Peter Anderson | May 31, 2012

The Alfa Romeo 4C Concept, unveiled at last year's Geneva Motor Show, has won the Design Award for Concepts and Prototypes at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este.

Alfa fans haven't had a lot to cheer about in recent years, but with this latest plaudit and the recent Spider announcement, it has been a week of good news.

While most of the event's awards are presided over by a panel of industry and media figures, the Design Award is judged by visitors.

With production expected to begin in the next year, the lightweight 145kW coupe will soon be the light at the end of the tunnel for Alfa dealers struggling along with two models and no performance hero.

For now, the concept remains unchanged from its original Geneva design, so we still have no clues as to what might change for production.

Whispers from Europe suggest that cost considerations will see the shapely coupe's carbon-fibre panels dropped, replaced with a cheaper but lightweight sheet-moulding composite alternative.

Alfa parent Fiat has also confirmed that it will soon begin production of a new 1.8 litre turbocharged petrol engine. Details for the engine remain unclear, but it is possible that this new mill will replace the 4C concept's 150kW 1.75 litre engine.

With the project's engineers gunning for an Elise-rivalling 850kg kerb weight, the new engine could give the 4C a 0-100km/h time in the neighbourhood of 5.0 seconds.

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