In 1995, the Fiat-owned Italian brand Alfa Romeo stopped exporting cars to the United States with the last model being the 164. Many will tell you that that was the last time we ever saw an Alfa Romeo on U.S. soil – however, that would be wrong. In 2008, Alfa Romeo built only 500 units of the 8C Competizione with only a couple of them coming to the United States. Of course, all of those were purchased by Alfa Romeo brand enthusiasts or those that wanted an exclusive set of wheels.
Following that, Fiat began to tease the return of Alfa Romeo to the United States and for years, the teasing continued on and on. Finally, Alfa Romeo lived up to its promise and reentered the U.S. market with the launch of the new 2014 (now 2015) Alfa Romeo 4C – the only Alfa Romeo currently available in the United States. While the brand does have plans to bring additional models stateside, the 4C is really bringing a lot of positive attention to Alfa Romeo. Praised for its styling, sportiness and Italian engineering, the 4C has resonated quite well with automotive enthusiasts and automotive journalists.
For that reason, we decided to take a look at the Top 10 Things You Should Know About the Alfa Romeo 4C – the brand’s first and only vehicle available since its return to United States.
1. First and foremost let’s discuss the beautiful design of the Alfa Romeo 4C. Inspiration for the design comes from a history of aesthetically beautiful Italian cars – especially the 33 Stradale. Previewed by the 4C Concept, the production vehicle remains very close to the concept on which it is based.
2. It’s a tiny two-seater sports car. The Alfa Romeo 4C measures only 157 inches long, 73.5 inches wide and stands at a height of 46.6 inches. Rather than pack a whole bunch of power into a tiny car, Alfa Romeo decided to take on size and weight management to optimize the performance of the car.
3. We know you want to discuss performance but first let’s talk about weight because the 4C is a work of engineering art when it comes to weight and balancing. Due to its size, carbon fiber tub and a rear frame that is built mainly of aluminum parts, the Alfa Romeo weighs in at only 2,194 lbs.
4. Let’s get to the power. The Alfa Romeo 4C is powered by a 1750 Turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine making 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic with manual shifting mode.
5. Performance figures? 0 to 60 mph comes in just 4.1 seconds with a top speed 160 mph. Stopping power comes from self-ventilating perforated discs with Brembo calipers on the front wheels, and TRW calipers with drilled ventilated discs in the rear.
6. The Alfa Romeo also comes with the DNA selector with three driving modes including Dynamic, Natural and All-Weather. It also comes with Race mode, which is designed specifically for the track.
7. How much does it hurt your wallet at the gas tank? The Alfa Romeo 4C is rated at 24/32 mpg (city/highway) so for the amount of performance you’re getting, the 4C offers pretty stellar fuel-economy.
8. The Alfa Romeo 4C is produced in partnership with Maserati. In fact, the Alfa Romeo 4C is built at Maserati’s plant in Modena, Italy.
9. The Alfa Romeo 4C is also available as a convertible. The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider drop-top will be available later this year.
10. Prices for the Alfa Romeo 4C start at $53,900 with the Launch Edition model starting at $68,400 (prices may vary based on availability and options).