2011 Geneva Motor Show: 4C Concept is Alfa Romeo’s new halo car

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 1, 2011

As expected, Alfa Romeo unveiled today at the Geneva Motor Show the impressive Alfa Romeo 4C Concept, a so-called compact supercar which will became company’s halo car in 2012, when it is set to enter production. The Alfa Romeo 4C Concept has a length of almost 4 metres and a wheelbase of less than 2.4 metres, and it is a two-seater, rear-wheel drive coupé with its engine at the centre.

Under the hood, we fing a 4-cylinder 1750 Turbo Petrol engine delivering over 200 hp and mated to the new automatic "Alfa TCT" twin dry clutch transmission (seen also on the new Alfa Romeo MiTo TCT).

According to the manufacturer, the car can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 5 seconds, while the top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h or 155 mph. Regarding the design, the car is inspired by the 8C Competizione but also by the legendary Alfa 33 Stradale from 1967.

Moreover, the car uses the same rear-wheel drive as the 8C Competizione. The final result is a significant reduction in weight, limited to less than 850 kg. Furthermore, the 4C Concept uses an extremely sophisticated suspension layout, high quadrilateral at the front, MacPherson at the rear in order to deliver maximum agility and road handling.

The new Alfa Romeo 4C Concept is a result of the experience gained from the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione and 8C Spider models. In fact, just like the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione and the Alfa Romeo 8C Spider, the new concept car is a rear-wheel-drive unit that preaches the philosophy of maximum driving pleasure and the famous Alfa Romeo road handling.

However, the 8C Competizione and the 8C Spider were designed to achieve this objective by sporting increased power. For the Alfa Romeo 4C Concept, it looks to achieve the same goal by staying as lightweight as possible by using as much carbon as needed.

The use of lightweight carbon on the chassis allows the Alfa Romeo 4C Concept to exhibit exceptional agility as it endows the vehicle with a weight-to-power ratio of lower than 4 kg/HP. This chassis underpins a body crafted from carbon as well as rear frame structure and the crash boxes made from mostly aluminum.

The extensive use of carbon and aluminum Alfa Romeo 4C Concept has allowed the Italian carmaker to limit its overall weight to less than 850 kg while optimizing its center of gravity.

This endows the Alfa Romeo 4C Concept with the gift of superior agility and drivability even when traversing the most challenging roads. Aside from its lightweight structure, the Alfa Romeo 4C Concept also has a sophisticated suspension layout featuring high quadrilateral at the front MacPherson at the rear.

This suspension layout -- as well as the vehicle’s rear-wheel drive and excellent weight/power ratio – helps ensure that the Alfa Romeo 4C Concept is able to exhibit maximum agility and road handling while ensuring driving pleasure, as boosted by a 40:60 front-rear weight distribution. With all these attributes, the Alfa Romeo 4C Concept is a modern display of the marque’s sporting tradition and success as combined with latest elements that define the Alfa Romeos of today.

Press Release

World Premiere: the Alfa Romeo 4C Concept

At the 81st Geneva International Motor Show, the Alfa Romeo 4C Concept will make its debut, a compact "supercar" which represents the true essence of a sports car, according to the brand's values: performance, Italian style and technical excellence aimed at maximum driving pleasure in total safety.

The new concept presents the classic formula of the two-seater, rear-wheel drive coupé with its engine at the centre, a length of approximately 4 metres and a wheelbase of less than 2.4 metres: dimensions which serve both to emphasise the compact size of the car and to accentuate its agility. Distinguished by its graceful and clean external lines, the same principles are also applied to the inside, with the Concept's specific on-board design maintaining features and devices which directly reflect the car's sporting spirit.

On the Alfa Romeo 4C Concept technology and materials derived from the 8C Competizione find a home - carbon, aluminium, rear-wheel drive - and technology derived from Alfa Romeo models currently on sale: the 1750 turbo petrol engine with direct injection, the "Alfa TCT" twin dry clutch transmission and the Alfa DNA dynamic control selector.
Quite simply, this vehicle screams Alfa. Its sports car soul creates a unique driving sensation, both on the road and when racing, where its velocity and transverse acceleration become even more demanding.

Born from the experience acquired through the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione and 8C Spider models, the new concept car shares its rear-wheel drive with the exclusive supercars as well as its philosophy based on achieving maximum driving pleasure and the proverbial Alfa Romeo road handling. This is an objective which the 8C Competizione and the 8C Spider pursue mainly through their increased power, while the Alfa Romeo 4C Concept follows the route of limited weight, made possible by extensive use of carbon, which also plays a structural role and guarantees exceptional agility with a weight/power ratio which is lower than 4 kg/HP. The chassis supports a body crafted completely from carbon, inside which there is space for the driver and passenger, while the rear frame structure and the crash boxes use aluminium extensively. The final result is a significant reduction in weight, limited to less than 850 kg, as well as the optimisation of the vehicle's centre of gravity, which gives the advantage of increased agility and drivability on the most challenging roads.

The name "4C Concept" is suggestive of the sports driving pleasure which only the spectacular "4 cylinder" 1750 Turbo Petrol engine which offers over 200 HP can bring. Already featured on a number of models in production, for example the Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde, the engine boasts cutting-edge technical solutions such as direct injection, dual continuous variable valve timing, turbocharger and the revolutionary scavenging control system which eliminates turbo lag.

Located centrally in the rear of the vehicle, the engine in the Alfa Romeo 4C Concept ensures performance which matches or exceeds that of a 3 litre engine whilst still delivering the moderate fuel consumption which is typical of a compact, 4 cylinder engine. Coupled with the new automatic "Alfa TCT" twin dry clutch transmission, launched only a few months ago on the MiTo and which will soon be available on the Giulietta, the powerful 1750 Turbo petrol engine allows the 4C Concept to reach a top speed of over 250 km/h and to accelerate from 0 to 100km in under 5 seconds. The vehicle integrates its Alfa DNA technology perfectly, a true philosophy which brings together all of the on-board technology, making it enjoyable and customisable for the driver and further accentuating the "competitive" nature of the Concept compared to other vehicles currently on sale.

The Alfa Romeo 4C Concept has an extremely sophisticated suspension layout (high quadrilateral at the front, MacPherson at the rear) to ensure maximum agility and road handling. This solution, along with the rear-wheel drive and the extraordinary weight/power ratio, ensures Alfa Romeo driving pleasure, enhanced even further by the weight distribution (40% on the front axle and 60% on the rear axle). The Concept takes up the Brand's sporting tradition, taking us back to its origins, when agility and the weight/power ratio were the keys to a successful racing vehicle, and combining these aspects with the Alfa Romeos which take to the road every day.

This car is not simply an exercise in style created for the Motor Show; it will be on sale in 2012 and is set to reinforce Alfa Romeo's global growth.

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