12 and 13 April, at the Moulay El Hassan circuit in Marrakech, will see the first race of the 2014 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), the international competition for mass-production-derived saloons.
Also making its season début is the new Alfa Romeo 4C, which was named Official 2014 WTCC Safety Car by Eurosport Events, the division of the Eurosport Group that organises international events, and which since 2005 has been running and promoting the WTCC, on behalf of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). Portuguese driver Bruno Correia - official WTCC Safety Car driver since 2009 - will be taking it to the track, again wearing a new racing suit with Alfa Romeo logo.
An essential element of safety on any circuit and in any automotive competition, the special car is ready to step in at any time - as in the case of accidents or bad weather conditions - at the discretion of the Race Director. For the 2014 sports season, the Alfa Romeo 4C will be performing this delicate task. The multi-award-winning coupé will be distinguished by a special 2014 WTCC Safety Car livery.
A few weeks ago, on the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia (Spain), there was the last test session for the teams competing in the 2014 WTCC. This was the chance for the driver from the Algarve to take the new Safety Car onto the track. At the end of the test, he said: "The 4C has a genuine sports character that belongs to the spirit and tradition of Alfa Romeo. It's a very fast car with good handling, in part thanks to the carbon fibre chassis: this helps make the 4C very light. The engine sound is fantastic and it has sensational looks! It'll be a pleasure to drive it for the whole season."
The essence of an Alfa Romeo sports car and the brand's modern icon, the Alfa Romeo 4C will be the Safety Car for all 24 races of the 2014 WTCC which will be broadcast live by the Eurosport and Eurosport 2 channels, with commentary by the established Paolo Allievi and Gordon De Adamich. The last date is set for the Guia circuit in Macao on 16 November, in keeping with tradition.
Driver Bruno Correia will undoubtedly be able to get the best out of this captivating mid-engined rear-wheel drive 2-seater supercar. Moreover, the Alfa Romeo 4C is a genuine 'driving machine' that's at its best precisely on the track, where speed, short braking distances and transverse acceleration are essential for first-rate lap times: from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds flat, top speed of 258 km/h, deceleration peaks in the range of 1.2 g and lateral acceleration peaks over 1.1 g. All this is achieved through optimal weight distribution - 40% on the front axle and 60% on the rear - and a total dry weight of just 895 kg - for the most part made up of carbon fibre, aluminium, steel and SMC - in addition to an extraordinary weight-to-power ratio of less than 4 kg/HP.
The first-rate performance is also due to the combination of the new 240 HP 1750 Turbo Petrol engine with the latest-generation 'Alfa TCT' dry twin clutch transmission and the advanced Alfa DNA selector with the brand-new Race mode. More specifically, the new '4 cylinder' 1750 Turbo Petrol with direct injection at 200 bar and aluminium block achieves amazing performance: torque and specific power set new records for this category, at over 200 Nm/l and 137 HP/l respectively, while maximum power of 240 HP (176 kW) is reached at 6,000 rpm.