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Future models - Alfa Romeo - 4C

Geneva show: Alfa stuns Geneva with 4C supercar

4C: While Alfa Romeo's coupe has wowed the Swiss show, it remains to be seen if it will reach our shores.

Alfa wows Geneva with mid-engined two-seater, confirms 4C for sale in 2012

2 Mar 2011

ALFA Romeo not only returned to its compact rear-drive sportscar roots by presenting one of the most stunning concepts at the Geneva motor show yesterday it also confirmed the spectacular mid-engined two-seater 4C coupe will go on sale globally next year.

Sadly, however, while the 4C appears set to form the basis of Alfa’s long-awaited return to North America in 2012, it has not yet been confirmed for right-hand drive production, meaning its Australia future remains unknown.

Riding on a wheelbase of less than 2400mm and measuring only about four metres long, the rear-wheel drive 4C is likely to be the first in a series of compact sportscars from the Fiat group – including a standalone Abarth version – over the coming years.

The 4C is powered by a more powerful, mid-mounted version of Fiat’s new 147kW 1.7-litre turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder petrol engine - which recently became available here in the 1750 TBi-badged 159 sedan and wagon, Brera coupe, Spider convertible and, in 173kW tune, the Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde – matched with the ‘Alfa TCT’ twin dry-clutch transmission.

Combined with a kerb weight target of less than just 850kg, Alfa promises the 4C will sprint to 100km/h in less than five seconds on its way to a top speed of more than 250km/h, making it the most energetic model from the rejuvenated Italian brand since the limited-edition 8C Competizione Coupe and Spider.

26 center imageAt the same time, along with an estimated weight-to-power ratio of less 4kg per horsepower, Alfa promises the 4C’s mid/rear-mounted engine will return fuel consumption similar to a compact four-cylinder while matching the performance of a 3.0-litre engine.

Alfa says the 4C’s staggeringly low weight is the result of technology and materials derived from the 8C, and reveals its “chassis supports a body crafted completely from carbon”, while the rear frame structure and crash boxes feature extensive use of aluminium.

This indicates the 4C will be based on a steel spaceframe chassis that rather than employing the KTM X-Bow’s expensive carbon-fibre tub, as has been rumoured, although extensive use of carbon-fibre or carbon-reinforced plastic should be a given.

Comprising double wishbone front and MacPherson strut front suspension to deliver 40/60 front/rear weight distribution, the 4C’s throttle, steering and suspension systems will be controlled by the familiar ‘Alfa DNA’ dynamic control selector.

Not content with staging the world debut of the 4C, Alfa also used the Geneva show to reveal an upgraded MY11 MiTo, which as we’ve reported will be released in Australia in the third quarter of this year.

Apart from the 4C, Alfa – which launched perhaps its most important model ever here in January, the 147-replacing Giulietta - will next year launch a compact Giulietta-based SUV, which has been confirmed for Australia.

Further afield in 2013, Alfa will replace its volume-selling BMW 3 Series rival, the mid-size 159, with the all-new Giulia.

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