Alfa Romeo fans rejoice! The brand is coming back to the United States and bringing with it the lightweight 4C sports car. In fact, the little 4C will be the only Alfa Romeo sold here for the time being.
With a design inspired by the late1960s Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, the 4C features a carbon fiber monocoque chassis and is built in Modena, Italy. The Alfa is 157 inches long and 73.5 inches wide, with a 46.6-inch height (for comparison, that makes it as long as the current Mazda Miata, but lower and wider). Power comes from a direct injection 1.7-liter inline-four cylinder engine producing 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.
That might not sound like a lot, but with a curb weight of just 2,465 pounds, it achieves an incredible power-to-weight ratio of less than ten pounds per horsepower, allowing the 4C to scoot from 0-60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a 6-speed twin-clutch transmission, and is also equipped with launch control. The Alfa DNA selector offers three settings (Dynamic, Natural and All Weather) along with a Race Mode for the track.
The Alfas interior is a tight fit for sure, but its Italian style makes up for its cramped quarters. We watched several larger-than-average gentlemen squeeze into the car, and then profess how impressed they were with the ergonomics and comfort. Still, this is a pure drivers car, so you cannot expect the same level of luxury or refinement that you might find in a Porsche Cayman or even the new Chevrolet Corvette.
With the first 500 Launch Edition 4Cs beginning to trickle into dealerships, we expect the Alfa sports cars driver-friendly attitude will help the little Italian make its fair share of friends, even with a $68,400 starting price. Fortunately, buyers will be able to get their hands on the more affordable $54,000 base 4Cs early next year.
Photos: Rob Einaudi and Dave Pankew
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