Alfa Romeo's new halo model will be produced by Fiat Group's luxury sports car brand Maserati. The car is a rear-wheel-drive coupe dubbed the 4C. Last Thursday, Fiat said that Maserati will produce a new vehicle for Alfa in Modena, Italy, beginning in May 2013. It is anticipated to have an annual output of up to 2,500 units. Fiat didn’t identify the car but according to sources who spoke with Automotive News Europe, this model would be the 4C. It’s likely that the 4C would be the first car that Alfa will sell in the U.S. when the brand relaunches in the market in mid-2013.
Insiders said that in Europe, the Alfa 4C will have a price tag of around 50,000 euros ($66,000). No pricing details for the U.S. market have been released yet. The loyal fans of Alfa have long waited for affordable rear-drive model to return. The Duetto Spider was discontinued in 1994. Alfa's 8C Competizione, which was in production from 2007 to 2008, was much too costly for a majority of Alfa buyers.
The spider version of the 8C can be priced at up to 213,000 euros. The 4C was introduced as a concept at the 2011 Geneva auto show. The two-seater gets a central engine and has a length of about 4 meters and comes with a 2.4-meter wheelbase. Powering it is a new aluminum 4-cylinder 1.8-liter turbocharged direct- injection engine. Alfa intends to make the 4C the lightest that it could at about 850 kg.
At this weight, the 4C would carry an excellent power-to-weight ratio below 4.0kg/hp. Maserati produced the 8C Competizione coupe for Alfa from 2007 to 2010. Fiat selected Maserati to produce the 8C since Alfa isn’t an expert in building low volume, hand-built models. Sources said that Alfa was chosen to build the 4C for this same reason.
In developing the exterior of the 4C, Alfa Romeo Centro Stile made sure that the goal would be to improve the style while ensuring that the technical qualities were enhanced not only on a dynamic perspective but also as it relates to aerodynamics. Of course, the end result was that the 4C would meet the essential objective which is to optimize performance.
To make this possible, there was a need to treat the surfaces as a sculpture. In addition, the engineering team worked with the design team to make sure that it would have the latest in aerodynamic solutions. This collaboration led to the creation of a model that would reveal a combination of beauty and technology, and bring out a style that is clearly pure sports.
Not surprising considering that this is what is expected from every Alfa Romeo sports car, meaning it should always be first about function. Thus each structural element was made in order to allow for optimum dynamic efficiency. It also gives it that needed downforce to get the best grip especially when undergoing fast cornering.
Meanwhile the rear volume is both enveloping and graceful and not just embraces but also encloses what is important about the 4C: its mechanics and the engine fitted inside. In addition, these can be seen when looking through the model’s rear window. This is made possible by having a marked musculature that is on top of its wheels, giving the rear section power and strength.
Another feature that makes the 2-bucket seat 4C truly distinct when compared to its rivals is the compact proportions. Overall length is just below 400 cm with width at 200 cm and height at 118 cm. Wheelbase meanwhile measures less than 240 cm. These figures highlight the supercar proportions and at the same time put focus on its agility.