Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Alfa Romeo 4C Concept

Alfa Romeo stunned visitors to the 2002 Geneva International Motor Show with the Brera concept. The gorgeous looks might have eventually made it into production, but excessive weight, so-so performance and below par chassis dynamics sadly meant the showroom Brera was ultimately rather disappointing.

Now, nine years later, the Italian manufacturer has once again provided a Geneva star in the shape of the Alfa Romeo 4C Concept. A compact two-seat, mid-engined, rear-wheel drive coupé measuring around 4 metres (13 feet) long, the 4C makes extensive use of carbon fibre and aluminium in its construction to limit weight to just 850 kg (1,870 lbs). To put that into perspective, a Lotus Elise tips the scales at 876 kg (1,931 lbs).

With more than 197 bhp (147 kW / 200 PS) on offer from its 1,750 cc four-cylinder turbocharged engine, a sub five second zero to 62 mph (100 km/h) time is promised, along with a top speed in excess of 155 mph (250 km/h). The 4C Concept is equipped with an Alfa TCT dual-clutch transmission, as well as the marque’s trademark ‘DNA’ control system.

The good news is that the 4C is destined to lose its ‘Concept’ suffix, as Alfa Romeo has stated that sales are set to begin in late 2012. What’s more, pricing is reckoned to be around £38,000 (€45,000 / US $62,000), plus it’ll also be available in the United States.

A production run of 15,000 to 20,000 units is rumoured, stretched across a five year period. The 4C is also expected to form the basis for a bespoke Abarth model.

All of which brings us back to the Brera incident: hopefully Alfa Romeo has leant from that experience, and the 4C Concept will survive the transition into series production relatively unscathed.

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