The stunning Alfa Romeo 4C is to make its debut as a limited edition launch special, with just 400 units coming to Europe out of 1,000 worldwide.
Although the model had been seen before in press photos, the full Launch Edition spec has not been revealed until now. Exclusively in white, the special introduction run of the lightweight and surprisingly efficient sports car will cost £52,000 plus registration fee, delivery and road tax.
The car, which has ‘only’ 236bhp from a turbocharged and mid-mounted 1750cc four-cylinder engine, uses a weight of just 895kg dry as its secret weapon to deliver a 0-62mph sprint in just 4.5 seconds and a top speed of around 155mph. The power is transferred to the rear wheels through a dual-clutch TCT transmission with paddle-shifters.
Carbon fibre trim adorns the Launch Edition, helping to mark it out from the standard car, which will follow on in due course. All 4Cs will make use of the same full-LED headlights and twin wheel sizes: the fronts of this special model are 18 inches in diameter while the rears are 19 inches, but a 17-inch/18-inch combination will be available.
An extra mode has been added to the Alfa-trademark DNA drive select system. Joining Dynamic, Natural and All-weather is Race, which turns all the car’s stability controls completely off after a long press of the DNA switch. Alfa recommends race track use only
The dashboard illumination changes colour with the drive mode. The dials are blue in All-weather, grey in Natural, red in Dynamic and yellow in Race.
One of the secrets to the car’s incredible lightness is the carbon fibre monocoque chassis, which weighs just 65kg despite forming the shell of the entire cabin. It gives ‘incredible’ stiffness and allows for a weight distribution biased 60% towards the rear.
The 4C promises huge things and is Alfa’s self-proclaimed key to breaking back into the US market. Of the 1,000 Launch Edition units 500 will be heading for North America.