New Alfa set to punch above its weight in Frankfurt line-up
ALFA Romeo has been fine-tuning its 4C Concept since its debut in March and presents the latest study in a “fluid metal” body finish at the Frankfurt Motor Show in two weeks. The weight of this light, rear-drive two seater has been fixed at 850g, giving supercar performance from its 200bhp 1750cc petrol turbo motor.
Other current road-car kit includes the twin dry clutch gearbox, plus more bespoke carbon and aluminium details from its competition car.
The Turin carmaker is also showing a Giulietta with the dry twin clutch gearbox and a choice of 170bhp petrol or diesel motors. The baby MiTo hatchback inherits an 85bhp 875cc two cylinder TwinAir motor from the Fiat 500, achieving 98g/km. Also new to MiTo is an 85bhp 1.3 diesel.
Fiat Group’s Chrysler division will also be showing Chrysler-badged Lancias coming to the UK soon. The upmarket Lancia quit Britain decades ago after serious quality problems and severe rusting. It has taken until now, leading with the Delta hatch, for Fiat to risk another try with its modern Lancias, disguised under the American Chrysler badge. Prices start at £16,695 with a five year warranty limited to 50,000 miles.
Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury brand which launched in the United States 22 years ago, is completing three years of sales in Europe and still has headway to make, certainly in Great Britain per se, where a thin network of dealers sees sales concentrated in the South and Midlands. Its ambitions are to hold a tenth of the world’s luxury sector by 2016. I would not bet on it just yet.
By then, its key EU markets of Germany and Britain will get around 40 dealers each. Frankfurt will see the first Infiniti hybrid, the M35h, which combines 359bhp with official CO2 figures of 162g/km.
Honda is showing its latest Civic, promising a quieter and more refined drive.
We shall wait and see. The cabin insulation was tuned at Honda’s Swindon factory, where the car will be built for Europe.
Kazuo Sunaoshi, chassis development leader said: “My big challenge was to match the noise and vibration levels of our European competitors. I am proud to say that we have achieved our goals.”
FLUID METAL: Alfa Romeo’s 4C Concept is a light, rear wheel drive two-seater with supercar performance.
HIGH-END: The Infiniti Etherea, from Nissan’s luxury brand.