Fiat's European product development head, Mauro Pierallini, believes the Alfa Romeo 4C roadster will be another "masterpiece" for the storied Alfa brand. The rear-drive, two-seat 4C will give Alfa an image boost when it goes on sale in Europe in September and in the United States a few months later. Pierallini talked with Automotive News Europe Correspondent Claire Bal about the car.
The 4C weighs 895kg, is 3990mm long and delivers 240hp from its 1.75-liter turbocharged direct-injection gasoline engine. Is the 4C an Italian version of the Lotus Elise?
I cannot deny they have something in common, but the 4C is better than the Elise in many aspects: from a comfort point of view, for the handling characteristics, for performance. But the Elise was not our target. We built this car because it's in the Alfa Romeo DNA to create very small and light performance cars. I'm proud to say we made another masterpiece that will remain in Alfa's history.
What were the main challenges you faced when creating this car?
First, we had to make the 4C very light. One requirement was to not go above the weight/power ratio of 4 kg per horsepower. Our engineering team cut any unnecessary gram. At first we wanted to use steel subframes in the front and in the rear of the carbon fiber chassis, but we learned it was too heavy so we used an aluminum frame.