Fairly standard new car release experience from all the car mags, who are very carefully manipulated by the manufacturers marketing people... it usually goes like this:
1) some teaser info of a new concept car before a big motor show... on the back of this the car mags all generate some "photoshop" images.
2) Loads of pictures at the motorshow, some techy info on potential engines/chassis/etc. An interview with designers.
3) all goes quiet for a few months.
4) Some leaks about discussions on if the project is financially viable.
5) Another motor show appearance ... this time in a different continent and in a different colour.
6) speculation from car magazines on potential production dates and some more photoshops, plus stories about where it will be built.
7) Grand announcement that project is given go ahead, with production scales and cost estimate etc.
8) Spy shots...
9) more photo shops.. this continues for 2 years or so.
10) Press release ahead of motor show for production version.
11) Big disappointment of the production version as interior is not so sexy as the concept and the exterior has to be changed due to production realities. No-one likes the headlights ! and almost everyone who liked the concept version would never have bought it anyway!
12) Tech details are slowly spoon fed to favoured journalists, and reality dawns on costs... and availability.
13) Orders taken.
14) Some journalists get to ride in a pre-production mule...
15) Some journalists get to ride in a production spec car - (Where we are now)
16) Road test on local to manufacturer test track
17) Road test on local to manufacturer roads.
18) Road test against competitors
19) Finally a full blown road test in you own country's versions...
20) Customers shocked at how much extra they had to pay compared to initial predicted costs back at stage 7!
I think in the 4C's case there will also be some people speculating and selling off quickly to make a fast buck or two.
I'll probably consider buying a 4C at stage 20 + 3 Years by which stage I'll be about 60 and be unable to get in and out of a 4C easily