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The Alfa Romeo 4C may be a real head-turner, but catching one in the metal to do so when the series examples arrive may be a tricky affair, what with global production for it being limited to just 3,500 units.

That’s the number mentioned for the mid-engined two-seater, which broke cover in its production form in Geneva. Presumably, the figures are for the coupe form of the type and shouldn’t take into account the 4C Launch Edition, of which 1,000 will be built.

A targa model joins the fold sometime in 2014, and a track version as well as a more powerful ‘Stradale’ variant are reportedly on the cards, which will all add to the numbers, but the outright total sort of goes against an earlier report that intimated 26,000 examples of both coupe and targa would be made over a seven-year cycle.

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Given that Alfa itself says that series production capacity of the car is up to 1,000 units per year, the numbers should be well less than that. Order books for the regular 4C, which will be built at the Maserati plant in Modena, have opened for the car in Europe, with first deliveries to begin next year (presumably once the last Launch Edition examples have shipped).

The 895 kg (dry) offering is powered by an evolution of the 1750 four-cylinder turbo used in the Giuletta, with 240 hp at 6,000 rpm and 350 Nm at 2,100 to 4,000 rpm. The TBi is paired with the latest-generation TCT dry twin clutch transmission and an Alfa DNA driving mode selector with a new Race mode.

Performance specs for the 4C – which sits on 17- and 18-inch wheels as standard and optionally on 18/19-inch five-hole “telephone dial” design wheels – include a 0-100 km/h time of 4.5 seconds and a 257 km/h top speed.