By on June 11, 2013

130611_ar_4c_24

We all knew that the Alfa Romeo 4C was going to be light, but the recently announced curb  (looks like it’s the dry weight) weight of 1969 lbs is unprecedentedly svelte in this era. That’s the same weight as a Lotus Elise or a Volkswagen Up! That  237 horsepower turbo 4-cylinder doesn’t seem so puny anymore, does it?

The carbon monocoque being used by McLaren weighs in at a mere 143 lbs – less than the average adult male. Other tricks like thinner glass and special plastic for the front and rear bumpers also help trim weight. Best of all, the car’s bodywork and monocoque are impervious to corrosion, so if you’re a special grade of crazy (or brave), only a set of snow tires stands between you and winter driving. How about a ski rack mounted over the rear, like James Bond’s Lotus Esprit?

On the performance front, Alfa Romeo is said to be expecting a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds – a few tenths quicker than a PDK-equipped Porsche Cayman S, which weighs 880 lbs more and has 88 more horsepower. Unlike other Alfas, the 4C gets a 25 mile shakedown to ensure everything functions properly prior to delivery. Leave your best reliability joke in the comments.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

28 Comments on “Alfa Romeo 4C Narrowly Avoids The Ton...”


  • avatar
    dabradler

    Wow that car actually makes sense now. I wonder if someone over 5’7 would be able to fit into it though. Cool niche they are filling, sports car world needs a car going for ultra lightweight.

    It’s surprising how few cars there actually are that come in under 3000lbs really seems like you need to give up a lot to get the weight down under that.

    lightweight with the engine in the middle, I bet that thing would actually handle great in the snow!

  • avatar
    Boxerman

    I dont think the weight is that extrodinary. I had my stock elise on the scales last week, With 3/4 tank of gas and all fluids it came in at 1920 lbs. I bet the alfa weight is sans fluids.

    • 0 avatar
      slow kills

      Then it would be a dry weight and not a curb weight.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      According to a March 5, 2013 Alfa Romeo press release “the dry weight is just 895 kg”. (1973 lbs) (or 1969 when Bertel does the conversion)

      http://www.alfaromeopress.com/press/article/115512

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      @boxerman, even considering your Elise, that is still extraordinary for a modern car. Your Elise was designed something like 20 yrs ago, never really was federalized because of missing “safety” (read heavy) items, and wasn’t really a real car, more of a track toy. Please don’t take offense, my MR2 Spyder is the same way; sure it is light but not all that practical, and I do love the Elise. But for a car being designed today, to meet all the US and Euro safety requirements, the low dry weight is impressive. Now just need to see how much of a useable car it is. I would love to get an Alfa, doubt it will be affordable though.

      • 0 avatar
        porschespeed

        So very spot-on. We’re talking about the weight of an early 80s Honda Civic 2D, with *far* more modern crash protection…

        (Of course I say that as a guy who rolled an 82 Civic Wagon at least 2 times at 60 MPH and walked away without a scratch. And the Ins Co decided it was more prudent to replace every exterior panel that to total it…)

      • 0 avatar
        icemilkcoffee

        Precisely. The Elise was only imported in limited numbers into the US because it relied on a low volume exemption to the US crash standards.

  • avatar
    Silvy_nonsense

    “the 4C gets a 25 mile shakedown to ensure everything functions properly prior to delivery.”

    I think the original Italian press release was translated poorly. A more correct translation is: “the 4C gets a 25 mile shake out to ensure all the loose bits fall off prior to delivery.”

  • avatar
    jmo

    “so if you’re a special grade of crazy (or brave), only a set of snow tires stands between you and winter driving”

    I drive a GTI with all season tires through a New England winter without an issue. I’d assume the 4C with traction/stability control (a 50/50 weight balance) and a set of blizzaks would accelerate, stop and corner better than most all season tired SUVs.

    Living in both the city in suburbs for 30 years the plows run often enough that ground clearance have never been an issue.

  • avatar
    ash78

    I’m glad Alfa came in under an American ton. Speaking of metrics that Italians don’t use, how many Mississippis does it take to get from 0-42mph?

    I like lightness, but all I can think about when I see anything made of alumninum or carbon is how much the insurance (and any repairs) will cost, practically speaking.

    Anything that shakes off in the 25 miles can be swept up and put in the Dodge parts bin.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      “how much the insurance (and any repairs) will cost”

      I seem to recall that the Audi A8 and Jaguar XJ are only marginally more to insure than a steel 7 series or S class.

