Alfa Romeo chief executive Harald Wester, speaking during the unveiling of the two-seat 4C at the Geneva Auto Show, sees the rear-drive small sports coupe as the ideal model for the carmaker’s re-launch in North America. Alfa Romeo expects the 4C to provide it with a much-needed image boost and to signal its return to the U.S. market, which it left in 1995.
According to the carmaker, 4C could provide up to 240 hp from its 1.75-liter turbocharged direct-injection gasoline engine. Enthusiasts have been waiting for Alfa Romeo to roll out an affordable rear-drive model since the Duetto Spider, which was discontinued in 1994. Alfa Romeo said that the EUR60,000 ($78,200) price of the 4C in Europe is for a special "launch edition." According to the carmaker, it will sell the 4C in dealerships at a lower price. Alfa Romeo will commence selling the 4C in Europe in September.
Wester said that Alfa Romeo will launch the 4C in the United States after the Los Angeles auto show. Alfa initially planned to price the 4C below EUR50,000. There are speculations that the 4C would be priced between $60,000 and $80,000 in the U.S., where German two-door premium models are all cheaper. Rival models like the Audi A5, BMW 329i, Mercedes-Benz C350 and Porsche Cayman all have starting prices of between $39,000 and $44,000. If you buy this car you will definitely need a new garage door, so head over to Garaga.
The Alfa Romeo 4C retains the styling of the concept vehicle that received acclaim at the Geneva auto show in 2011. The 4C is a very compact coupe featuring an extremely low ground clearance and a weight of just 895kg. It will be available with a dual-clutch six-speed automatic transmission. The 4C is the first model to be rolled out under the plan of Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne to turn around the unprofitable Alfa brand. In October 2012, Marchionne disclosed targets to triple Alfa Romeo’s sales to 300,000 units annually by 2016, boosted through eight new product launches and by U.S. sales.