Half size

If this pretty mini-supercar ever makes it to production, it will give the Lotus Elise a good run around a track.

The compact 4C shows typical Alfa Romeo styling, with beautiful curves rising up from the hood of the car and continuing all the way to the rear. The 4C is Alfa Romeo's attempt at an efficient sports car, the model designation being half that of the 8C Competizione.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
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Featherweight

In concept form, the 4C shows very few body panel gaps, the whole front of the car is seemingly moulded as a single, solid piece. Alfa Romeo constructed the body out of carbon fibre, which helps keep overall weight down to 875kg.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
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Italian Lotus

At a little over 4 metres, the 4C is longer by about 20cm than the Lotus Elise. Both cars employ lightweight materials and use a mid-engine layout. With 60 per cent of its weight over the rear wheels, the 4C should handle well.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
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Light the way

Although a concept, these headlights are not inconceivable for a production car. The main light is a typical xenon bulb, while surrounding LEDs projected through translucent plastics are not far off from current LED running lights.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
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Hideaway

Alfa Romeo hides the door latches in the air intakes, minimising disruption to airflow and aesthetics. The intakes feed air to the engine's turbocharger.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
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Unified

The side mirrors show carbon fibre trim and a strip with the colours of the Italian flag. We presume that the 150 celebrates the 150th anniversary of Italy's unification.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
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Branded

Side indicators on the front fenders feature the words "Centro Stile Alfa Romeo", the name of Alfa Romeo's design studio.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
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Suspended animation

The front of the 4C features a quadrilateral suspension, while the rear uses MacPherson struts.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
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Più veloce!

A turbocharged 1.75-litre direct-injection four-cylinder produces 150kW of power, which is sent to the rear wheels via a dual-clutch transmission. Alfa claims a zero to 100km/h time of under five seconds and a top speed of over 250km/h.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
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Ciao!

Supercar-style, the engine is visible under the rear glass. The engine box does not look well insulated from the cabin, so expect some loud Italian chatter.

Via CNET

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
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