Alfa Reveals the 4C's Dirty Lightweight Secrets

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Due to arrive in showrooms later this year, the new Alfa Romeo 4C promises to be a showcase of lightweight technologies.

Due to arrive on US shores later this November, the Alfa Romeo 4C represents not only the Italian brand's North American revival but also a return to building a pure sports car that's actually somewhat affordable, unlike the ultra-rare 8C. We've known for some time now that it'll be powered by a 1.8-liter turbo four that's good for 250 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, but what hasn't been revealed is how much it'll tip the scales.

We knew it was going to be pretty lightweight, but now Alfa has provided some numbers that are downright impressive. The 4C will have a total dry weight of 1,973 lbs. thanks to its construction materials of carbon fiber, aluminum, SMC (Sheet Molding Compound) and injected polyurethane. Carbon fiber alone represents some 25 percent of the 4C's volume, such as the monocoque chassis. The roof reinforcement cage as well as front and rear frames are made from aluminum while the bumpers and wings are composed of the injected-polyurethane, which is supposedly 20 percent lighter than steel.

The automaker also claims that each completed 4C will be tested by a professional driver for a distance of 25 miles before it leaves the factory. All told, just 3,500 examples will be built per year, but we'll have to reserve final judgment until the 4C faces off against the likes of the Porsche Boxster.

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