UK deliveries in 2013

UK based Top Gear magazine are reporting the Alfa Romeo 4C is expected early 2013.

The information came out with their interview with Mauro Pierallin European head of engineering who has given the project a discrete team outside the main engineering structure headed by him personally. They report advanced prototypes will be testing mid-2012 with a year’s hard testing before going on sale at “under £45,000”.

They confirmed that the concept was the brainchild of the head of group design Lorenzo Ramaciotti, but the Fiat senior management liked it so much they commissioned the 2011 Geneva show car. The production plan wasn’t so easy apparently, as the technology was not really available to mainstream manufacturers. Hence the brief details to date while they worked out how best to tackle the finished product.

The production chassis has moved away from  Dallara carbon tub to an in-house design with front and rear sub-frames in aluminium. The concept’s carbon outer panels have been replaced by SMC (a lightweight and production consistent GRP panel). Pierallini indicates he redeployed Dallara’s efforts to the aerodynamics of the production car to ensure downforce. The target weight seems to have crept up now at 900kg, slightly disappointing as the Elise does that without the expense of a carbon tub.

One thing that won’t change says Pierallini is the looks - which will stay true to the concept. This includes the futuristic interior which will get only minor changes preserving the motorcycle “pod”. The launch engine has will be Giulietta Cloverleaf unit direct-injection turbo making 230bhp  suiting the lightweight concept with the twin-clutch and Alfa Romeo’s DNA to alter the engine, transmission and steering characteristics.

Production levels will be 18,000 and the limited edition nature has made way for a family including a spider and a sportier model using the 300bhp engine derivative. Alfa leant this trick on the limited edition SZ and 8c..... add to the limited edition production total by adding drop-tops!

He further outlined the plan to use the 4C as a Halo car in the US market alongside the new Giulia saloon and SUV/Crossover in late 2013 and early 2014.

I guess I am being harsh over the weight as 230bhp and 900kg car is great news is 911 power to weight and it will then do 0-60 in <5sec but it sounded like it would be <4sec if they could have used the 300bhp engine and hit 850kg. Let’s await the details on the Supersport version.