Alfa says 4C is the 'ideal' car for U.S. relaunch
Photo credit: Georgia Chapman
GENEVA -- Alfa Romeo CEO Harald Wester said the 4C small sports coupe is the ideal model for Alfa's relaunch in North America.
Wester was speaking today at the launch of the rear-drive, two-seat 4C at the Geneva auto show. The car will give the struggling marque an image boost and also lead Alfa's return to the U.S. market it quit in 1995.
Alfa said the 4C will deliver 240 hp from its 1.75-liter turbocharged direct-injection gasoline engine.
Alfa enthusiasts have been waiting for the brand to launch an affordable rear-drive model since the Duetto Spider that was discontinued in 1994.
Alfa today said the price of 60,000 euros ($78,200) for the 4C in Europe is for a special "launch edition." Alfa said the car will be sold in dealerships at a lower price without providing details.
The 4C goes on sale in Europe in September. The automaker did not reveal the car's starting price for the United States, where it will debut after the Los Angeles auto show, Wester said.
Alfa initially planned to price the 4C below 50,000 euros. Some commentators have speculated that the car could be priced at $60,000-$80,000 in the U.S., where premium German two-door models are all cheaper. The Porsche Cayman, Audi A5, BMW 329i and Mercedes-Benz C350 all start in the $39,000-$44,000 range.
The 4C retains the styling of the concept vehicle that won acclaim at the Geneva show two years ago. The car is rakish, very compact with extremely low ground clearance and a weight of just 895kg. The 4C will come with a dual-clutch six-speed automatic transmission.
The 4C is the first model to be launched under Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne's plan to turn around the unprofitable Alfa brand. Marchionne said in October he aims to triple Alfa sales to 300,000 units annually by 2016, helped by eight new product introductions and by U.S. sales.
Reuters contributed to this report