Alfa Romeo 4C

With 240 horsepower from a 1.75-liter engine, the Alfa Romeo 4C does a lot with very little. But there's always room for improvement, says the company's CEO.

Speaking with Automotive News, Alfa Romeo chief Harald Wester indicated that the historic Italian auto marque could squeeze more out of the 4C's already high-strung engine. "We are only at 134 horsepower per liter," said Wester, "so there is space" for it to produce yet more power. To accommodate the extra muscle, Wester says, the Alfa would also need bigger brakes, but the chassis may already be as stiff as it needs to be.

Considering that Mercedes gets 355 horsepower out of the 2.0-liter turbo four in the A45, CLA45 and GLA45 AMG (for a specific output of over 177 hp per liter), Wester may be right, opening the door for a 300hp version with a 0-60 time of around four seconds flat. And his saying so more than subtly suggests the possibility of a more powerful 4C becoming a reality. But then the prospect of shoehorning a bigger engine into the same chassis to make a new Maserati GranSport - another prospect which Wester (also CEO of Maserati) suggested earlier in the 4C's development - never came to pass, largely due to engineering roadblocks.