In the pantheon of Italian exotic cars, the hierarchy runs with Ferrari at the top; I’d mention Lamborghini next (but they’re technically now owned by the Germans), Maserati follows; and finally, there’s Alfa Romeo and Lancia. There’s a reason why I listed an unofficial ranking of Italian super car automakers and it’s not to denigrate Alfa Romeo, instead, it’s a precursor to setting the context for why the Alfa Romeo 4C is such an amazing supercar.
The close to 110 year old company was born A.L.F.A. (Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili) in 1910, becoming Alfa Romeo after a merger with Nicola Romeo and after some corporate ups and down in the company’s contemporary history (leading to its acquisition by Fiat Group), what remains is its heritage for exemplary racing history, which today is exemplified in the high performance Alfa Romeo 4C.
Designed for extraordinary performance, unique handling, extreme aerodynamics and design, the Alfa Romeo 4C is constructed for uncompromising driving experience on both city roads and racing tracks. Essentially a lightweight Italian supercar, the Alfa Romeo 4C exudes a “natural beauty” as a result of exquisite balance of form and function – In Spider or Coupe form, the Alfa Romeo 4C truly holds its own among the most beautiful cars of either class.
Designed by Alfa Romeo engineers and made at the Maserati plant in Modena, the 4C is designed to meet extreme mechanical and functional requirements; with the benefit of its aerodynamic body being visually striking and aesthetically pleasing to boot. Internally, this captivating coupé with two racing bucket seats uses materials and design solutions like carbon, aluminium, and rear-wheel drive derived from the 8C Competizione along with Alfa Romeo’s latest technologies.
Approximately 4 metres in length and a wheelbase of less than 2.4 metres, the Alfa Romeo 4C coupe is not just compact but immensely agile: handling is more nuanced than most of the pure breed performance only supercars I have experienced (the Lotus Ellise comes to mind) and through minute vibrations in the steering, her driver is actually able to feel fine details right down to each tire. Thanks to its new 1750 Turbo Petrol with direct injection and aluminium block, sophisticated latest-generation “Alfa TCT” dry twin clutch automatic transmission and the Alfa DNA driving mode selector with the brand-new Race mode. The dynamic qualities of the Alfa Romeo 4C are confirmed by a weight to power ratio of less than 4 kg/HP; it’s a value worthy of a ‘supercar’.
Completing its century sprint in 4.5 seconds, the 4C coupe with top speed of 258 kmh and deceleration peaks in the range of 1.2 g and lateral acceleration peaks over 1.1 g, a balanced weight distribution, with 40% on the front axle and 60% on the rear, this high performance Alfa Romeo coupe approaches top tier supercars like Ferrari at only a fraction of the cost.
Designed by Alfa Romeo Centro Stile, the development of the 4C’s exterior was characterised from the start by the need to enhance the style of the car and the technical characteristics both from a dynamic and aerodynamic point of view. Though all the stylistic choices have been optimised in accordance to ultimate performance – it is naturally still a gorgeous creature: All surfaces were treated as sculpture and engineers worked side by side with the designers to carve all the innovative aerodynamic solutions out of it. The result of this teamwork led to a car that conveys pure sports style through a union of technology and beauty – an essential requisite for any Alfa Romeo sports car, where form follows function. Every structural element has been conceived for maximum dynamic efficiency, and to help create the downforce needed to ensure maximum grip under fast cornering.
The result is a Alfa Romeo 4C coupe constructed like a throwback manual driving car built on modern principles. Beyond the digital display and the world’s fastest automated transmission, the 4C coupe bears a passing resemblance to the Lancia Stratos thanks to its curving C pillars and curved windshield, but it’s an entirely different prospect altogether.
The annual availability of the 4C Alfa Romeo on the major world markets is limited to only 3,500 units – 1,000 units of which are earmarked for Europe, emphasising the rarity and exclusivity of the 4C coupe in this part of the world and on display at Singapore Rendezvous 2017