Fiat to relaunch Alfa Romeo brand in the U.S. at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show

Article by Christian A., on February 17, 2012

The venue of the relaunch of Alfa Romeo has been set to take place at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. Alfa Romeo plans to have the debut of the production version of the mid-engined 4C sports car at this show. The 4C leads a lineup that is prepared to expand within the next couple of years to include the five-door Mito, new Spider, Giulia saloon and estate (the replacement for the 159 range), a new compact SUV and the new 6C flagship saloon. Autocar sources said that the first of the new Alfas won’t come out until the second half of 2013.

This means that the automaker has to settle for the existing Mito and Giulietta for at least 18 months as its only two new cars offered in showrooms. As soon as sales start in North America, Alfa will focus on the launch in China. Last year, Alfa Romeo had a stand at the Guangzhou motor show late last year where its vehicles were well-received.

Sources at Fiat Group said that the 4C will be available just with a dual-clutch automatic gearbox with paddle shifters. A manual option isn’t available. However, the 4C’s twin-clutch ’box won’t be exactly the same Fiat Powertrain-developed dry-clutch auto used in the Giulietta TCT since it can’t be fitted in a mid-engined car in its current state.

Rather, the 4C will probably get a version of this transmission adapted for mid-engined installation. Sources say that a new 230bhp version of Alfa’s 1750 turbo petrol engine will power the 4C. This engine has a torque output of 236lb ft. in its current 197bhp state.

In order to develop the exterior of the 4C, Alfa Romeo Centro Stile started with improving the style followed by enhancing the model’s technical characteristics. The designers also made sure to focus on both the aerodynamic aspect and the dynamic quality. As a result, all of the changes in the style were optimized in a way that it would meet the objective which was performance. Aside from having two bucket seats, it is the compact dimensions that managed to set this model apart from the rest of the segment. Overall length is at 400 cm while it has a width of 118 cm.

Meanwhile, the wheelbase does not exceed 240 cm. With these dimensions, the design team was not only able to highlight the agility but it was also able to put the focus on the supercar proportions. At the core of the new model are the engine and the mechanics that can be seen from the rear window. Covering this is the rear volume. This was made possible by having on top of the wheels a marked musculature, ensuring that the rear section has the needed power and strength. The rear musculature in particular is able to support the structure of the round light clusters in the rear.

In addition, one can see that the air inlet can help the engine and the addition of air intakes on the side can help cool the model’s intercooler. Starting from the rear volume, the two side air intakes can spring on its two long muscles. This ensures the side gets the dynamic and speed. This also helps the front end have the needed volume to house the headlights. Meanwhile, on the central portion, there is a pair of strong ribs that go through the bonnet and shape the all-too-familiar V before continuing and ending that the shield.

When paired to the two side air intakes, it becomes that Trefoil, the unique mark seen on Alfa Romeo models. With the goal of improving performance, the engineering team collaborated with the design team to get the best aerodynamic solutions. The brand also made sure to treat the surfaces as a sculpture. This made it possible to meet the basic requisite of any model coming from the Alfa Romeo which is that the form should come first and then followed by function.

Through the new offering, the two teams were able to combine beauty and technology to build a vehicle that exhibited pure sports style. Additionally, each structural component was created to deliver maximum dynamic efficiency. They were also made to offer the needed downforce to allow for maximum grip, important especially when doing fast cornering.

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