Alfa Romeo 4C: Why? What? When?
At this year's Geneva motor show Alfa Romeo came up with what was perhaps the biggest surprise of that show. They unveiled the very appealing Alfa Romeo 4C concept car. Chances are they will put it into production in the coming years. This mid-engined 4 cylinder car is definitely an oddity in Alfa Romeo's history as Alfa Romeo never really made mass-produced mid-engined sports cars. Apart from the various Alfa Romeo 33 race cars and the ancient Tipo 512 prototype Grand Prix car we certainly can't think of any. In this article we try to find out what this new Alfa is all about and what it means for Alfa Romeo's future.
Sometime ago we blogged about the new plans of Fiat, plans for Alfa Romeo back then were rather unambitious to say the least (just some saloons, estates and an SUV were planned) but with this new model in their line-up they have the credentials to become that 'sporty' and 'dynamic' brand they always were and aspire to be again. Of course the concept is not a totally radical idea, it has quite a lot in common with the Lotus Elise or the discontinued Opel Speedster. Perhaps the gap that Opel left in the market is exactly what the Alfa Romeo people are aiming at; a small, nimble sports car with a relatively affordable price tag just under the niche Lotus Elise. Anyhow, more importantly, what does it offer the car nut? First of all there is a 1750cc turbocharged engine from the Guilietta QV which puts out a little over 200 hp, then there is a double-clutch automatic transmission to take away most of the soul again (they really should do a manual version) and finally there is rear-wheel drive again. Which is about the first time in the last twenty years Alfa Romeo goes back to its roots; tail-out fun.
As a result we sincerely hope they put this thing on sale, it would make the streets a better place. Really, just look at it, have you seen a pretty little car like this in the last few years? It's kind butch but still friendly, the shapes and bends in the design just blend in so well with the design heritage of Alfa Romeo. On top of that it only weighs about 850 kg due to an aluminium and carbon fibre structure (it will no doubt lose the carbon bits on the production version due to cost reasons). So basically it's all that you expect from an Alfa; fast, nimble, pretty, exciting. Let's hope it doesn't rust, shall we, as we always expect Alfas to do after a number of years..