• Alfa Romeo 8C built in 2006.
• 1400 8Cs were sold in a few weeks.
• 8C inspired the 4C sports car.
In 2006, Sergio Marchionne gave the order that Alfa Romeo must build a sports car based on a concept first shown in 2003. Time was limited, as Marchionne wanted the car to see the light in a matter of months.
That car was the Alfa Romeo 8C and it had a near-perfect power-to-weight ratio. Add to this the fact that Alfa Romeo continued with its sensual, exotic design ethos, and the 8C suddenly became sex on wheels. Under the bonnet was a 4.7-litre V8 engine that produced 335kW, and the rear-wheel-drive machine could go from 0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds!
Jeremy Clarkson, while still employed by the BBC and working on Top Gear, said: "It's called 8C, and I think it's simply the most beautiful car ever built."
From the moment orders could be places, 1400 units were sold in a matter of weeks.
The 8C inspired a future car, the 4C. This lightweight weighed a mere 1000kg and had a power-to-weight ratio of 193kW/ton. The tub in which occupants sat was a cradle-like carbon fibre monocoque made with Formula 1-derived technology. It only weighed 65kg.
The 4c was powered by a 1.7-litre turbocharged engine and could run from standstill to 100km/h in 4.5sec, and onto a top speed of more than 255km/h.
Do you agree with Clarkson that the 8C is the most beautiful car ever built? Email us.
Compiled by: Charlen Raymond