Details of new Alfa 4C revealed

DAVE MOORE
Last updated 05:00 10/02/2013
Alfa Romeo

Sleek: The lightweight Alfa Romeo 4C coupe will have a 1.7-litre turbocharged four engine.

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Over the next three years, Fiat/Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne is planning to have six new Alfa Romeo models in the US market or ready for it, with the mid-engined 4C coupe expected stateside by the end of the year.

According to a European dealer who attended the Alfa Romeo meeting last week, the rest of the model plan will reach fruition during 2015 and 2016. The 4C that will be revealed in finished form at next month's Geneva Motor Show will have the same 1.7-litre turbocharged four used by the Quadrifoglio Verde version of the front-drive Giulietta hatchback.

Mid-rear transverse mounted, the 4C's version of the engine will be offering 177kW for the entry-point car, with more power available for higher performance versions. With a full carbon-fibre chassis, the car is expected to weigh under 1000kg, though whether it will be as light as the 850kg registered by the earlier motor show concept version is a moot point.

Nevertheless the car's power-to-weight ratio promises to be very good, with the more powerful Stradale versions able to foot it with the Porsche Cayman, Benz SLK and BMW Z4 models, each of which weigh three or four hundred kilos more than the 4C's expected avoirdupois.

This may be just as well, as the Alfa is expected to cost as much as the Germans, with dealers in Europe expecting a sticker in the region of $110,000 to $120,000.

Both a roadster and a hardtop version of the 4C will be made, with worldwide production of 2000 examples being evenly split between the two types.

Some of that number will be racing versions of the 4C, with pundits in the US surmising that there will be a single marque competition series to help promote the re-entry of Alfa Romeo to the North American market. The Racing and road-going Stradale 4Cs will use the same uprated 200kW version of the 1.7-litre engine.

Because of the model's importance to the US market, the 4C is expected to offer two and three-pedal versions of the new sportster, but we cannot ascertain the availability of right-hand-drive versions.

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- Sunday Star Times

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