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Alfa Romeo 4C tames 'Green Hell'

2013-10-20 11:50

THE GATES OF HELL: The Alfa Romeo 4C outside the gates to the Nurburgring - the 'Green Hell', as it's known. The car set a lap record for its class. Image: ALFA ROMEO


What does it take to make a compact supercar? Alfa Romeo reveals its secrets on its SA-bound 4C.

The next addition to the Alfa Romeo family in South Africa (Jan 2014), the 4C, has become the latest model from the brand to conquer the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife. It's time: 8min04.

The driver was journalist and expert Horst von Saurma who set a record for "the Green Hell” for a production car of less than 184kW (250hp).

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"The test at the German complex was one of countless trials that this Alfa Romeo sports car had to face in a variety of conditions," the automaker said, "from from -35 in Sweden to +40 in of Abu Dhabi, from the Arizona desertto the slopes of volcanic Mount Etna in Sicily and even the Balocco test track in Italy where all Alfa Romeos have been developed, perfected and tested since 1962."


The Nordschleife has been used as the benchmark for performance vehicles by most automakers throught the previous few years for its particular configuration that alternates slow and fast curves, straights as well as ups and downs, to offer an outstanding test ground.

"The “Green Hell” proved to be the ideal place to test the performance of the Alfa Romeo 4C to its limits," Alfa said. "This true driving machine without compromise delivers its best on the track, where speed, short braking-distances and acceleration are essential for first-rate lap times."

Here's what Alfa says it delivered...

• 0-100km/h in 4.5sec
• Top speed 258km/h
• Deceleration in the range of 1.2g
• Lateral acceleration peaks of more than 1.1g through optimum 60/40 weight distribution
• A weight-to-power ratio of 4kg/hp

"Such performance," Alfa said, "is usually only available from more-powerful and costlier cars. Thanks to its new 176kW, 1750cc turbopetrol engine, the latest Alfa TCT dry twin-clutch transmission and Alfa 'DNA' selector with race mode, the performance of the 4C is first-rate."

The new engine, with direct injection operating at 200 bar and an all-new aluminium block, delivers torque and specific power ratios of more than 200Nm/litre and 102kW/litre. Maximum power of 176kW is reached at 6000rpm, maximum torque of 350Nm from 2100-4000rpm, 80% of that from 1800rpm.


Also contributing to the 4C’s performance at the 'Ring, Alfa said, were special Pirelli P Zero Trofeo tyres, "the most sporty of the Pirelli P Zero range". "Not only was a record set on the track," the automaker added, "but the development of the tyres took less than a year, with collaboration between the Pirelli and Alfa Romeo engineers ensuring the best solution for guaranteeing grip and steering precision."

Two wheel sizes are available for the 4C: 17” front/18” rear or 18” front/19” rear, making the driving experience on road or track as thrilling as possible.
The Alfa Romeo 4C will make its first appearance in South Africa in early 2014 with the arrival of the Limited Edition, a numbered series with many carbon-fibre parts that distinguish it from its regular cousin. Unfortunately all units allocated for South Africa have already been sold.

The regular 4C will be available nationwide in South Africa towards the end of January and, sorry, prices are not yet available.

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