In 2011, Alfa Romeo debuted an all-new sports car that it dubbed the 4C . Upon initial inspection, this beastly compact model looked to be more of a "future styling" concept, which means it will never see production. However, as time went on, Alfa Romeo decided to make the 4C a reality. Even better, Alfa Romeo plans to release the 4C in the U.S., making it the first U.S.-sold Alfa Romeo since the 2008 8C .
The 4C takes its name from Alfa Romeo’s storied racing tradition. The company first used the 8C and 6C names back in the 1930s and 1940s for both racing and road-going version. The 4C name is a clear indication that it has been inspired by the sports cars of yesteryear, like the 8C that it borrows the carbon fiber, aluminum and rear-wheel-drive configuration from.
Updated 04/16/2014: The new Alfa Romeo 4C made its North American debut at the 2014 New York Auto Show, marking the Italian’s company return to North America. The American model retains the same specifications offered in Europe, and just like in there the first 500 units will be offered in a special Launch Edition version. This model will be put on sale this June.
To read more about the Alfa Romeo 4C and how it may stack up against the competition, click past the jump.
Updated 02/25/2013: Alfa Romeo has just unveiled even more images, including one of the interior that it has kept so secretive. Looks to us to be a standard old interior.
UPDATE 05/09/13: Alfa Romeo has dropped a new batch of photos of the 4C sports car. And if it didn’t look awesome before, it certainly does now. Hop over to the gallery to check out the photos.
UPDATE 06/26/2013: Alfa Romeo unveiled a new video revealing the 4C in action at the test track in Balocco. Enjoy!
Update 08/27/2013: A sales brochure leaked online and released a ton of new specifications options that we were previously unaware of. You can see all of the updates specifications after the jump. (Auto Edizione)
Updated 09/16/2013: Alfa Romeo finally dropped nearly all of the official details on the new 4C sports car. Click past the jump to learn everything there is to know about the Italian sports coupe.
Updated 09/23/2013: According to various reports the new Alfa Romeo 4C will hit the North American market in the second quarter of 2014. The model will be priced from $54,000 — $1,400 above a base 2014 Porsche Cayman . Prices do not include delivery charges. (AutoGuide)
Updated 09/25/2013: Alfa Romeo revealed a new video featuring the new 4C pushed to the limits by Ferrari test driver Giancarlo Fisichella. He speaks Italian, but its pretty easy to understand he was impressed by the new sports car.
Updated 10/25/2013: Alfa Romeo placed an online configurator for the new 4C sports coupe. You can now go online and choose the exterior and interior color for the 4C, choose between lots of options like wheels, brakes, headlights or tailpipes. Have fun!
The new Alfa Romeo 4C takes its design inspiration from the 33 Stradale, "a car that combined extreme mechanical and functional requirements with an essential style" — a tradition already started by the 8C and combines a compact size with dynamism and agility.
The new 4C will come in six different paint colors, including: Schwarz (Black), Weiss (White), Rosso Alfa (Wine Red), Basam-Grau (Grey), Perlmutt-Weiss (Cream) and Rosso Competizione (Metallic Red). Alfa Romeo paid a special attention to developing the three-layer colors.
The hood features a pair of ridges that start near the upper edges of the triangular grille and shoot rearward as they widen out toward the sides of the 4C. When you reach the windshield, you encounter an elegantly rounded piece of glass that is graced by only a single wiper, helping the AR 4C save every last ounce.
As you swoop over the sleek roofline and down the shallow-raked rear glass, you come to a small rear lip that adds a little extra down-force to the rear end. On this back end, you get a pair of massive round taillights that look to feature LED lights. A rear diffuser graces the bottom of the rear end and the tailpipes pop out of each side of said diffuser to allow the engine to exhale.
The side profile of the 4C is simply amazing. You can imagine the air flowing over the sleek body. The humps created by the front and rear wheel wells just add to its beautiful styling. At the rear of the doors are the only break-ups in the entire body and those are the air-intake vent to help cool the high-strung engine in the rear of this compact sports car.
The entire body is made of carbon fiber, the crash boxes are made of aluminum, and the frame is a hybrid of steel and aluminum to keep its curb weight extremely low. In fact, A leaked document shows us that the 4C will tip the scales at less 1,973 pounds with 60 percent of the weight over the rear axle. That’s a little too much of the weight shifted to the back end, but that is one of the tradeoffs for the mid-engine configuration.
Gallery Alfa Romeo 4C
|Chassis Construction||Carbon-Fiber Monocoque|
|Width (W/ Mirrors)||73.4 Inches (82.28 inches)|
|Curb Weight||1,973 Pounds|
|Weight Distribution (Front/Rear)||40 percent/60 percent|
For the interior, Alfa Romeo used lots of carbon fiber for the central cell, which has been left in full view to enhance the sense of uniqueness, of technology and light weight.
As expected, Alfa designed the interior specially for easy access to all of the controls for the driver. The cockpit offers all the info needed to drive and control the car., with all the readings being visible on the instrument panel.
