Geneva Show: Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe Concept with Mid-Mounted 1.75-Liter Turbo Engine and RWD

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Alfa Romeo has unveiled a concept study for a compact and affordable "supercar” called 4C Concept at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The car is a two-seater, rear-wheel drive coupe with a mid-mounted engine that could find its way into production as early as 2012. According to the Italian car maker, the 4C represents “the true essence of a sports car, according to the brand values: performance, Italian style and technical excellence aimed at maximum driving pleasure in total safety.”

As the name suggests, the car is supposed to be a smaller version of the 8C Competizione, which is also true in the case of the design, as the 4C looks very similar to Alfa's supercar. The Alfa Romeo 4C Concept has a length of approximately 4 meters and a wheelbase of less than 2.4 meters. These dimensions emphasize the compact size of the car and also accentuate its agility, Alfa says.

Not only does the 4C resemble the 8C, it also uses some technology and materials derived from the Ferrari-powered supercar, such as carbon fiber, aluminium and the rear-wheel drive system. However, the small coupe doesn't get a V8 engine but a more modest 1.75-liter turbocharged four-cylinder petrol borrowed from the Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde. This engine develops 200 horsepower and is mated to a twin dry clutch transmission dubbed “Alfa TCT”.

If you think 200 ponies is a little tame for a sports car, Alfa points out that the 4C has been engineered to weigh less than 850 kilograms (1,874 lbs) for a power to weight ratio of around 4 kg/hp, an impressive figure made possible by the extensive use of carbon. The body is made completely of carbon fiber, while the rear frame structure and the crash boxes use aluminium extensively.

The reduced weight has a crucial contribution in obtaining performance figures worthy of a sports car, with the 4C reaching a top speed of 250 km/h (155mph) and accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 5 seconds.

Alfa also also claims that the suspension ensures "maximum agility and road handling.” Add the weight distribution (40% on the front, 60% on the rear) to the equation and you have the most interesting Alfa Rome in years.

By Dan Mihalascu


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