The new Alfa Romeo 4C is stirring up to be a bit of a giant killer. The Italian firm has released the technical spec of the supercar-beating sports coupe, and it is certainly shaping up well.
The 4C is an amalgamation of lightweight materials, composite panels and an energetic little engine. Alfa have incorporated a carbonfibre tub which takes up 10 per cent of the 4C’s kerb weight, whilst the material as a whole accounts for a quarter of the total material volume of the car.
Aluminium makes up the majority of the rest, including the subframes, suspension and engine block/transmission casing; altogether taking up 38 per cent of the overall weight of the 4C. The composite body is seven per cent.
The carbon tub weighs 65kg; whilst the vehicle’s dry weight is just 895kg, although this is expected to touch 1100kg when liquids and such are taken on board. The weight-to-power ratio is desired to be 4kg-per-bhp in order to help propel the car to 62mph from standstill in 5.0sec. Top speed is expected to hit 155mph.
The 4C’s engine is a four-cylinder unit running through a dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Alfa Romeo insists that this will be the only sized engine available, but persistent rumours suggest there will eventually be a V6. Output will be 237bhp from the 1.7-litre turbo unit that is also featured in the Giulietta; while an alloy block in place of an iron equivalent saves 65kg.
Alfa Romeo’s four-pot takes the advantage of having the performance of a bigger engine, yet weighing very little in comparison. Emissions are also a key issue and will help keep the 4C be well received on an environmental level, especially in Europe.
As the likes of McLarens and Ferraris are the type of vehicle to employ a carbonfibre tub, the 4C’s will ensure that it will create the highest production volume for a car with such a chassis development. Alfa Romeo are looking to build 16 a day, making a yearly total of 3,500.
Adler Plastics will manufacture the tub, the same company who produces racing an aerospace parts, and for Maserati, its carbonfibre trim.
A brand new building has been converted at Modena help build 4Cs, including fitting out the carbonfibre tub with sub-components and clothe the structure in composite body panels. The 4C is the first car to have its body assembled in Modena using composite panels shipped in from a supplier.
The 4C is most certainly set to drive the motoring industry crazy when it’s ready to be driven, but to get a taste of the Alfa Romeo DNA, you can always look at the likes of used cars Doncaster, who have a range of Giuliettas, 159s and Mitos available.