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Alfa Romeo 4C baby supercar set to cause trouser crises in 2012

There are hoards of concept cars at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, but none as toe-curlingly gorgeous as the Alfa-Romeo 4C Concept.

Rory Reid
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There are hordes of concept cars at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, but none as toe-curlingly gorgeous as the Alfa Romeo 4C. It's a car so beautiful it had us doubled over in fruitless attempts to hide our shame.

The 4C is the younger sibling of the equally provacative -- hence the name. It's considerably smaller than its relative, with a wheelbase (the distance between the centres of the front and rear wheels) of less than 2.4 metres and, thanks to a double lashings of carbon fibre, a scarcely believable weight of under 850kg.

Obviously, those size-zero dimensions mean Alfa-Romeo has no need to fit an enormous engine -- it should go like stink if you so much as lean up against it. Fittingly, Alfa's supplied the 4C with a mid-mounted, turbocharged, direct-injected 1.7-litre engine seen originally in the Alfa Brera and Cloverleaf. The company isn't commenting on the unit's power output in 4C guise, but we're expecting at least 232bhp, as that's what the engine produced in the Giulietta.

What we do know for sure is that the Alfa Romeo 4C will be fast. The engine's power will be channelled to the car's rear wheels via Alfa's six-speed, dry twin-clutch transmission, seen privously in the . This is expected to facilitate a 0-60mph time of under five seconds and a terminal velocity somewhere in the region of 155mph.

Sadly, the 4C won't ever be built. Nah, we're yanking your chain! Alfa's promised to build the thing in 2012, which is fantastic news. What we don't know yet, of course, is how much it'll cost. Given its size and performance, however, it'd be lovely (if a little fanciful, perhaps) if it retailed for Porsche Boxster money -- ie £40,000-£50,000.

We've got more official pictures of the Alfa 4C in our gallery above. Have a gander through 'em and let us know how badly you want one in the comments below.

Oh, what's that? You you can only communicate in a series of grunts because you're too overcome with lust? That's cool, just let it all out -- we're totally speaking your language on this one.

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