Alfa Romeo has unveiled more information about its forthcoming Alfa 4C, which is going to make its debut at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The captivating coupé with two bucket seats uses technologies and materials derived from the 8C Competizione – carbon, aluminium, rear-wheel drive and technologies from the latest Alfa Romeo models, but thoroughly developed to enhance the sports appeal of the new car. This is demonstrated by the new 1750 Turbo Petrol engine with direct injection and aluminium block, the sophisticated “ALFA TCT” twin dry clutch transmission and the Alfa D.N.A. selector with the brand-new Race mode.
Built in Modena, birthplace of the world’s most famous sports cars, the Alfa 4C’s production process integrates Alfa Romeo’s design roles and Maserati’s manufacturing functions with engineering and technological contribution from Italian world-wide leaders in the component industry for high-performance sports cars.
To design a car that is both exclusive and achievable for Alfa Romeo fans across the world, the Alfa 4C’s designers focused on lightness and efficiency over greater horsepower, which would have impacted the purchase and maintenance costs.
Combining high technology and craftsmanship through an advanced mix of hi-tech materials which combine stiffness and strength but also with reduced weight, the Alfa 4C’s weight to power ratio is less than 4kg/HP with a total dry weight of just 895kg, making 4C one of the lightest cars in the world.
The Alfa 4C uses 10% carbon fibre which represents 25% of the car’s overall volume. Carbon fibre currently offers the best weight/stiffness efficiency. The structural function monocoque, designed by the Alfa Romeo specialised team, makes up the central, load-bearing cell of the chassis yet weighs just 65kg.
Using SMC (Sheet Moulding Compound), a low-density and high resistance composite material, for the body enabled a 20% weight reduction in comparison to traditional sheet steel. The Alfa Romeo 4C is the first standard production car to achieve such a high percentage of low-density SMC. With a weight of 1.5 g/cm³ this material is decidedly lighter than steel (~7.8 g/cm³) and aluminium (~2.7 g/cm³), besides being more malleable in terms of design it also disperses noise well for acoustic comfort. Low-density SMC also reduces the number of components and operations required together with shorter assembly times, thus lowering production costs.