Nottingham-based composite material company TenCate has struck a deal with Alfa Romeo to supply materials for the 4C coupe.
Advanced lightweight carbon fibre
Staff at the TenCate facility in Langley Mill will produce the advanced lightweight carbon fibre used on the model, which reduces its weight to just 895kg.
Thanks to the lightweight body, combined with a 1.8-litre turbocharged engine, the 4C can thunder to 62mph from a standstill in just 4.5 seconds.
Bosses at TenCate say that the deal to supply the material is part of an expansion scheme to swell the company’s workforce from 70 to 100 within the next three years.
TenCate group director Frank Meurs said: “We are going to invest further in new technology in this business so that from Langley Mill we can supply the automotive and aerospace industries.
“By 2016 we will have doubled the size of the business compared to when we bought it and we expect to continue growing at that rate.”
This isn’t the first time that TenCate has been involved with high-performance cars, either. Originally called Amber Composites, the company started off supplying carbon fibre components to the McLaren Formula One team.
Jed Illsley, product manager at the Langley Mill site, said that the expertise and flexibility that the business has built up with its Formula One heritage played a vital part in securing the Alfa Romeo contract.
He said: “It is the biggest project of its type that we have been involved with. They set us some tough targets and we have delivered.”
Alfa Romeo 4C
The Alfa Romeo 4C was launched in the UK around this time last year, with first deliveries arriving at the start of the year.
Since its release, the model was met with critical acclaim and took the title of FHM’s 2013 Car of the Year, with the magazine saying that the 4C was “one of the most exciting sports cars on the planet”.
However, despite its supercar good looks and impressive performance, the 4C also manages to return a commendable fuel economy for a car of its kind.
Thanks largely to the lightweight carbon fibre bodywork, now supplied by TenCate, the 4C has a combined fuel efficiency figure of 41.5mpg and emits 157g/km.
The Alfa Romeo 4C coupe is available to buy today from the Perrys Amersham dealership, with prices starting from £45,000.