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.
Lotus is going bespoke with help from Mansory Design, the company said on Monday. Mansory has worked with Lotus on a few special editions before, including the 2011 Evora Concept Bespoke they showed at the 2011 Geneva motor show.
Lotus says the car received positive reaction at the show. Since then, the two companies have collaborated on several projects, most notably the Lotus Evora GTE, which was made available for public sale.
In the deal, Mansory will contribute bodywork, trim and special finishes for the entire range of Lotus cars. The customizer helped with the chrome-orange Evora GTE that was designed by rapper/producer Swizz Beatz and the carbon-fiber Evora GTE built to honor the Lotus F1 Team.
Mansory’s first official project, based on a new model variant, will be revealed at the Paris motor show in September.
“At Mansory, we have always been passionate about British cars,” owner Kourosh Mansory said. “And the cooperation with Lotus is the perfect partnership as it meets our quality standard of production on the highest technical level combined with masterly craftsmanship and the most precious materials.”
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Twelve-cylinder powerplants have been synonymous with Ferrari since the very beginning. From 1947’s 125 S to the modern 599 GTB Fiorano, the Prancing Horse has made 12 cylinders dance like no other company. Ferrari makes engines glamorous, and the latest V12 rocket is revved for the Geneva motor show.
Ferrari revealed the F12 Berlinetta on Wednesday, and it packs 730 hp and 509 lb-ft of torque from a 6.3-liter engine (6,262 cc). Ferrari is billing this new supercar as the fastest its ever built, and that’s reinforced with nearly breathtaking statistics. It can sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 3.1 seconds and clocks a top speed of more than 211 mph. That’s a significant jump from the performance specs of the 599, which made 611 hp and is being replaced by the F12 in the company’s lineup.
Mini has revealed the new Mini Countryman John Cooper Works edition, which comes with all-wheel drive and an improved engine making 211 hp. It debuted on Tuesday ahead of its live reveal next week at the Geneva motor show.
The engine, now with a variable valve control system based on BMW‘s Valvetronic technology, gets a boost of turbocharged horsepower, to 211 hp at 6,000 rpm, and 207 lb-ft of torque from 2,000 rpm to 5,600 rpm. It also has reinforced pistons and intake valves.
Called the TT RS plus, the powered-up coupe and roadster pairing is set to join what is shaping up as a formidable display of new Audi models–including the third-generation A3 and the RS4 Avant–at the Geneva motor show in early March.
The centerpiece of the new range-topping TT is a tuned version of Audi’s turbocharged 2.5-liter, five-cylinder direct-injection gasoline engine as used by the go-fast TT RS, the RS3 Sportback and the limited-production A1 quattro.
Look for a 0-to-62-mph time of about 4.9 seconds.
Eastern Europe has proved to be the gift that keeps on giving over the past couple of days. First, images of the Volvo V40 leaked via a Polish Facebook page, Latvian loonies Dartz announced their Prombron Black Dragon, and now a Russian Web site has spilled a plethora of images of the A3 to be unveiled at the Geneva motor show next month.
The Russians note that this FWD three-door will be available with either a 1.6-liter diesel or your choice of turbocharged direct-injection gasoline engines making either 122 hp or 180 hp. Transmission choices include a dual-clutch, seven-speed S-Tronic or a six-speed manual. Four-door sedan and five-door hatch models will follow.
Other future developments in store for the A3, according to Google’s translation of the Russian article? Besides the obvious addition of a quattro system, Audi is at work on a hybrid model, as well as on one that burns compressed natural gas.
Naturally, don’t expect every upcoming iteration of the premium C-segment machine to reach our shores, no matter how much certain Audiphiles might beg
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.