Sources say that one year after Alfa Romeo’s new mid-engined 4C sports car is launched, a convertible version will follow. It’s believed that the 4C coupé will be unveiled about 12 months from today. It’s likely to start selling in early 2014. Previously, Fiat’s engineering chief, Mauro Pierallini, has estimated a target price of €45,000 for the 4C and a 900kg kerb weight. Powering it is Alfa’s direct-injection 1750 TBi turbo four. If it reaches its weight target, it’s likely that the 4C will be able to accelerate to 62mph in 4.5sec. The 4C would be the halo car for Alfa’s reinvention of Alfa. It is meant to demonstrate its styling presence as well as technical excellence. It will be equipped with the new-generation 1750 engine, with an aluminium block instead of a cast iron (resulting to savings of 25kg) as well as upgrades to the high-pressure fuel injection.
The engine will be linked to a dual-clutch automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Dallara, the Italian race-car specialist, had done the early development of the vehicle. It also came up with the carbonfibre structures for the Alfa 8C, Bugatti Veyron and the KTM X-Bow. But then, Alfa has later taken the development process in-house, giving responsibility to a small specialist team led by Pierallini.
The running gear and powertrain are carried on the aluminium subframes, which are bolted to the carbonfibre tub. Meanwhile, the 4C’s exterior panels are built from sheet-moulded composites. It’s believed that the shape of the 4C will generate positive downforce, increasing the high-speed grip. It’s a challenge to bring the 4C’s dramatic interior styling into the production. What’s sure though is that it won’t be an exact copy of the concept car. Pierallini said that Alfa will produce the 18,000 4Cs over the car’s lifetime. It’s still undecided what the company is planning or in which factory the stunts will be done. [source: Autocar]