Ahead of its grand unveiling at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed, Alfa Romeo has released yet more technical information about its lightweight Porsche challenging sports cars.
Set to weigh in at 895kg, the Alfa 4C is only 20kg heavier than a Lotus Elise and incorporates F1-style technology into its manufacturing process. Coupled with a brand new 1.75-litre Turbo direct injection petrol engine producing 237bhp, the Italian based manufacturer has produced the ingredients for a very interesting recipe. Something which is sure to have those Stuttgart engineers very worried indeed.
Its exceptionally low kerb weight is partly down the F1-inspired carbon fibre monocoque weighing just 65kg. Alfa chose to focus more on lightness and efficiency as opposed to overall power to keep the purchase price and maintenance costs of the car down. The combination of a low kerb weight and new direct injection turbo engine results in a power-to-weight ratio of 268bhp per tonne or less than 4kg per horsepower as Alfa put it.
Carbon fibre components make up 10 per cent of the 4C’s construction but represent 25 per cent of the cars overall volume. Alfa also make effective use of aluminium to keep weight down further. The roof’s reinforcement cage and front and rear frameworks are constructed out of aluminium, so too are the brake discs which save 2kg per corner over conventional cast iron discs.
The weight saving programme the 4C has undergone seems to have become an addiction to the Alfa engineers. The windows are 10 per cent thinner than they would be on a normal car, allowing for an average weight reduction of 15 per cent. So before you get behind the wheel of the 4C consider very carefully what you have for breakfast, that extra croissant will undo all of their good work.
Alfa Romeo has labelled the 4C a 2 seat ‘compact supercar’, sharing some of its DNA with its bigger brother the 8C Competizione. The rear drive layout, aluminium and carbon construction as well as technologies from the latest Alfa models are all there and have been developed to enhance the appeal of the new car. The production process of part high technology and part craftsmanship means 1,000 4C’s will be produced each year. Prices for the standard 4C are yet to be revealed but the limited edition Launch Edition is likely to set you back £50,000 with deliveries commencing this summer.
Watch the Alfa engineers in action, meticulously piecing together the 4C.