Alfa Romeo 4C on sale October, priced from £45,000

The Alfa Romeo 4C goes on sale in October, with first deliveries expected in early 2014.  Only 3,500 units will be produced, and prices will start from £45,000.

The Alfa 4C is powered by a new version of Alfa’s 1750 turbocharged petrol engine, now using an aluminium block saving 22kg.

Maximum power is 240hp at 6,000rpm, with peak torque of 350Nm available between 2,100rpm and 4,000rpm.

The 4C can accelerate from rest to 62mph in 4.5 seconds, and on to a 165mph top speed.  Alfa say it can still achieve 41.5mpg, with CO2 emissions of 157g/km.

Constructed at the Maserati plant in Modena, the 4C uses a carbon-fibre one-piece monocoque, light-weight Sheet Moulding Compound for the bodywork, and 15% thinner glass to help keep down the overall weight.  The result is that the 4C weighs just 895kg dry, with a 40:60 front-to-rear distribution.

Suspension is double-wishbone at the front, with an optimised McPherson arrangement at the rear.  Brembo brakes are covered by 17-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels, with 18/19-inch wheels an option.

The steering is unassisted for maximum feedback, and Alfa say they’ve even optimised the driver’s seat so that the car’s reactions can be felt.

Inside, there’s plenty of exposed carbon-fibre on show, and in place of traditional dials there’s a race-inspired digital display.  The TCT dual-clutch transmission is controlled via steering wheel-mounted paddles.

Alfa’s DNA drive-mode selector makes an appearance, but now features an added ‘Race’ mode, altering parameters for the engine, transmission, stability control and electronic differential.

The Alfa Romeo 4C goes on sale in October, priced from £45,000.  First deliveries are expected in early 2014.