After a two-decade hiatus, Alfa Romeo has returned to the American market with its pocket-sized 4C supercar.
To commemorate the occasion, introduced a special edition 4C was unveiled at this week’s New York International Auto show.
The Fiat subsidiary will build 500 individually numbered Launch Edition 4C’s for the U.S.
While most supercars these days shoot for big engines and complex drivetrains, Alfa has chosen to go back to the basics with lightweight construction and sleek aerodynamics. The engineers at Alfa decided to focus more on the 4C’s overall driving dynamics than blistering speed.
The $US86,000 4C will be powered by a 1.7 litre 237hp 4-cylinder powerplant mounted right behind the driver. Even though its power figures may seem underwhelming, the 4C’s trump card is its lightness. The carbon-fibre and aluminium constructed Alfa 4C tips the scales at 2,420 lbs., making it nearly 500 lbs. lighter than a Toyota Corolla.
Alfa expects its sports car to reach 60 mph from a standstill in the mid 4-second range and top out at 160 mph. The 4C will also feature a stylish driver-centric cockpit with a fully digital TFT-instrument readout.
The 4C Launch Edition will be packed with a host of special goodies from the Alfa’s performance division including an aluminium rear diffuser, sports seats, and special racing suspension and exhaust systems.
According to the Seattle Times, Fiat decided to shutter Alfa Romeo’s loss-making U.S. division in 1995 after deciding it could not justify dumping more money into the brand for it to meet stringent safety and environmental regulations. Alfa’s 1995 departure followed the 1983 U.S. departure of its Fiat parent company. Today, Alfa Romeo and Chrysler are subsidiaries under the control of Fiat.
Here is a video of the Alfa Romeo 4C at the New York Auto Show, courtesy of Chrysler.
Here is a closer look at Alfa’s mercurial 4C.