If one car got everyone talking about Alfa Romeo again, it no doubt was the 8C Competizione. The 8C was designed as a range-topping halo to help relaunch the brand’s image around the world.
It was very successful in doing so, and in late 2008 it marked the return of an Alfa Romeo being sold in the United States, albeit in very small numbers.
The last time an Alfa Romeo was sold here as a volume production car was in 1995 with the 164. Enabled by the partnership with Chrysler, it looks like Alfa Romeo is finally going to make a return. When we still don’t know for sure, but it is in the works. The 4C might be one of the cars to do it with.
Simply put, the 4C Concept’s styling follows in the 8C Competizione’s footsteps by being an absolutely gorgeous sportscar. The 4C concept is mistakably Italian in design, with swoopy, flowing lines used to great effect. These are traits that help clearly define the 4C as an Alfa Romeo.
Where the 4C sets itself apart from the 8C is its mid-engined design. While the 8C has a long hood and cabin at the rear, the 4C has different proportions. They help offer a certain supercar panache to a car that is much smaller than the 8C. We aren’t sure where Alfa Romeo would price the 4C, but the styling should sell it at any rate.
The car gets its 4C designation from the number of cylinders – four. The car is powered by a 1.7-liter gasoline unit making 200 horsepower. It is mated to Alfa’s dual-clutch transmission. While 200 hp might not seem like a lot, the 4C gets its performance from low weight rather than power like the 8C.
It is compact and has extensive use of materials designed to reduce weight. The body and structure are made of carbon fiber, with spaces inside for the driver and passenger. The rear frame structure and crash boxes are made from aluminum. This results in a startlingly low curb weight of just 1873 pounds. That is good for a 0-62 mph run under the 5-second mark, as well as impressive fuel economy from the small four-cylinder.
The best part about this? The car is headed for production. Alfa Romeo says, “this 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.” Sounds good to us; bring it over here, Alfa!