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Alfa Romeo 4C photos show it's a good thing in a small package

The Alfa Romeo 4C is beautiful. It gives us butterflies in our stomachs, makes the hairs on our palms stand on end, and does funny things to body parts that shouldn't be mention in polite conversation.

Rory Reid
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Recently, we brought you official pictures of the new . They didn't reflect its true beauty, though, so today we're bringing you our own paparazzo shots of the car, to give you a better idea of just how drop-dead gorgeous it is.

In person, this car looks absolutely stunning. Despite its matte red paint job, which deliberately looks dusty, the 4C gave us butterflies in our stomach, made the hairs on our palms stand on end, and did funny things to body parts that probably shouldn't be mentioned in polite conversation.

What stood out most for us was the car's size -- it's tiny. Alfa Romeo says the 4C's wheelbase -- the distance between the front and rear wheels -- measures just 2.4m, which is shorter than the Ford Focus' wheelbase by about 30cm. The 4C is light too, tipping the scales at less than 850kg. The Focus weighs up to 1,364kg.

Less weight should, in theory, equate to spectacular performance and handling, particularly as the 4C has a light but relatively powerful 1.7-litre engine mounted in the middle, for better weight distribution. The engine is sourced from the nippy Alfa Romeo Cloverleaf. In that car, the engine produced 232bhp, with power being routed through a dry twin-clutch transmission to the rear wheels.

The 4C's performance is expected to be solid, to say the least. Alfa Romeo says it'll have a 0-60mph time of less than 5 seconds and a top speed of around 155mph. The 4C won't trouble in a straight line but we're hoping it'll be nimble enough to hold its own against larger, more powerful supercars on twisty tracks.

Have a gander through our photos to get a closer look, and don't forget to wipe the drool off your keyboard when you're done. The 4C should hit dealerships in 2012, but the price hasn't been revealed yet.

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