The 2014 Alfa Romeo 4C is an all-new model.
Alfa Romeo made a quiet exit from the U.S. nearly 20 years ago. Despite some iconic roadsters and a sporty sedan, Alfas were reliably unreliable and weren’t especially cheap to buy in the first place. The Italian automaker, owned by Fiat, will try its hand at the U.S. market again, this time with the 2014 Alfa Romeo 4C.
The 4C is Alfa’s beachhead back into American garages, but it’s actually a follow-up to the car Alfa used to test the U.S. waters last decade, the 8C Competizione. Like the 4C, the 8C Competizione was a two-seat coupe with sensual curves. The 8C, however, wore a carbon-fiber body, made nearly 500 horsepower from its Ferrari-sourced V8 and cost more than $200,000. Fewer than 100 models made it to the U.S. and most sold through Maserati dealers. Alfa’s re-entry to the U.S. was as quiet as its departure.
Alfa has pared the supercar formula for the new 4C, a stubby, midengine coupe built around a carbon-fiber tub, with aluminum used for roof structures and crash supports. All-aluminum engine construction keeps weight down; Alfa claims the 4C will weigh in around a Lotus-like 2,000 pounds. A turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine makes 240 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque with the aid of direct injection. The turbo four — visible through a glass panel, Ferrari-style — will pair with a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission with paddle shifters on the steering wheel.
A light body over front double wishbones and a rear strut suspension promises exceptional handling, and the 4C offers two staggered tire packages: either 17-inch tires up front with 18s in back, or 18s in front and 19s in back. A Brembo brake package will also be available, in addition to a race package with more aggressive tires and suspension settings.
We expect to see the U.S.-spec model in November, with a starting price of at least $70,000. Alfa plans to make just 3,500 total units, with 1,200 due in North America by the end of the year. The first 1,000 models produced will be known as the Launch Edition and feature LED headlights, a sport exhaust and special paint. And if you can’t lay your hands on the 4C, don’t fret. Alfa’s long-term plans include an ostensibly more affordable roadster built off the next Mazda Miata platform.