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Geneva show: Alfa Romeo 4C ready to roll

Curvy Italian: The gorgeous Alfa 4C looks just like the original concept, and retains the lightweight rear-drive, mid-engined format.

Alfa harks to its glory days by revealing the production-ready, lightweight 4C coupe


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13 Feb 2013

ALFA Romeo has unveiled its production-ready mid-engined, rear-drive 4C compact coupe – the car that will spearhead a range of brand new models and its re-launch in the US later this year.

The lithe and lightweight turbocharged two-seater – replete with a carbon-fibre chassis – returns the Italian brand to its roots, representing the “true essence of a sports car at the heart of Alfa Romeo’s DNA”.

Furthermore, its global premiere will take place right where it all began, with the first public viewing set for the Geneva motor show in early March – exactly two years after the original 4C concept brought the Swiss show to a momentary standstill at the 2011 event.

Final styling is fundamentally unchanged from the original, with the 4C retaining the concept’s curvaceous lines that won a host of design awards.

Meanwhile, dimensions of around 4000mm long, 2000mm wide, 1180mm high and a wheelbase of 2400mm are similar to the Lotus Exige.

Power comes from a re-worked version of the Giulietta QV’s 1.75-litre direct-injected turbo four-cylinder, with a new lightweight aluminium block (as opposed to cast iron) plus specific intake and exhaust systems designs to improve response.

The engine features direct-injection, MultiAir dual continuous variable valve timing and a new scavenging system claimed to limit turbo lag Purists may be a little disappointed to learn the engine will be paired exclusively with a TCT dual-clutch automatic transmission with paddle shifters, with no manual gearbox option to cater to the old school.

As well as the regular Dynamic, Natural and All Weather modes, the TCT features an even sharper new Race mode for the track.

Exact power, torque and weight figures are being kept under wraps until Geneva, with Alfa promising only to deliver a power to weight ratio of around 180kW per tonne (or, in Alfa speak, four kilograms per horsepower).

What is certain is a kerb weight below 1000kg. Power is reportedly set to be around 175kW – in the Giulietta, the 1750cc unit pumps out 173kW of power and 340Nm of torque.

Production will commence within months at the Maserati plant in Modena, Italy, with first examples to hit key markets such as the US and mainland Europe by the end of the year.

Fiar Alfa Australia director of corporate affairs Lenore Fletcher told GoAuto the company would fight tooth and nail to bring the 4C here in 2014.

"It is a vehicle that we will fight very very hard to receive, and the good news is it’s looking very promising for us to receive the vehicle. We haven’t signed off the business case yet, but it is in a very positive position," she said.

"It would definitely be a 2014 car, not sure exactly when in 2014 but obviously the earlier the better for us."The name 4C is a reference to the company’s 8C and 6C acronyms from its 1930s/1940s race and road cars, with the numerals referring to the number of cylinders. The 8C badge made a brief return on the limited-run 8C Competizione in the middle of last decade.

As reported, Fiat plans to re-launch the Alfa brand – which has stalled in recent times – with a range of new models alongside the flagship 4C, with a 159 sedan-replacing model called Giulia, a topless roadster based on the next Mazda MX-5 and a small crossover SUV to be first cabs off the rank.

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