Buyers can order the sport seats in any desired material, ranging from high-performance and robust nylon yarns to natural leathers in the colors of Alfa Romeo tradition: red for sportiness and "dinamica."
|Cargo Capacity||3.9 Cubic-Feet|
Engine and Drivetrain
Under the hood, Alfa Romeo installed a new turbocharged, 1,742 cc, four-cylinder engine that features direct fuel injection, dual continuous variable-valve timing and a revolutionary scavenging-control system to avoid turbo lag. Speaking of the turbo, this bad-boy hooks up to a pulse-converter exhaust manifold to help create more throughflow and further enhance its quick-spooling nature.Helping prevent turbo charger damage from not allowing the turbo the proper run-off time, the 4C features an electric after-run pump to keep the flow of oil running through the turbo until it is cooled off.
All of that tech is sweet, but what really matters is what it produces, and the 4C’s little four-banger doesn’t disappoint. It pumps out 240 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 350 Nm (258 pound-feet) of torque between 2,100 and 4,000 rpm, with 80 percent of the torque available from 1,800 rpm.
The engine hooks up to an innovative Alfa TCT twin-dry-clutch, six-speed automatic transmission that ships power to the rear wheels. We wish there was an AWD option available, but the standard Launch Control helps assure precision launches every time.
This driveline combination is enough to get the Alfa Romeo 4C to 100 km/h (62 mph) in a scant 4.5 seconds and to a top speed of 258 km/h (160 mph). What’s more is that reports claim that it checks in at 24 mpg city and a whopping 47 mpg highway on the EU cycle.
|Engine||1,742 CC, Turbocharged 4-Cylinder|
|Engine (Horsepower @ RPM)||240 @ 6,000|
|Engine Torque (Pound-Feet @ RPM)||258 @ 2,100 - 4,000|
|Transmission||Dual Dry Clutch Six-Speed Automatic|
|Acceleration (0-62 MPH)||4.5 Seconds|
|Top Speed||160 MPH|
|Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined)||24 mpg / 47 mpg / 37 mpg|
|CO2 Emissions||157 g/100 km|
Suspension and Braking
The 4C’s 1,972-pound curb weight keeps it agile, and its rear-biased weight distribution will give it just enough oversteer to keep things interesting as you navigate the twist. Those two details combined with a high-double-wishbone suspension up front and a McPherson setup in the rear allow the 4C to hold an astounding 1.1 g of lateral force.
The brakes came in a little small at with 12-by-1.1-inch vented discs up front and 11.5-by-0.85-inch vented discs out back, but at just shy of 2,000 pounds, you don’t expect anything too advanced. Leaked documentation actually shows the 4C stopping rather quickly at 118.1 feet from 62 mph with a maximum braking G-force of 1.25 g.
Suspension and Braking Specifications:
|Rear Suspension||McPherson Struts|
|Front Brakes||12-by-1.1-inch Vented Disc with Four-Piston Calipers|
|Rear Brakes||11.5-by-0.85-inch Vented Discs|
|Stopping Distance (62-0 mph)||118.1 Feet|
Pricing and Release Date
Alfa Romeo has not released any pricing information, but rumors are pointing toward a range from $45,000 to $70,000 as its starting price. The pricing in the UK is already set at a base of £45,000 — roughly $71,600 at the current exchange rates.
The Cayman is about as close as you can come to some competition in the U.S., as sub-2,000-pound cars are hard to come by. Even the lightweight Cayman comes in over 800 pounds heavier than the Alfa Romeo 4C. Fortunately for Porsche, it’s base level is also more powerful. with 275 horsepower coming from its 2.7-liter flat-six engine.
That’s enough to sprint the Cayman to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, making it significantly slower that the Alfa. Now, if you put it against the far more expensive (and powerful) Cayman S, the 0-to-60 mph sprint is the same.
Gallery Porsche Cayman
Ohhhh baby, the 4C is shaping up to be something special, and these confirmed details have us champing at the bit to get our hands on one.At just 4.5 ticks to 62 mph — about 4 seconds to 60 mph — this puppy is bound to keep your head firmly planted in the headrests on hard acceleration. The only sticking point is the price, as the latest reports are all pointing to a $70k base price, which is a huge jump from the initial sub-$50k rumors. Regardless, the return of Alfa to the U.S. is bound to be a successful one that may bear more models in the future.
- Awesome power-to-weight ratio
- Sub-2,000-pound curb weight is astonishing
- Sexy, sexy body!
- 4.5 seconds to 60 mph awesome
- Likely to be very expensive
- Fewer than 2,000 coming to the U.S.
Gallery Alfa Romeo 4C
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?’ (2013, 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 road – fitted with the powerful ‘eight cylinders’ and the innovative ‘six cylinders’, confirming in its design layout and construction the goal of achieving the power/weight 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 updated 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 unprecedented 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 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 uniqueness, of technology and light weight.
Dimensions and aerodynamics
The compact dimensions make this car with 2 bucket seats truly unique amid 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 compact size of the car and to accentuate its agility. What’s more, owing to the designers’ excellent work, the car achieves maximum aerodynamic efficiency levels, recording a negative Cz (downforce coefficient) which, as in racing cars, contributes towards achieving increased stability at higher speeds.
New 4 cylinder 1750 Turbo Petrol
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 automatic 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 low weight and extreme speed of activation. The gears can also 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 final version of the 4C. Specifically, the teamwork between the two brands was aimed at the integration of the Alfa Romeo design department with the Maserati production plant. 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.