Alfa Romeo has pulled the veils off its latest creation, one that is hoped to recharge the brand’s slumping sales. The 4C not only marks a new way forward for the ailing Italian automaker but also the entry into two huge global markets: The U.S. and China.
The name 4C follows the lineage of two infamous Alfas from the 1930s and ‘40s, the 8C and 6C. Both revolutionized automotive engine technology at the time, powered by innovative eight and six cylinders, respectively. Alfa hopes the 4C will have a similar affect on the automotive market.
Powered by an engine Alfa calls the “1750 Turbo Petrol.” The inventive all-aluminum four-cylinder features direct injection and a revolutionary “scavenging” control system that eliminates turbo lag. Alfa engineers have mounted the engine mid-car and have sent the power to the rear wheels, making it a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive car, much like today’s supercars. Bolted to the all-aluminum four-cylinder is a “TCT” twin dry clutch transmission. Drivers shift the transmission with two paddle shifters mounted behind the steering wheel.
With what Alfa calls its “Alfa DNA Selector,” drivers can choose from four driving modes: Dynamic, Neutral, Weather, and Race, the latter of which is said to improve the race track experience and more.
Though this agile two-seater was designed by primarily by Alfa Romeo, Maserati’s engineering team had a hand in the design. In fact, the 4C will be built in Maserati’s Modena assembly plant.
Alfa Romeo has not made pricing available yet but with its U.S. launch set for sometime in the fall of 2013, official pricing can’t be too far off. As soon as we know more about the 4C’s Stateside debut, we’ll be sure to update you.