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RGM conversion magic: Little Alfa 4C tuned into supercar

  • Radically changed from the showroom version
  • Seriously mean engine output increases in deal
  • ‘No bolt-on – we scoured the planet for parts’
THE RGM CONVERSION: The stock car has become an authentic, red-blooded, Italian supercar. Image: Supplied
THE RGM CONVERSION: The stock car has become an authentic, red-blooded, Italian supercar. Image: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – A car buyer doesn’t usually take delivery twice but one South African Alfa Romeo loyalist who switched flags just did: the first time he collected his Alfa 4C sport coupe was from the dealer – the second was from leading South African autotuner RGMotorsport.

And boy, what a difference! What he stepped into was radically different from the showroom version…

The RGM model has a radically uprated engine and, just prior to handover, the mid-engined sport car had been securely strapped on the dyno after a careful running-in period. It was worth the wait: having given the rollers a thorough workout, the numbers finally stopped climbing.

With flywheel kW at 388 at 6500rpm (up from 177kW in stock form) this is a serious upgrade.

Alfa romeo 4c
THE COMPLETED CAR: A radical change from the normal showroom edition. Image: Supplied

Torque went from 350Nm to 610Nm. You don’t need to be a mathematician to work out that that’s nearly twice that of the standard engine.

RGMotorsport’s founder Rob Green told The Corner in a media release: “This was much more than a bolt-on. In fact, we scoured the planet and carried out extensive research to find the very best components to build this engine.

”The internals have been upgraded in every area – as one would expect of an engine designed to cope with twice the factory output.”

Alfa romeo 4c
MORE THAN JUST A BOLT-ON: Becoming a ”full-blooded Italaian supercar” required flywheel kW 388 at 6500rpm (up from stock 177kW), torque almost doubled to 610Nm. Image: Supplied

Upgrades include Omega pistons and Arrow Rods, with the engine assembly carried out in RGM’s dedicated engine-room. A gas-flowed and ported cylinder head sits up top and is fed by an RGM carbon-fibre cold-air intake system. Compression ratio is now 10.1 to one (9.25 in standard form) and maximum boost has increased from 1.45 bar to 2.45.

Visible changes are an enlarged Garrett GTX28/71R ceramic ball-bearing turbo on a custom ceramic-coated turbo manifold.

”Look closer,”” says Green, ”and you’ll also see that the engine has water-methanol injection. With all this extra urge it also was deemed essential to fit  the gearbox with an oil cooler while and an Alfaworks Kevlar/sintered copper-button clutch copes with the supercar output.”

READ MORE Alfa Romeo features on Carman’s Corner

The car was designed as a multi-purpose toy with track days very much on its agenda so measures have also been put in place to prevent oil surge during hard cornering: an electronic and rev-dependent device forces oil into the sump under certain conditions.

”With circuit use in mind,” Green added, “it’s been fitted withsuper-sticky Toyo 888 tyres (265/30/19 rear and 225/40/18 front) on wider rims, upgraded RGM-Vari brake hook-slotted and heat-treated discs, plus high-performance brake fluid and pads.”

ADJUSTABLE LOWER SUSPENSION

The suspension has been lowered with KW Variant Three shock-absorbers which come with a comprehensive range of adjustment.

“When we first took a close look at the 4C we felt that it had the makings of a ‘mini-supercar’ and set out to turn it into one,” Green explained, “but the reality is that there isn’t anything ‘mini’ about it anymore…this is now an authentic, red-blooded, Italian supercar!”

Alfa romeo 4c
FRESH FACE: The Rob Green Alfa 4C conversion that won’t be in your mirrors for long. Image: supplied

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