The rear volume, sinuous and enveloping, simultaneously encloses and embraces the throbbing heart of the car: the mechanics and the engine, visible through the rear window.
All this, thanks to the development of a marked musculature above the wheels, lends strength and power to the rear end.
The rear musculature supports its structure on round rear light clusters and on the side air intakes necessary to cool the intercooler and the air intake for engine aspiration.
From this energy-charged rear volume and the two side air intakes spring the two long muscles which lend speed and dynamism to the side, generating the necessary volume at the front end to house the headlights and, on the central part, the two robust ribs running along the bonnet, tracing the unmistakable "V" come to their natural conclusion around the shield.
This, together with the two side intakes, forms the famous 'Trefoil', a substantial facet of Alfa Romeo's profile.
The elemental design and essential materials also distinguish the interior, which is all designed and built for maximum driving satisfaction. Specifically, the carbon fibre in the interior immediately stands out, used to make the central cell, which has been left in full view to enhance the sense of light weight, technology and uniqueness. The dashboard and door panels have an "asphalt " treatment to recall the vocation of the Alfa Romeo 4C, conceived to convey maximum driving sensation from the road.
The seats, made of composite material, ensure dedicated sports posture, favouring the driver's contact with the road without, however, compromising the comfort required for everyday use of the car.
The dashboard, simple and designed to make using functions simple too, reaches its zenith in the concept of extreme driver-orientation, thanks to digital instruments and gear shift controls located on the appropriately shaped steering wheel.
The cockpit, which powerfully suggests the world of motorcycle racing and race cars, brings together all information necessary to drive and control the car.
The information, which is rendered captivating through powerful, high-impact graphics, allows the driver to keep everything under control without distractions from controls that would be superfluous on this type of car.
The pedal unit and footboards for driver and passenger are all made of aluminium and embellish the lower part under the dashboard, highlighting sports character down to the smallest detail.
Dimensions and aerodynamics
The compact dimensions make this car with 2 bucket seats truly unique among its competitors: it is just under 4 metres long, 200 cm wide, 118 cm high and with a wheelbase of less than 2.4 metres. These dimensions serve both to emphasise the car's "supercar proportions" and to accentuate its agility. What's more, owing to the designers' excellent work, the car achieves maximum aerodynamic efficiency levels, guaranteeing a negative Cz which, as in racing cars, contributes towards achieving increased stability at higher speeds thanks to the aerodynamic downforce.
New direct-injection 240 HP 1750 Turbo Petrol engine
An evolution of the engine already in use in the Quadrifoglio Verde version of the Giulietta, the new '4 cylinder' 1750 Turbo Petrol engine implements an innovative aluminium block and specific intake and exhaust systems which have been optimised to enhance the sports appeal of the car even further. In addition, it boasts cutting-edge technical solutions including direct fuel injection, dual continuous variable valve timing, a turbocharger and a revolutionary scavenging control system that gets rid of any turbo lag.
Alfa TCT twin dry clutch transmission
The 1750 Turbo Petrol engine is teamed with the innovative Alfa TCT automatic twin dry clutch transmission, which is a genuine benchmark in its segment due to its limited weight and extreme speed of activation. The gears can be changed in sequential mode using the "shift paddles" located behind the steering wheel.
The new Alfa DNA selector with 'Race' mode
The Alfa Romeo 4C also sees the début of the new Alfa DNA selector which not only features the three standard settings available until now - Dynamic, Natural and All Weather - but also a fourth mode: 'Race', designed to enhance the driving experience on a race track even further.
Excellence made in Italy
The very best technical and industrial expertise of the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands were used to develop the Alfa Romeo 4C. Specifically, the teamwork between the two brands was aimed at the integration of the Alfa Romeo design department with the Maserati production plant. This was boosted by the technical and technological contribution of other Italian companies, international leaders in the sector of high-performance sports car components. In short, this too is a distinguishing trait of Alfa Romeo, a brand with a century of history that continues to be one of the most famous and popular ambassadors of Italian products across the world.