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Tag Archives: double clutch

The Alfa Romeo 4C in action at the Irish launch at Mondello Park on Monday.

Alfa trio launched

Alfa Romeo chose Mondello Park to launch three new models this week. The reason for the venue chosen is that one of these cars is very, very special. We’ve been waiting a long time for the arrival of the 4C, a car that has tantalised us at various motor shows seemingly for years. With styling robbed from the exotic 8C Competizione, the 4C could be described as the ultimate modern sportscar, with its emphasis on performance through light weight. With a kerb weight of only 895 kg, it’s lighter than most superminis. How did they achieve that? By building it from carbon fibre, the first time this material has been used in a car anywhere near this price point. Some may lament that the 4C isn’t powered by a sonorous V6, but to keep weight down, a 1750cc turbo four cylinder is used instead. Producing 240 bhp, it’s an engine with a very high specific output and it’s mated as …

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The SEAT Leon Cupra in the hills near Montserrat.

Olé, Olé, Leon

Barcelona may not be the first place you think of when it comes to cars, but the city is home to the giant Martorell plant, which for a long time has been producing SEAT cars. Since 1986, Seat have been majority owned by the Volkswagen group, although during our trip to the factory, the personnel there were anxious to point out that they had a proper research and development department, fully capable of designing a car from scratch and bringing it to production. In fact, the Martorell plant develops entire cars, including the Audi Q5 and whole subsystems for other marques in the group and employ over 1,000 people. We visited the design centre and were met at the gate by a couple of guards who asked us for our phones. They proceeded to put stickers over our camera lenses so that we couldn’t take pictures. Sorry lads, I had a proper camera and a fully functional tablet in my …

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