Alfa Romeo has released three new photoshops today to outline the production-ready 4C's exterior shape, but they are of a lower quality and don't convey final proportions successfully.

The production version of the Alfa Romeo 4C will make its début at the 83rd International Motor Show in Geneva it has been officially announced today by Fiat Group Automobiles.

This mid-engined rear-wheel drive coupé with two seats will be produced in the Maserati plant in Modena, becoming available for sale in 2013 and marking the possible return of the Italian brand to the United States.

The Alfa Romeo 4C derives directly from the concept which was shown at the Geneva Show in 2011 andf collected three niche awards: the 'AutoBild Design Award' (2011, Germany), the 'Design Award for Concept Cars & Prototypes' (2012, Italy) and the 'Most Exciting Car of 2013' - 'What Car?' (2013, Great Britain).

Acronym 4C

The acronym '4C' draws its inspiration from the brand's glorious past, projecting the values of technology and emotions into the future. It refers to Alfa Romeo's great sporting tradition: the acronyms 8C and 6C in the 1930s and 1940s distinguished cars - both racing and road - fitted with the powerful 'eight cylinders' and the innovative 'six cylinders', confirming in its design layout and construction the goal of achieving the power /weight ratio of an authentic supercar, less than 4 kg/HP, yet focusing not merely on the maximum power delivered, but on limiting the weight to guarantee maximum agility and top performance. To this end, the Alfa Romeo 4C uses technologies and materials derived from sports cars (including the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione) - carbon fibre, aluminium, rear-wheel drive - and technologies from the latest standard models from Alfa Romeo, but updated to enhance the sports appeal of the new car even further. This is demonstrated by the new 1750 Turbo Petrol all-aluminium engine with direct injection, the sophisticated Alfa TCT twin dry clutch transmission and the Alfa DNA selector with the unprecedented Race mode.

Exterior style

Designed by the Alfa Romeo Style Centre, the 4C, it is claimed, in terms of dimensional and layout similarities, has been inspired by the 33 Stradale, a car that combined extreme mechanical and functional requirements with an essential style which 'clothed' the engine and chassis appropriately with unmistakable Alfa Romeo treatments. The 4C is trying to follow suit, and thus complete a journey which was embarked upon with the 8C Competizione, emphasising some particular concepts of the brand, such as compact size, dynamism and agility. Cost savings are evident in this project both inside and out, notably on the exterior Fiat 500 door mirrors have been sourced. Alfa Romeo has released three new photoshops today to outline the production-ready 4C's exterior shape, but they are of a lower quality and don't convey final proportions successfully.

Interior design

The elemental design and essential materials also distinguish the interior, which is all designed and built for maximum driving satisfaction. Specifically, Alfa Romeo says there will be use of carbon fibre in the interior. However recent spy shots have revealled a much more basic cockpit than the lavish concept with plenty of hard plastics evident and fitments drawn from other models, so it will remain to be seen if the production 4C can retain its aspirations on the inside.

Dimensions and aerodynamics

The dimensions make this car with 2 bucket seats make it unique amid its competitors: it is just under 4 metres long, 200 cm wide, 118 cm high and with a wheelbase of less than 2.4 metres. The width of the 4C is certainly a surprise making this quite a wide sports car, wider than the 8C Competizione or for example Ferrari's FF or Porsche's Panamera - if the data is correct. This width could become an issue for the engineers in terms of its handling characteristics in usable scenarios. Alfa Romeo does say though that the 4C achieves a negative Cz (downforce coefficient) which contributes towards achieving increased stability at higher speeds.

New 4 cylinder 1750 Turbo Petrol

An evolution of the engine already in use in the Quadrifoglio Verde version of the Giulietta, the new 4 cylinder 1750 Turbo Petrol engine now gets an aluminium block and specific intake and exhaust systems which have been optimised to enhance the sports appeal of the car even further. In addition, it has cutting-edge technical solutions including direct fuel injection, dual continuous variable valve timing, a turbocharger and a revolutionary scavenging control system that gets rid of any turbo lag.

Alfa TCT automatic transmission

The 1750 Turbo Petrol engine is teamed with the Alfa TCT automatic twin dry clutch transmission, which offers low weight and extreme speed of activation. The gears can also be changed in sequential mode using the shift paddles located behind the steering wheel. Fiat's TCT transmission technology has failed to impress in some recent iterations, notably the Dodge Dart, so it is to be hoped the company's engineers have improved it for its application in the 4C.

The new Alfa DNA selector with Race mode

The Alfa Romeo 4C also sees the début of the new Alfa DNA selector which not only features the three standard settings available until now - Dynamic, Natural and All Weather - but also a fourth mode: Race, designed to enhance the driving experience on a race track even further.

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