Alfa Romeo 4C WTCC Safety Car

With just 240 horsepower on tap, the Alfa Romeo 4C may not be the most powerful sports car on the market. But its lightweight construction ensures that it has a power-to-weight ratio better than cars with twice the output. In short, it belongs at the front of the pack, and that's just where it will be for this year's World Touring Car Championship.

That's because Alfa's nimble little sports car has been selected as the new safety car (what we'd call a "pace car") for the WTCC, starting next month with the season opener at the Moulay El Hassan Circuit in Marrakech, Morocco. For that purpose it's been fitted with the special red and black livery you see here, and will presumably carry some extra safety equipment like emergency lighting, and a couple of fire extinguishers and a first aid kit on board in case it arrives at the scene of an accident before the medical support car can get there.

This year will see some new entries in the FIA's top touring car series as the new Honda Civic WTCC makes its debut with four cars on the grid, Citroën entering the series with the new C-Elysée with nine-time rally champ Sebastien Loeb and four-time WTCC champ Yvan Muller behind the wheel. After a Euro-centric start to the season, the series heads to the US in mid-September for the race at Sonoma before winding up with three rounds in the Far East.
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The Alfa Romeo 4C Will Be the FIA WTCC Safety Car

- Eurosport Events, promoter of the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) appointed by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), has chosen the captivating Alfa Romeo supercar as Safety Car for the 2014 season
- The multi-award-winning coupé will make its début on the track with a special livery on 12 and 13 April on the Moulay El Hassan circuit of Marrakech
- The recognition is linked to its winning the prestigious Grand Prize as Most Beautiful Car of 2013 at the 29th International Automobile Festival of Paris

On display this week at the 84th Geneva International Motor Show with the preview of the Spider version, the Alfa Romeo 4C was chosen by Eurosport Events as the Safety Car of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) for the entire 2014 season.

The multi-award-winning coupé will therefore be present with a special livery on the World Touring Car Championship circuits starting from the first event that will be held on the Moulay El Hassan Circuit of Marrakech (Morocco) on 12 and 13 April.

The recognition is linked to the Alfa Romeo 4C winning the prestigious Grand Prize as Most Beautiful Car of 2013 at the 29th International Automobile Festival of Paris. The compact supercar was the winner of the poll organised, in partnership with the International Automobile Festival (IAF), on the international website network of Eurosport, a company that produces and promotes the FIA WTCC through its Eurosport Events division.

Designed by Alfa Romeo engineers and built at the Maserati plant in Modena, Alfa Romeo 4C is the brand's modern icon and represents the essential sportiness embedded in the 'Alfa Romeo DNA': performance and technical excellence for maximum driving pleasure combined with a breathtaking style.

The beguiling mid-engined rear-wheel-drive coupé with 2 seats is a true driving machine without compromise that delivers its best precisely on the track, where speed, short braking distances and transverse acceleration are essential to achieve first-rate lap times: from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds flat, 258 km/h top speed, deceleration peaks in the range of 1.2 g and lateral acceleration peaks over 1.1 g. All this is achieved also owing to an optimum weight distribution - 40% on the front axle and 60% on the rear axle - and to 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.

The Alfa Romeo supercar is therefore the perfect car to play the role of 'Safety Car' in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), the international competition for mass-production-derived saloon cars.

Produced and promoted since 2005 by Eurosport Events (the division of the Eurosport Group that organises international events), the FIA WTCC consists of 12 stages on 4 continents also for the 2014 season. In keeping with tradition, the season will wind up in Macao at the Da Guia circuit on 16 November.

All 24 races will be broadcast live by the Eurosport and Eurosport 2 channels, with commentary by the established motor sports reporters Paolo Allievi and Gordon De Adamich.

The complete 2014 FIA WTCC schedule follows:

12-13 April Morocco Moulay El Hassan Circuit
19-20 April France Paul Ricard Circuit
3-4 May Hungary Hungaroring
10-11 May Slovakia Slovakia Ring
24-25 May Austria Salzburgring
7-8 June Russia Moscow Raceway
21-22 June Belgium Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
2-3 August Argentina Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo
13-14 September United States Sonoma Raceway
11-12 October China Shanghai International Circuit
25-26 October Japan Japan
14-16 November Macau Da Guia Circuit