The Alfa Romeo 4C has been causing quite a stir ever since the Concept model was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2011. The production car made its debut in 2013 and earned almost universally positive reviews. It’s also won a number of critics’ and popular awards, including being named Car of The Year in men’s lifestyle magazine FHM and being voted the most exciting car of 2013 by readers of What Car?
The glamorous curves and unmistakeably sporty design obviously play a part. This is a car that can inspire automotive lust in confirmed Alfisti and the more discerning aspects of the general motoring public alike. As well as looking like a dream though, the 4C handles like one.
One of the key factors in the 4C’s performance is its weight. All sports cars can benefit from a good power to weight ratio but the 4C is lighter than most. It’s a small car of course. From bumper to bumper it’s less than 4 metres long with a wheelbase of just 2.38m, but that’s only part of the battle.
The lightweight carbon-fibre chassis also reduces the weight massively and the entire chassis weighs a remarkably light 65kg. Alfa have also built a super-efficient 1750cc engine for the 4C. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers 240bhp and is 22kg lighter than the same sized motor used in the Alfa Giulietta, while the engine block is made of lightweight aluminium.
Shaving off wherever they can, Alfa have even saved on the weight of the windows, using glass that is 15% thinner than that used in other Alfa Romeos. The result of all this slimming down is a car that weighs just 925kg in its entirety.
This is reflected in the performance, allowing it to hit 62mph from rest in 4.5 seconds. The only potential drawback is that the carbon-fibre chassis causes something of a bottleneck in production. It’s the most problematic part of the whole process and, partly as a result of this fact, the car is being limited to just 3,500 units globally per year. This adds an air of exclusivity but it also means you might have to exhibit a little patience if you want to get your hands on one – prospective buyers are advised to register their interest now for delivery late in 2014.