When you talk about any new Alfa Romeo, the comments often starts out with, "That reminds me of the classic Alfa Romeo…. of 19_." The car maker has introduced so many memorable cars that it’s easy to look back to the past. Now that it has reached Australian shores, the new Alfa Romeo 4C is widely compared to the 33 Stradale, built in 1967. The new 4C, however, shows that it has left the past in the dust with its innovative technology.
The 33 Stradale was a mid-engine sports car with a name that means "road going" in Italian, to indicate that it was street-legal though based on the Autodelta Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 race car. The car featured butterfly doors, windows sloped toward the roof, an aluminium body with an aluminium tubular chassis. The engine was custom based on race car models, while the car featured a six-speed transaxle gearbox for the first time on a production model. Much of the work on the car was done by hand, and the total cost was 65 times the average Italian worker’s wage. The vehicle spawned several concept cars but only 18 Stradales were made, and those are so highly praised that they seldom hit the resale market.
The new Alfa Romeo 4C shares some of the handmade quality of the earlier vehicle. Its aluminium and composite body is set on a carbon fibre tub which drastically reduces weight. To further lighten up the car, the 4C features an aluminium engine block, the sleek roofline, distinctive headlights, spoiler, and muscular lines send off sports car vibes. Unlike many earlier models, the 4C is meant for driving, not just for ogling over. Here are the specs:
Currently, Alfa Romeo plans on producing about 3,500 4C models per year, an upper limit dictated more by the availability of resources than demand. About 400 are destined for the streets of Australia. Although the car has just recently made it to the streets of Europe, it is already regarded as so successful that a convertible model is in progress. The car has gotten great reviews, where it compares favourably to much more expensive sports cars, and it is here to stay in Alfa Romeo's projected line up. Its local price is expected to be much more affordable than most sports cars and will be within reach of a broad segment of the driving population.
Since the car will be arriving in OZ shortly, now is the time to sign up with your dealer for updates and a test drive. While you might briefly compare this car to older classic models, you will soon regard it as your trip into the future.