Alfa Romeo has previewed their latest concept car at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The car, called the Alfa Romeo 4C Concept is a compact mid-engined two-seater, rear wheel drive sports coupe. It is really compact, by that we mean that it is around 4 meters in length with a wheelbase of only 2.4 meters. It is even shorter than the tiny Alfa MiTo which has a wheelbase of 2.51meters. This is Alfa Romeo going after the Lotus Elise market of a small lightweight sports coupe. The 4C is a pure sports car. It will also be Alfa Romeo's first mid-engine sports car since the Alfa Romeo Montreal from the 1970s. It will be powered by a four cylinder (hence the 4C moniker) 1750cc turbocharged engine. Based on an engine utilised by the current crop of 159s and Alfa Giuliettas it produces 197bhp which is put through the rear wheels via a newly designed twin dry clutch gearbox (suited for the mid-engined 4C). This allows the Alfa Romeo 4C to hit 0-100km/h (0-62mph) in under 5 seconds and a theoretical top speed of more than 155mph. The performance figures also could be down to the weight of the car. The 4C has a curb weight of around 850kg (1,874lbs), much of it was achieved utilising carbon fiber and aluminium throughout the car's structure. The chassis derives much from the larger (but still pretty dainty) Alfa Romeo 8C but it is packaged even more tightly. Hence the small compact nature of the car. According to Alfa Romeo it runs a 'high quadrilateral configuration' or in other words, double wishbones up front and MacPherson at the rear. Quite a surprise, it looks like a hot hatch's suspension but in reverse. Most performance cars in the affordable category use a front Macpherson strut setup for the front and a multi-link at the rear. This is so opposite, and it does show that Alfa Romeo is working within a budget (as well as size constraints). It also shows that they are pretty realistic and this concept is quite production ready. In fact it is very production ready as Alfa Romeo intend to begin production of the 4C sometime next year. We quite like the 4C Concept car, but the only gripe that we can think of is how the car looks from its side profile. It looks too much like a Lotus Elise with an Alfa Romeo 8C nose grafted on to it. Let's hope it looks better (or less like the Elise) in the flesh than in these press release pics and let's also hope that it lives up to its heritage. Being Alfa Romeo's first production mid-engined car in a long time also means that it has more to prove than even the glorious looking (and sounding) 8C.
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