The Alfa Romeo 4C is the Gotta-Have Small-Displacement Supercar
This New York auto show, despite all the new debuts, had kind of a sleepy feel. When that happens you fall back on getting the hype from the cars whose credentials are truly great– regardless of how much glam was used in the rollout. The Alfa Roma 4C is a car just like that. The 4C represents Alfa’s full return to the American market, and they could not have picked a better car. The 8C supercar was back here in limited numbers, but you had to be well heeled and well connected to get one here. We spoke to Harald Wester, President and CEO of Alfa Romeo to learn more. PHOTOS: See More of the 2014 Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition
One of his important assertions was that this car would be built in Italy. “In the 1980s our priority was platform synergies. Now its living up to our reputation with purist cars.” Wester’s reference to the 80’s was the watering down of the brand in the name of meeting the bottom line. No more with the 4C, as it is a wonderful, mid-engined sports car.
PHOTOS: See More of the 2013 Alfa Romeo 4C
It is not a supercar, as the engine is a 1.4-liter turbocharged inline 4. It is placed behind the driver, kind of making it an affordable, mid-engined exotic Italian car, but perhaps not a supercar. According to Wester, the rollout will be small, but make a statement. “100 cars is our first batch.” said Wester, “The second half of June they will be in dealerships, and total first year production will be 850 cars.”
In Europe, Alfa sold 85,000 cars last year– and America will be probably less than one percent. It would still be more than the best year for Alfa in the U.S., which was 8,200 vehicles sold in 1986. The small displacement exotic, called the 4C will be in low numbers, but affordable ($50K base, but $70K for the first 500 “launch edition” cars). The $50K price makes the argument as the 4C as one of the most compelling sports cars of 2014.
NYIAS: See More Photos from the 2014 New York Auto Show