27 Dec 2012

2013 Alfa Romeo 4C

This is the concept on which the forthcoming Alfa Romeo 4C is based, and the production car will look very similar to the concept.  The new, production ready, Alfa 4C will be revealed to the public in 3 weeks time at the Detroit Auto Show.

Alfa Romeo are taking the 4C down the Lotus route of using lightness, as well as power, to create a fast car.  The 4C will be constructed of aluminium, plastic and carbon fibre, and will weigh approximately 850kg.

The engine will be a mid-mounted 1.8 litre, turbocharged, aluminium unit and is rumoured to deliver anything between 200-300bhp to the rear wheels.  This should be enough to undertake the 0-60mph run in under 5 seconds.

With these specifications the only real competitors are the now discontinued Lotus Elise 1.8 S and Vauxhall VX220 - both of which weighed 900kg and produced respectively 218bhp and 200bhp.  Slightly heavier is the new Porsche Cayman which weighs in with 265bhp from it's 2.9 litre flat 6 engine, 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds and 1330kg - and costs £39,000.

And there's the rub.  The cost of the Alfa Romeo 4C has yet to be announced but unless it is priced under the Cayman's £39,000 it will not sell in anything like the quantities Alfa is hoping for.

The 4C will be produced at the Maserati factory in Modena where 2500 units per year will be made - and more if demand is high enough.

The Alfa Romeo 4C will go on sale in Europe in 2013 and in the US, as part of a relaunch of the brand, in 2014.

Also worth a mention is the rumour that Maserati themselves will produce a new sportscar based on the 4C but with Maserati's own 3 litre twin-turbo unit.  That will be a 911 and F-Type rival rather than the 4C's more limited scope.