“Is it really coming back for sale?” – asked a gentleman out of the window of his E-class while next to the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C at a stop light. “Yes!” – I yelled back. This is an “un-impression”, because any driving impressions are embargoed until 12:01 am EST this Saturday. TFLcar will have a first drive review and other video for you as soon as the embargo lifts. In the meantime, here are a few images and specifications for this new North American Alfa.
The all-new 4C builds on top of a carbon fiber monocoque (or tub) structure, which weighs a mere 236 pounds. Aluminum subframes and Sheet Moulded Compound body panels compose the rest of the automobile. The US-spec car weighs in at around 2,400 lbs at the curb. This is anywhere from 220 to 340 pounds heavier than the European version. Why? The American 4C has some additional standard equipment such as air conditioning and stereo. However, the bulk of the weight gain comes from government mandated safety regulations. This includes a beefed up monocoque, additional air bags, and sliding driver and passenger seats.
The heart of the 4C is the same no matter where you are. It is a 1750 cc all-aluminum four cylinder engine with direct injection and a clever turbo-charger which aims to eliminate lag. The result is 237 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque @ 2,200-4,250 rpm. It converts to 135 horses per liter of engine displacement, or 10 pounds of weight per horsepower. EPA rates the 4C at 24 MPG city, 34 MPG highway, and 28 MPG combined.
All the power goes to the rear wheels via Alfa’s 6-speed Twin Clutch Transmission. There is no manual option. The official word is that a manual transmission does not mesh with the design of the carbon fiber tub structure, so don’t hold your breath for this option.
Suspension is a double wishbone up front and Macferson rear. Large Brembo four-piston calipers and ventilated and drilled rotors bring the 4C to a stop. While, Pirelli P-Zero AR tires on 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels make contact with the pavement.
The 4C also introduces us to a cleverly names DNA driving mode selector system. It actually has four modes: Dynamic, Natural, All weather, and the secret Race. You will probably find yourself in the Natural mode on the street most of the time. If the conditions are slippery enough, then you can choose the All weather mode for detuned driving dynamics. If you are feeling aggressive – the Dynamic mode will take away some of the traction and stability control intervention, and will give you a slightly louder exhaust and crisper accelerator response.
You can push the selector switch further forward (past Dynamic mode) for five seconds to reveal the Race mode. This turns off the traction and stability control systems. It will also let you use the Launch Control feature. Push the brake and throttle down at the same time. The revs come up. Tap the left transmission shifter paddle to let the system know that you are ready and let go of the brake. Alfa Romeo says that the 4C is capable of a 0-60 mph run in the “mid 4-seconds”.
Check out this brief preview of the the 2015 4C from the 2014 New York Auto Show. TFL will bring you lots of video when the embargo lifts.
And here is a TFLclassics look at the 1967 Alfa Romeo GTV twins.