Alfa Romeo’s upcoming 4C sports car has been spied in final shakedown testing this week, ahead of its production debut this year.
The new coupe's official unveiling will follow nearly two years of off-again on-again development woes, with its coming debut confirmed only in the past couple of months.
Earlier reports suggested a 2014 unveiling for the new model, but next month's Geneva show is looking more likely - a belief reinforced by this prototype’s apparent advanced state.
Though still mildly disguised, this prototype’s styling appears faithful to the concept, aside from the addition of reverse lights in the rear valance and conventional door handles in the doors.
Alfa Romeo is yet to confirm if the concept’s carbon-fibre construction will be used on the production model, but Alfa’s desire to keep the 4C’s price down could see this replaced by a cheaper lightweight SMC material.
Keeping the production 4C near the concept’s 850kg weight will be critical to enable the expected sub-5.0 second 0-100km/h acceleration from the likely 1.75 litre turbocharged engine.
Alfa’s upcoming turbocharged 1.8 litre engine is also a possibility, but either way, the engine is expected to be below 2.0 litres and will not tolerate significant weight gain.