Alfa enthusiasts have dreamed for almost two decades of the return of an affordable rear-drive model after the Duetto Spider was discontinued in 1994. Alfa’s 8C Competizione, which was built from 2007-2008, was too expensive for most Alfa buyers. The spider version of the 8C cost up to $279,000 (213,000 euros).
The 4C was unveiled as a concept at the 2011 Geneva motor show. The two-seater has a central engine and is about 157 inches long with a 94.5-inch wheelbase. It will be powered by a new aluminum 4-cylinder 1.8-liter turbocharged direct-injection engine.
Alfa plans to make the 4C as light as possible at about 1,874 pounds. At that weight, the 4C would have an impressive power-to-weight ratio below 9 pounds per hp.
Maserati built the 8C Competizione coupe for Alfa from 2007 to 2010.
Fiat chose Maserati to build the 8C because Alfa does not have the expertise to build low volume, hand-built models. The sports car maker was picked to produce the 4C for the same reason, sources said.
The Grand Sport Vitesse will develop a staggering 1,200 hp from the quad-turbocharged W16 engine. Torque is equally impressive at 1,106 lb-ft. The increased power is the result of the four enlarged turbochargers and intercoolers.
The chassis was modified to accept the boost in power. Bugatti says buyers should expect the range of excellent features that one would associate with the super sports car, including precise driving dynamics and extraordinary braking.
“The rapid success of the Super Sport convinced us to increase the performance of the Bugatti roadster,” Bugatti president Wolfgang Dürheimer said. “We gave our all to transfer the achievements of the Super Sport over to the Grand Sport, thereby turning open-top driving itself into an extraordinary experience at high speed.”
The Abarth 695 Tributo Maserati is based on the 500C Abarth. It has styling features and special details created by Abarth engineers in collaboration with Maserati. Fiat says this limited edition “epitomizes sheer elegance united to the comfort of a gran turismo, but with the handling of a car fit to take to the road every day.”
The Tributo Maserati builds on the standard set three years ago when Fiat introduced the Tributo Ferrari. That model is selling in the used market at a premium price.
The 1.4-liter turbocharged engine in the Tributo is upgraded to deliver 180 hp, 20 hp more than the already hot Abarth. It’s combined with an electrically operated manual transmission with steering-wheel controls.
The track-bred, enthusiast-oriented Fiat 500 Abarth will be revealed in November at the Los Angeles auto show. This is the much-anticipated performance variant of the 500, which has spurred Fiat’s return to the United States this year.
The Abarth version gets the 1.4-liter MultiAir engine and upgraded brakes and suspension pieces. More details will be revealed closer to the show.
Fiat has sold 13,861 copies of the 500 through the first three quarters of 2011.
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The cars will feature glossy pearl paint, green and red stripes on the body or roof, and satin-chrome mirrors and door handles. The interior will have special embroidery, two-tone seats, leather accents along with other design touches.
Consumers can also buy the 500 by Gucci collection, which includes travel accessories, track suits, driver’s gloves, sunglasses, a watch and other items, which will be available in select Gucci stores and online at http://www.gucci.com.
Fiat will unveil the cars on Sept. 8 during New York Fashion Week, a semi-annual fashion show.
Laura Soave, head of the Fiat brand in North America, said the Gucci editions “will appeal to North American customers who appreciate Italian style just as much as modern technology, value and fuel efficiency.”