      The huge variation in cost to insure (lowest Volvo XC90, highest Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution) has far more to do with who drives them than the cost of repairs.

      • 0 avatar
        ash78

        Interesting note…it always seemed logical that the insurance would track pretty closely with the repair costs (which are markedly higher for aluminum).

        Of course, an alternative answer is the fallaciou “If you have to worry about insurance cost, you can’t afford the car lulz!1″

        • 0 avatar
          jmo

          Just looked it up and insurance on a $28,900 Lancer Ralliart is $1,866. Insurance on a $84,300 911 is $2,293.

          The insurance would likely be low on the Alfa as the middle aged executives who buy cars like that don’t tend to get into many accidents.

          • 0 avatar
            porschespeed

            This is why ‘Vette insurance is (generally) cheap. The car is almost always bought by an aging boomer who uses about 1% of its capabilities. Ever.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I’d like to illustrate an example of a Vette buyer I saw a few years ago:

            In their late 50s, husband and wife climb/scale out of an early 90s purple metallic Vette. Both get out slowly, careful of how they open the doors and mind their arthritis. After escaping the brown interior, they close their doors gently, and both use their shirts to wipe off fingerprints they left behind. Then the stroll slowly, casually, into the local McDonald’s for a prompt 11:15AM lunch.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        The person being insured matters far more than the car. For the same coverage, my $4K Jeep actually costs a few dollars MORE to insure than my $40K BMW. The Jeep doesn’t get all the safety discounts. Cost to repair is largely irrelevant, as the cost to repair the CAR is insignificant compared to the cost to repair the occupants or the other parties.

    • 0 avatar
      1998redwagon

      Anything that shakes off in the 25 miles can be swept up and put in the Dodge parts bin.

      +1

  • avatar
    hubcap

    Check your 0-60 numbers. Methinks you confused the Cayman with the Cayman S.

  • avatar
    J_Drake

    I love everything I know so far about the Alfa 4C except one thing — the headlights. They’re hideous!

    Have you seen a good photograph of them? They look like the eyes of some grotesque insect. They’ve got protruding bumps all over them and the overall coloring is butt ugly.

    Somebody please reassure me there will be a more attractive aftermarket replacement.

    Note to Alfa: conduct some styling clinics with your potential customers. They’d clue you in to this misstep.

  • avatar
    J_Drake

    Ugly, ugly headlamps seen on the Alfa 4C at the Geneva Auto Show:

    http://wot.motortrend.com/alfa-romeo-4c-launch-edition-rolls-into-geneva-500-coming-to-us-337149.html/alfa-romeo-4c-headlamp/

    • 0 avatar
      MK

      Those headlights will look great after the plastic oxidizes and gets that whitish discoloration! Although to be faor they dont look too bad at night or if the surround is painted to match the body color.

      It’s nice looking but 1- it’s an Alfa and 2- for what I think will be the asking price I’d just go with an Evora or cayman or Elise or 911 or noble or …..

      Still glad to see they’re building it though.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    Our collective car-nerdism gives us the knowledge to understand the importance of the light weight. To attain this number while achieving all the various mandated safety regs is truly remarkable. When I need perspective, I just recall how nimble and quick the first American-market GTI was to drive. If memory serves me, it had 100 or so horses, but because of the lightness, felt like much more car. Of course, the benchmark 0-60 of the day was anything sub 7 seconds. 237 should be plenty, especially as configured. What has been the European experience with recent model Alfa’s?

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    Always glad to see potentially better materials used in making a car. Better materials in this context appear to mean less weight. Good on ‘ya. Fiberglass was once the wave of the future. It didn’t work out all that well. Just based on simple chemistry, carbon fiber is an almost sure winner sooner or later. Question, is it going to be sooner, or more likely later?

  • avatar
    GTAm

    With Carbon fibre and many compsoite parts at least we know it won’t rust ;)

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    I want this car…… but will probably have to wait ten years and pick up a used one. Hope to God a few still haven’t fallen to complete pieces by then.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      On the contrary, they’ll all be snapped up and stored in heated garages next to all those GNX’s. They’ll have close to zero miles and command sky-high prices. All will be red/black/yellow. All will have vanity plates.

      All of this will take place 10 years from now, during which we will have seen Alfa re-pulled from the American market.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    This Alfa will be Alpha.

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    Just beautiful. Under 2000lb.s is the magically demarcation point. Even humble FWD cars become fun to drive when they are at this weight.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • J & J Sutherland, Canada
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India