Geneva Watch: Alfa’s 4C Concept makes a stunning entrance

Geneva Watch: Alfa's 4C Concept makes a stunning entrance

Alfa Romeo revealed its much-rumoured 4C sports car concept at Geneva today, generating one of the biggest scrums of the day as photographers fought to capture those all important first images. The 4C Concept follows on from the success of the 8C Competizione and Spider, but rather than the £100k plus price tag of its elder sibling the 4C is likely to be much more affordable when it eventually goes on sale.

The 4C Concept combines performance, Italian style and technical excellence to create a thoroughly contemporary interpretation of an Alfa sports car in 2011. Alfa describe the 4C Concept as being equally at home on the road or the racetrack, lending credence to the expectation that it will be lightweight and agile, rather than a GT tourer like the 8C.

The 4C Concept will deploy every day Alfa Romeo technology, such as the Alfa DNA system, a 1750 cc Turbo Petrol engine and a TCT transmission.

Agile and compact are the essential characteristics of the 4C Concept which, thanks to its light weight, achieved through extensive use of carbon fibre, guarantees exceptional speed. A vehicle that screams Alfa, with its sporty soul and unique driving sensations.

Design

The 4C Concept is distinguished by exceptionally graceful and clean lines, within its compact dimensions. In some respects the 4C Concept apes the current Lotus Elise, based on a rear-wheel drive coupe format, two seats, approximately 4-metres in length and sitting on a wheelbase of less than 2.4-metres.

The design, by the Alfa Romeo Style Centre, takes characteristics and traits from the brand’s most iconic models and interpreting these within a contemporary and unique design.

The Alfa Romeo 4C Concept also introduces a new colour, “Lava Red”, a natural combination of black and red – deep and vibrant at the same time. Lava Red is an anodised ‘soft touch’ red from a paint that creates depth and power. The colour moves on the vehicle’s curves, from splashes of fire red to deep black, like burning metal which has just been forged.

Driving dynamics

The 4C’s engine is connected transversely and centrally and with an unladen weight of just 850 kg, the chassis remains agile and driveable on the most challenging of roads.

The chassis supports a body crafted completely from carbon fibre, inside which there is space for the driver and passenger, while the rear frame structure and the crash boxes make extensive use of aluminium. The result is a weight/power ration of less than 4 kg/HP.

The 4C’s weight distribution is 40% front / 60% rear, enhancing its agility when turning into corners. It’s equipped with a sophisticated ‘high quadrilateral’ front suspension with MacPherson struts at the rear.

Performance

The 4C Concept is powered by a 4-cylinder 1750 cc engine providing 197 bhp, combined with Alfa’s latest generation automated twin dry clutch transmission, ‘TCT’. With just 850 kg the 4C can accelerate from 0 – 62mph in less than 5.0 seconds and reach a top speed of more than 155 mph.

The engine, which is already in use within the Giulietta QV, is positioned at the centre of the rear of the vehicle and integrates perfectly with Alfa’s DNA technology platform. The 4-cylinder engine boasts direct fuel injection, dual continuous valve timing and a turbocharger with a scavenging control system which eliminates turbo lag.

The 4C Concept reignites Alfa’s sporting traditions when agility and power/weight ratio are the keys to a successful racing car.

Should the 4C Concept reach production – and we’re pretty sure it will – the renaissance of Alfa as the most sporting of automotive brands will finally be on a path that needs no excuses.

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