Alfa Romeo has promised to launch a new model next year, one it’s boasting will be the “car to end all cars.”

While the automaker hasn’t mentioned exactly what car it will be, we know it will be the long-awaited 4C sports car first previewed as a concept in 2011 and recently spotted testing in prototype form--the wheel pattern in this teaser matches that on the original concept.

The new 4C is destined to be one of the most striking sports cars in production, with the prototypes we’ve seen thus far looking virtually identical to the stunning concept version first unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

It’s likely the Geneva show next March will be the scene of the production version’s reveal also, which means the car should be on sale in Europe before the end of 2013. The last we heard, Alfa Romeo’s U.S. return is now scheduled for the end of 2013 or early 2014, so this is likely when we’ll see the 4C in local showrooms.

Details on the 4C are still pending; Alfa Romeo will say only that the car's mid-mounted 1.75-liter turbo four will produce “over 200 horsepower,” but speculation is that it could make as much as 250 horsepower in production form. Given the car’s sub-2,000 pound projected weight, that should provide for scintillating performance.

Other performance specs will include a lightweight monocoque chassis, a dual-clutch gearbox with paddle shifters, and a rear-wheel-drive configuration.

While pricing hasn’t been set, rumor has it that the built-in-Modena 4C will debut in the U.S. at around $45,000 for the coupe version, with an eventual 4C Spider drop-top  commanding a higher price. To reach this price point, the concept’s carbon-based body is likely to be replaced with something cheaper, possibly aluminum or glass-fiber reinforced plastic.

Stay tuned for an update.

2014 Alfa Romeo 4C spy shots

2014 Alfa Romeo 4C spy shots