Alfa Romeo 4C: In the wheeltracks of giants

Date:24 May 2013 Tags:

It’s been two years since Alfa’s original 4C concept wowed Geneva. This year, it was the turn of the production version of this lightweight sports coupé to rekindle that sensation. The 4C kicks off its production run with a Launch Edition in a limited series of 1 000, at a price of 60 000 euro (about R600 000), which includes the price of a high performance driving course in Italy.

Following in the tradition of legendary Alfas such as the 8C and 6C, the 4C uses state-of- the-art technologies and materials derived from super sports cars (including the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione). Liberal use is made of carbon fibre and aluminium. The car will be produced at the Maserati plant in Modena.

The new mid-mounted direct injection 1750 turbocharged petrol engine (peak outputs 180 kW and 350 N.m) drives the rear wheels via Alfa’s TCT twin dry clutch transmission. A Race setting specifically developed for the 4C has been added to Alfa’s DNA driver-selectable performance mode system. In this mode, DNA deactivates the stability control and anti-slip systems and the full-digital instrument panel with TFT display changes configuration, showing only information relevant to the chosen mode.

The 4C’s chassis is a 65 kg monocoque made entirely of carbon fibre with “pre-preg” technology derived from Formula 1 and adopted only by the advanced supercars. Front and rear subframes and roof reinforcements are made of aluminium. Dry weight is just 895 kg.

The suspension layout is “superimposed wishbones” at the front and MacPherson struts at the rear. Special sports suspension tweaks are available.

The all-ventilated disc braking system uses Brembo fourpiston aluminium callipers on the front axle. Tyres are of different sizes front and rear. The 4C’s steering is not power-assisted.

Top speed is quoted as more than 250 km/h, with a 0-100 km/h time of 4,5 seconds.