Alfa 4C to Spawn Roadster Version

Lightweight sportscar to debut in 2014, roadster version to come one year later.

We're still waiting on official confirmation for when Alfa Romeo will put the mid-engined 4C sportscar into production. Autocar projects it will hit showrooms in early 2014. But whenever it does, count one year beyond and look for Alfa to release a convertible version. The mid-engined sports car was first unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show last year. The production version will combine an all-aluminum, 230-hp turbo four with a carbon-fiber tub, aluminum subframe and sheet-molded composite exterior panels for feather-light 900 kg curb weight.

With a 45,000-euro sticker price and a 0-60 time projected at around 4.5 seconds, the 4C will target the likes of Lotus and the Porsche Cayman in the sportscar market. The roadster version would help Alfa expand the 4C's appeal and help justify its gestation cost. Its solid racecar-like construction would help mitigate any structural losses usually associated with turning a coupe into a convertible. Maserati is believed to be preparing to handle its production, and could potentially get its own versions as well with a GranSport nameplate and possible V8 power to slot in between the 4C and the Ferrari 458 Italia.

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