The 4C, in official production guise.
The 4C, in official production guise.

Barely two weeks after showing us its sumptuous lines in final production guise, Alfa Romeo is now telling us just how brutal its new mid-engined 4C coupé is.

Its direct injection 1750cc turbopetrol engine pushes 179kW, although the torque figure is still unknown.

It's an evolution of the direct injection engine already used in the Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde, with improvements having been made to the block, intake and exhaust systems.

A quintessential sports car in every respect, the 4C has a long bonnet, generously flared fenders and two bucket seats perched in front of an engine that sends its power to the back wheels. This takes place via Alfa's TCT twin-clutch transmission, which can be operated via flappy paddles.

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Thanks to its compact dimensions - it's less than four metres long and just 118cm high - and extensive use of carbon fibre and aluminium, the 4C has the weight to power ratio of an authentic supercar, weighing less than 4kg per unit of horsepower.

Alfa Romeo has also revealed its interior for the first time, as you'll see in the accompanying picture.

The cabin was designed to convey maximum driving sensation from the road and features a carbon fibre central cell and full bucket seats made from composite material.

The steering wheel houses digital instruments and gear shift controls, and information is conveyed through 'high-impact' graphics.

The driving experience can be tailored via Alfa Romeo's DNA selector, which adds a 'Race' mode to the familiar Dynamic, Natural and All Weather settings.

The 4C will spearhead the Italian marque's global expansion plans, which also include a return to the US market. Our contact at Fiat SA, Richard Sloman, told us that the 4C is coming to South Africa, but he doesn't see it arriving here before the first quarter of 2014.