The Alfa Romeo 4C centrally mounted aluminum engine is the master of balance; it delivers an impressive power while significantly reducing weight, as it eliminates the need for a driveshaft and optimizes weight distribution by concentrating mass near the center of the vehicle. Its engine design is ultra-modern, an all-aluminum engine with 4 valves per cylinder, ultra high pressure direct fuel injection, a new-generation turbocharger and a dual core intercooler.
The advanced engine technology of the Alfa Romeo 4C maximizes torque at low engine speeds and delivers more power in response to driver input. The control unit determines the valve timing to encourage fresh airflow from the intake through to the exhaust during the overlap period. By improving the circulation in the combustion chamber, this direct flow increases combustion efficiency and turbine speed and reduces turbo lag.
The engine is also equipped with a new generation turbocharger and a pulse converter exhaust manifold that uses pressure waves to boost torque at low engine speeds. The manifold and the turbine are made from microcast steel and designed to operate at very high temperatures (over 1,000°F) — a prerequisite to low fuel consumption on medium/ high-speed highway trips. The wastegate valve is another essential device for engine efficiency. This adjusts turbo pressure control logic to suit driving conditions, minimizing pumping losses.
Like all top competition cars, the 4C uses an automatic cool-down system to protect its turbocharger. Switching off the engine would normally cause the immediate stoppage of oil circulation, leaving the oil in the turbocharger to stagnate at very high temperatures. The thermal stress suffered by the oil under these conditions causes a loss of lubricating capacity and also leads to the formation of residues that can damage the engine. To prevent this, Alfa Romeo has introduced an after-run pump. This electric pump is automatically controlled by the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) and keeps oil circulating through the turbocharger until it has cooled sufficiently.
The 4C boasts 237 hp, 258 lb-ft of torque, 136 hp per liter and a blazing top speed of 160 mph —with up to 34 mpg hwy (2) . A quick look reveals an all-aluminum design with 4 valves per cylinder, a new-generation turbocharger, ultra-high pressure direct fuel injection and a dual-core intercooler that cools intake air before it reaches the turbocharger. A quick spin reveals an exhilarating 0 – 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds (1) .
(1) Based on manufacturer's testing. Actual results may vary.
(2) EPA estimated 24 mpg city/34 mpg highway. Actual mileage may vary.