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Alfa Romeo 4C at Pebble Beach

The Alfa Romeo 4C made an appearance at Monterey last weekend, first at the Concorso Italiano, and then on the concept lawn at Pebble Beach, surrounded by supercars such as the Hennessy Venom GT and the McLaren P1 GTR. Only 500 examples of the “Launch Edition” 4C are starting to arrive at dealers around the country, with a starting price of $68,400.

Now, that might seem lofty for a minimalist sports car, but you could also consider it an exclusive mini exotic, with plenty of Italian style and flair. The Launch Edition models feature carbon fiber interior trim, a rear spoiler, xenon headlights, performance exhaust, a sports suspension and gorgeous 18-inch wheels up front and 19-inch wheels in back with ample Pirelli P-Zero tires. Base models will arrive next year with 17-inch wheels and a starting price at a more approachable $54,000.

With a design inspired by the late 1960s Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, the 4C features a carbon fiber monocoque chassis and is built in Modena, Italy. The Alfa is 157 inches long and 73.5 inches wide, with a 46.6 inch height (for comparison, that makes it as long as the current Mazda Miata, but lower and wider). Power comes from a direct injection 1.7-liter inline four cylinder producing 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. That might not sound like a lot, but with a curb weight of just 2,465 pounds, it achieves an incredible power-to-weight ratio of under ten pounds per horsepower, allowing the 4C to scoot from 0 – 60 miles per hour in just 4.5 seconds. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a 6-speed twin clutch transmission, and is also equipped with launch control. The Alfa DNA selector offers three settings (Dynamic, Natural and All Weather) along with a Race Mode for the track.

In person, the 4C looks absolutely stunning in both the Rosso Competizione or Madreperla White (the two colors offered for the Launch Edition). We also got to see the beautiful Basalt Grey up close and it is impressive. The interior is a tight fit for sure, but again, it brims with Italian style so we’ll take more of that. We watched several larger-than-average gentlemen squeeze into the car, and then profess how impressed they were with the ergonomics and comfort. Still, this is a pure driver’s car, so you cannot expect the same level of luxury or refinement that you might find in a Porsche Cayman or even the new Chevrolet Corvette.

The small Alfa made a lot of friends (read: buyers) in Pebble Beach last week. We expect the 500 examples to be swallowed up quickly across the country. It is exciting to see the Alfa Romeo brand make a triumphant return to the United States with such a beautiful and pure sports car. We can’t wait to see what they bring here next.

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