While in Italy last year, it seemed like every time I saw a great-looking car coming toward me, it ended up being an Alfa Romeo. It kept reminding me that we haven't had Alfa's in the US since 1995. However, Fiat is leveraging their world-wide ownership of Chrysler to introduce (or re-introduce) some of their European brands into America including Alfa Romeo. The 8c was available in limited quantities over the last couple of years, but the first full marketing push for the corporation besides Fiat will be in support of the new Alfa Romeo 4c Coupe.
Thanks to The Auto Gallery, Supercar Sunday was recently able to preview the new model. Although test drives were not available, the car's driver described the driving characteristics of the vehicle very vividly, so we could all imagine what it would be like. Visually though, the car is stunning both inside and out. Not the largest of sports cars, similar in size to the Lotus Exige or Porsche Boxter that it may ultimately compete against in the marketplace, the mid-engine Coupe looks like an Italian masterpiece from every direction and has characteristics of much more expensive sports cars.
Approximately 500 of the Coupes are allocated to the US for the first year with the same amount being delivered to a combination of Europe and the rest of the world. Many of the initial US cars will be the Launch Edition coupe that will cost an estimated $69,695. Base price for the model starts at $55,195. There was also a Spider convertible at the Geneva Auto Show which only adds an additional 132 pounds of weight. The canvas-top stunner may be introduced sometime in 2015. Pricing has not yer been announced.
Power for the 4c is supplied by a 1742-cc turbo four cylinder, transversely and mid-mounted engine generating 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft torque. There are rumors that the current configuration of the engine allows for a big boost in horsepower at a later date. With the US curb-weight estimated at 2465 lbs, the 0-62 in 4.5 seconds and top speed 'in excess of 155 mph' seem respectable. Some customers may be disappointed that there is only an automatic transmission, but it is a six-speed dual-clutch version. Steering is very precise manual rack and pinion steering which should offer a very different but satisfying driving experience.
The car is fitted with a carbon-fiber monocoque that is built in Modena, Italy. Exterior paint comes in two shades of red, two types of white, Black and Basalt Gray. There are several option packages for interior, exterior, exhaust, sound, alarm, parking sensor, spoiler, wheels and mirrors.
The 4c will be sold through The Auto Gallery's Fiat franchises in the greater Los Angeles area and Fiat or Maserati dealerships across North America.