The car judged to be the “most beautiful of 2013” will go on sale in New Zealand towards the middle of this year.
The Alfa Romeo 4C received an overwhelming 41 per cent of votes in a global internet survey linked to France’s annual Automobile Festival of Chamonix.
It left its rivals in the dust. The BMW 4-Series got 25 per cent support, the Mercedes-Benz CLA 22 per cent and the Mazda3 12 per cent.
The festival has been celebrating automotive design since 1988, when the Alfa Romeo 164 won the inaugural ‘most beautiful’ accolade. Other Alfas to win were the Brera coupe in 2005 and the MiTo hatchback in 2008.
The latest title extends the series of British and European awards reaped by the 4C.
New Zealand distributors Fiat Chrysler say the 4C will land here in June “in limited numbers.” The price will be known closer to launch. As a rough guide, the 4C in Britain costs the equivalent of $90,000.
The 4C first appeared as a concept at the 2011 Geneva motor show. The production version is a mix of carbon-fibre chassis and composite bodywork. The car tips the scales at only 895kg without fuel.
Power comes from a 170kW/350Nm 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine mounted east-west behind the two seats and driving the rear wheels via a six-speed duel-clutch gearbox. Alfa Romeo claims a 0-100km/h time of 4.9 seconds.
The 4C is being built at Maserati’s Modena factory in Italy – where the Maserati GranTurismo and GranCabrio are made – at the rate of around 3500 cars a year.
It was designed by Lorenzo Ramaciotti of the Alfa Romeo Style Centre, who also helped pen the Lotus Elite and Exige and 10 Ferrari designs.