Alfa Romeo is following up the oh-so-sexy 8C with a smaller version that it's calling the 4C. You already know this though, because we've all been staring at the car for what seems like ages now.

Style fans have had plenty to drool over with regards to all of the various curves, lines, and visual cues applied to the 4C. Now, however, it's time for engineering fans to get a chance to be excited. Alfa Romeo is spilling the beans on what goes into producing the 4C.

As you might expect, the 4C is held together by gratuitous use of carbon fiber, aluminum, and serious technical know-how. The car is constructed around a carbon fiber monocoque, which gives the car tremendous strength and rigidity while also keeping it lightweight. In fact, that carbon fiber monocoque weighs just 143 pounds.

Other areas of the car are built using aluminum which is also lightweight and strong. The roof and front and rear crash sections have been reinforced with the metal so that they remain appropriately weighted and rigid without sacrificing any levels of performance.

It can't be nothing but carbon and aluminum, however, and Alfa Romeo turned to other high-quality metals and compounds to finish the job. The body is constructed of a material called Sheet Molding Compound, which gives the builders a 20 percent reduction in weight compared to sheet metal. Injected polyurethane was utilized for the bumpers and fenders.

Even the windows were given serious attention and forced to hit the scales. The glass on the 4C is 15 percent thinner than that of the standard automobile, which helps give Alfa Romeo more weight reduction.

The result of all this careful attention to engineering and detail is a car that boasts a nearly unbelievable dry weight of just 1,973 pounds. The 4C is a featherweight, but it looks like it will give a heavy-weight grade knock-out punch out on the track. Especially, when you consider that power in the car comes from a direct-injected and turbocharged 1.75-liter four-cylinder engine, rated at 240 horsepower.

For our complete coverage on the Alfa Romeo 4C, click here.


Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.