The Alfa Romeo 4C sports car will cost from £45,000 when the standard car goes on sale in October. The Launch Edition version - which was priced at £52,000 - has already sold out.
The 4C has a 1.7-litre turbocharged petrol engine that produces 237bhp and 258lb ft of torque, all of which drives through a twin-clutch automatic gearbox. Performance is similar to that of the Porsche Cayman S, with 0-62mph in just 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 160mph.
Alfa quotes the power output as being 83bhp shy of the Porsche’s, but the 4C manages the comparable pace thanks to a remarkable 895kg kerbweight (the Cayman S is 1320kg). That low weight - achieved by using a one-piece carbonfibre chassis tub - helps the 4C to record official CO2 emissions of 157g/km and fuel economy of 41.5mpg.
In front of the composite bucket seats inside, the exposed carbonfibre is visible in both footwells, while the centre console is skewed towards the driver. There’s also a bespoke, flat-bottomed steering wheel - with gearshift paddles - and a colour screen display in place of conventional instruments.
The 4C’s steering is unassisted to save even more weight and, Alfa says, deliver more feel to the driver. The transmission tunnel between driver and passenger houses the ‘DNA’ drive mode selector, which changes the engine and gearbox responses as well as the stability control settings. There are 17- and 18-inch wheels as standard - on the front and rear respectively - while 18- and 19-inch alloys (seen in the images above) are optional.
Alfa says the 4C will go on sale in October with the first customer deliveries expected early next year. The company has confirmed that the 4C will be limited to 3500 units worldwide.
The Alfa Romeo 4C is already one of the most eagerly anticipated cars of 2013 – it started the year by winning the What Car? Reader Award, which is chosen by whatcar.com users.