Alfa Romeo’s first global rear-wheel drive coupe since the 1985 GTV6 is a little over a month away from its world debut at the Geneva motor show on March 5, as these barely disguised images of a pre-production model testing outside a secret Italian test track attest.
Although right-hand drive production is yet to be formally confirmed, unlike the left-hand drive 8C Competizione coupe (2007-2009) and 8C Spider (2008-2010), motoring.com.au understands the mid-engined 4C will be produced in RHD guise for markets including Australia from next year, priced somewhere between $85,000 and $100,000.
Left-hand drive production for both Europe and the North America, where the red-blooded Italian brand will finally be relaunched in the second half of this year, will commence at least six months earlier at Fiat sister brand Maserati’s GranTurismo and GranCabrio plant in Modena within weeks of the 4C’s Geneva debut.
Although it will spearhead Alfa’s US rebirth and give the historic sportscar brand its first truly sporting model in decades, the 2500 examples of the 4C will be produced annually in Italy.
As we’ve reported
, Alfa began its 4C pre-reveal campaign in early January, when it issued a teaser shot of the car’s wheel and boldly claimed its will be the “car to end all cars”.
The same trademark Alfa ‘telephone dial’ wheels (albeit silver, not black, as in the teaser) grace the test mule, which retains the same desirable proportions of the concept that wowed crowds at the 2011 Geneva and Frankfurt shows
Alfa has already confirmed the rear-drive 4C will be powered by an all-new, all-alloy 1.75-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine producing more than 147kW, and capable of 0-100km/h acceleration in less than five seconds and a top speed of 250km/h.
Top-shelf models could offer peak power of up to 225kW when the 4C launches in Europe in mid-2013, but expect the base model to offer around 170kW. All 4Cs will come standard with a six-speed TCT dual-clutch automated manual transmission as standard.
With a target weight of just 850kg, the mid-engined, carbon-fibre-tubbed rear-drive baby supercar promises one of the best power-to-weight ratios in its segment, and will be joined by a new-generation Alfa Spider - co-developed with Mazda’s next MX-5 - in 2015.
– with Carparazzi
Read the latest news and reviews on your mobile, iPhone or PDA at carsales' mobile site...