RGMotorsport-tuned Alfa 4C cranks out 388kW!

By Motoring Sport Time of article published Jun 13, 2018

Share this article:

Johannesburg - Alfa Romeo’s 4C is everything a Italian sports-car should be: it’s gorgeous to the point of pornography, distinctive enough that nobody will ever mistake it for a Porsche, handles like it’s on rails and steers like a kart.

What it’s not however, is a killer street car. In the right hands a well-tuned hot hatch will smoke it, light to light, and any two-door Porsche will spank it on a track day. So the owner of this particular 4C sat down with the petrolheads at RGM Motorsport and planned a serious upgrade for the little cutie from Turin - a proper, old-school engine build.

Never mind ‘chipping and piping and upping the boost’, they did it the old-fashioned way, tearing the engine down to the last nut and bolt, and rebuilding it from the ground up with every performance upgrade thay could think of and a few you won’t. They started with Omega pistons on Arrow conrods, upping the compression ratio from the standard 9.25:1 to 10:1, gas-flowed and ported the cylinder head, bolted on a custom made carbon-fibre cold air intake system.

A bigger-than-standard Garrett GTX28/71R ceramic ball bearing turbo on a custom ceramic-coated turbo manifold amps up maximum boost from 1.45 to 2.45 bar. And the extra plumbing, Cyril, feeds the water-methanol injection system - yes, it’s old-school (it was first used in aircraft nearly 80 years ago) but as a source of chemical supercharging it’s hard to beat. Because Alfas are built to go round corners, oil surge would become an issue on track days, so an electronically-controlled and rev-dependent pump forces oil into the sump under high lateral-G conditions.

The result? Power at the flywheel has gone from 177kW to a howling 388kW (more than double!) at 6500 revs and peak torque is up from the standard 350 to 610Nm. We’ll save you the calculation: that’s a 74.3 percent improvement. So, to help the standard transmission keep its cool, they fitted an Alfaworks Kevlar/sintered copper button clutch and a gearbox oil cooler as well.

Running gear upgrades are far less radical but just as comprehensive: ride height has been lowered and roadholding improved by fully-adjustable KW Variant Three dampers all round, braking is entrusted to stock callipers (with upgraded hydraulic fluid and high-performance brake-pads) clamping down on RGM-Vari hook-slotted and heat-treated discs, and the widened rims now wear super-sticky 225/40-18 front and 265/30-19 rear Toyo 888 tyres.

The car’s performance capabilities will be left to the owner to explore; suffice it to say that this particular Alfa 4C won’t back down for any hot hatch you’re likely to see on the road. And not many Porsches either.

IOL Motoring

Share this article: