Alfa Romeo 4C: Excellence in Italy

Alfa Romeo has unveiled more technical and production information about the forthcoming Alfa 4C, which will be making its dynamic UK debut at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The 'compact supercar' perfectly embodies the Alfa brand with Italian style, sporty performance and engineering excellence offering maximum driving satisfaction in total safety.

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.

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.

Carbon Fibre
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. ALUMINIUMAluminium was used for the roof reinforcement cage and the front and rear frameworks. To reduce weight but increase stiffness, the designers replaced the traditional rectangular strut section with a newly designed section, manufactured using the innovative 'Cobapress' process, which combines fusion and forging under press for a lighter and safer framework.

SMC (Sheet Moulding Compound)
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.

PUR-RIM (Injected Polyurethane)
The PUR-RIM (injected polyurethane) on the bumpers and wings weighs 20% less than steel and is suitable for creating complex design elements, such as the 4C wing, and for keeping an ideal cost/production volume ratio.

With the window glass, the overall weight was reduced by a real silhouette-thinning approach: all the window glasses are on average around 10% thinner than those normally fitted on cars, allowing for an average weight reduction of 15%. The windscreen is also only 4 mm thick – difficult to obtain on such thin glass with the car's particularly aerodynamic shape.

Quality Control
To ensure the utmost quality of each Alfa 4C, the production process takes place in dedicated 4C workshops with the 'testing' and 'finishing' areas shared with the Maserati production.

Every day several sample bodies are checked by a dedicated team on over 400 high precision measurement points to ensure the body is perfect from a geometric and dimensional standpoint.

Once the car's manufacture is complete, every detail is strictly checked by systems: from the climate control system operation to the mechanical component settings and the dynamic behaviour.

Each Alfa 4C produced is also road-tested for 40 km by an experienced test-driver – a practice commonly used for the most prestigious supercars.