It was no secret that the 4C would make its world debut at the 83rd Geneva Motor Show, yet Alfa Romeo still managed to spring a surprise. That’s because the compact sports coupe was actually launched in the exclusive – ahem – “Launch Edition”.
This model will be manufactured in just 1,000 numbered units: 400 are earmarked for Europe, Africa and Middle East, 500 for North America and 100 for the rest of the world. Alfa Romeo announced that the 4C “Launch Edition” will be priced at €60,000 (US$78,000) across all European markets, including VAT but excluding local taxes, and is available to order immediately (no word on U.S. pricing yet).
Buyers of the “Launch Edition” can choose between two body colors, Carrara White or Alfa Red, while the carbon aero kit, Bi-LED headlights with dark surround, dark-finished rear aluminum diffuser and 18-inch front and 19-inch rear alloys in burnishing finish come as standard.
Moreover, there’s a racing exhaust system with a BMC air filter, a specially calibrated suspension kit and specific color for the brake calipers on the outside, and a leather/fabric/Alcantara seat upholstery and red stitching on the steering wheel, handbrake, seats, handles and mats.
Measuring 399 cm long, 200 cm wide and 118 high and riding on a 238 cm wheelbase, the 4C features a carbon fiber monocoque chassis that weighs only 65 kg and a mid-engined, rear-wheel drive layout.
Power comes from a 1.75-liter turbocharged aluminum engine that puts out 236HP (240PS) and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) of torque at just 1,700 rpm, which are directed to the rear wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch transmission and a limited-slip differential.
The TCT gearbox uses a next-generation software and sports a launch control mode. The 4C accelerates from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 4.5 seconds and its top speed exceeds 250 km/h (155 mph). It achieves 1.1g of lateral acceleration and 1.25 g of maximum braking deceleration, the latter thanks to the four ventilated and perforated Brembo discs that sport four-piston aluminum calipers at the front.
Suspension is by superimposed wishbones at the front and MacPherson struts at the rear, while the weight distribution is 40/60 front/rear respectively.
Surprisingly, the 4C’s steering does not feature power assistance of any kind. According to Alfa Romeo, this choice has been made not only in the name of paring weight but also “to secure a superlative driving feel”.
By Andrew Tsaousis