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Preview: Alfa's stunning 4C at Kyalami

2014-07-21 14:01


HOT TEMPTATION: Wheels24 editor LES STEPHENSON gets up close and personal with the new Alfa Romeo 4C at Kyalami on Monday(July 21). Image: Les Stephenson

KYALAMI, Gauteng - Kyalami, perhaps on its last legs as a racetrack as its auction date nears for July 24 , came back to life on Monday (July 21 ) – if only briefly - with the sound of high performance engines on track as Alfa Romeo SA launched the awesome 4C sports car.

Two models only of the roughly 20 to be imported during 2014 were there for the driving by local motoring writers, one white and one red but both as hot as hell, along with upcoming models of the Mito and Giulietta.

GALLERY: 2014 Alfa Romeo 4C at Kyalami

Two of the Kyalami pits were set aside and decorated for the occasion – one for a video presentation,  the other with six Alfas from various era, lined up in a row that could have had a signpost saying Memory Lane.


The new 4C takes its heritage and design cues from four famous predecessors – the 1952 Disco Volante, the 33 Stradale (very similar in design to the modern 4C) and of which only 18 were made in 1967, the higher-volume 8C Competizione with 500 examples which also exhibit the 4C’s traits, and the 1966 and very rare Scarebo; only three of these and none of them reached the public.

I’m writing this trackside as the cars flash down the pits lane and the sound keeps vibrating even after they’re out of sight again. Briefly (full report and image gallery on Wheels24 in the next day or so), the cars have a 1750cc turbo engine capable of 177kW and 350Nm, the latter hitting its peak at only 2200 of the 5000rpm on call.

Doesn’t sound like much? Yeah, but the 4C, much of it aluminium and carbon-fibre, only weighs 895kg dry which (in European terms) translates to 4gk/hp and 100km/h in less than five seconds.


The gearbox is auto with manual control paddles on the steering, acceleration at any speed is kidney-squeezing and there’s no power assistance on the steering. It’s a true driver’s car and, after a dozen laps of the ailing Kyalami, I wish I had the R870 000 to buy one – the most expensive Alfa Romeo yet available in South Africa.

More will be coming in 2015 – perhaps another 20 as America and Europe gobble up 2000 of the 2500 build projection – and (don’t tell anybody) there might also be a convertible among that year’s deliveries.

Full story, images and video on Wheels24 in the next day or so, along with Kyalami driving impressions.

Price: R870 000

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