The Fiat-owned upscale Italian brand promises a full car lineup by 2016, but the first model we’ll see is this stunning compact coupe, the 2014 Alfa Romeo 4C.
The mid-engined 4C is a lightweight, two-seat hardtop sports car along the lines of the Porsche Cayman, promising razor-sharp handling to go along with its shapely curves. Like with the now-discontinued (at least in the U.S.) Lotus Elise, weight savings have been made the highest priority. That means a carbon-fiber tub and extensive use of aluminum for body construction, with Alfa promising a curb weight of scarcely more than 2,000 pounds.
Power will come from a turbocharged and direct-injected 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with 240 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque, mated to a paddle-shifted 6-speed dual-sequential auto/manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. If the stated curb weight target proves realistic, this will be one seriously quick Italian performance machine.
Fiat is seeking to brand the modern Alfa Romeo as a legitimate alternative to BMW, Porsche and Audi, so expect an ultra-premium interior, plus features like full LED headlamps, available Brembo big brake package, and staggered-size wheels, either 17′s up front and 18′s in the rear, or optionally, 18- and 19-inch rollers.
The rebooted Alfa Romeo will begin officially taking orders on the 2014 4C this June, with deliveries to commence in Fall 2013. Pricing should fall in line with the redesigned Cayman, which starts at around $53,000, but some reports place base MSRP for the 4C as high as $70,000.