By on September 24, 2013

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According to Road & Track’s twitter feed, the Alfa Romeo 4c, which the magazine is test driving, will arrive in the United States sometime in the second quarter of 2014 and will have a base price of $54,000. So far R&T reports that on the street the 4C has a very Ferrariesque character, while on the track not so much but that it’s still very fast. At that price it will compete with the Porsche Cayman, though with an annual production of less than 3,000 units planned, it’s safe to assume that some dealers may add on something to the price.

 

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196 Comments on “Alfa Romeo 4C to Cost $54K in U.S. When It Arrives In Q2 2014...”


  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    Damn, so much for an affordable awesome sports car. I was hoping for $30′s, but not shocked. I think that’s too much, but I’d also never pay the retail price on the Porsche’s either. Then there is the new Corvette getting ready to come out…….

    Hopefully 10 years from now someone will have one stashed away in a garage they need to get rid of. The prices of used Lotus Elise’s have already dropped out; might not take that long.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I have my mess-messed up, I thought Alfa was a economy car line, I keep hearing 4 cyclinder this-that, and now it has a 54k price?
    So is this going to have a Chrysler V8? 6.4 would be the only engine to make sense at that price for an unknown brand.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      An unknown brand? They have been building legendary sports and race cars since 1910.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        They’re unknown to most American buyers is my point, the price is to high for people to try something new, and too low for buyers of expensive brands.

        It’s like a prowler SSR thunderbird competitor.

        And from what I’ve heard it has lost the performance handling that gave it its reputation.

        • 0 avatar
          jmo

          “Their unknown to most American buyers is my point,”

          Not buyers of exotic sports cars.

          Lets drawn a ven diagram of affluent Top Gear viewers and potential 4C buyers. Oh, they totally overlap!

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            People watch top gear?
            An exotic branded car for 54k?

            Get in the doomsday pod.

            But realistically, unless the definition for exotic is out of this world repair costs, there’s nothing here that isn’t done by any other performance oriented car.

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            “People watch top gear?”

            It’s the world’s most popular television show with over 300,000,000 viewers.

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            “nothing here that isn’t done by any other performance oriented car.”

            Wow, it’s not even on sale yet and you’ve already test driven one? Wow, I’m so impressed.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            It’s the world’s most popular television show with over 300,000,000 viewers.

            Well damn, learn something new everyday.
            Still how many that watch the show can afford this? Leg alone drive it.
            It’s not from an exotic brand, a brand that isn’t even profitable, whose very future is in question.

            Still how many people do you see get starry eyes from the brand Alfa Romeo?

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            “Still how many that watch the show can afford this?”

            Refer to my ven diagram answer.

            “Still how many people do you see get starry eyes from the brand Alfa Romeo?”

            To quote Mr. Clarkson, “All true petrolheads.”

          • 0 avatar
            Sam P

            “It’s the world’s most popular television show with over 300,000,000 viewers.

            Well damn, learn something new everyday.”

            Yes, there is a world outside of western PA or wherever you live.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Near raleigh NC

          • 0 avatar
            cackalacka

            Lemme guess, are you an Apexican, or are you from the aptly named Fuquay-Varina?

            These responses have the insight and elan of a typical N&O commenter.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Not in wake, and I haven’t read the highly biased N&O in I can’t tell you when.

            I don’t see how my comments can equate to that however, they are plenty realistic. How many people have heard of Alfa Romeo in NA should be a big concern.
            Your kidding yourself if you believe Alfa Romeo is a household known name.

          • 0 avatar
            cackalacka

            For those of you not familiar with NC geography, ‘near raleigh’(sic) and ‘Not in Wake’ are roughly analogous to ‘I live near New York City’ and ‘Danbury, Connecticut,’ respectively.

            I smell Johnston County.

            But enough of me defending a town that I’ve lived and loved for five decades from a poseur, back to the topic at hand: “How many people have heard of Alfa Romeo in NA should be a big concern.”

            Dude, every adult male over the age of 20 in the US* and Canada, who has changed his own oil, has heard of Alfa.

            *Save for Johnston County.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @Hummer

            I watch Top Gear, religiously, and I can afford one of these cars. And there is a sporting chance I just might buy one, being a serial, multiple Alfa Romeo owner. It sure beats buying a Porsche that you will see coming the other way every other day.

            As to how many people know about Alfa Romeo in the States, I suspect you might be rather surprised.

        • 0 avatar
          aristurtle

          Fiat is planning on only selling 500 of these per year in the US.

          I’d be willing to bet that they’ll all sell. Probably for well above MSRP.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I don’t think <3000 means 500.

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            Corey, 3000 is global production wiht 500 destined for the US.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Whoops fair point, I retract my statement!

          • 0 avatar
            David Walton

            Per the sales manager at Landmark Fiat in Atlanta – the alleged largest southeast 4C retailer – 500 Launch Editions to the US, with Landmark receiving 3. The LE cars will be tarted up with CF bits, etc(and those are probably what the world press saw).

            I would expect those cars to sticker well into the 70s or even 80s and likely carry a dealer markup too.

          • 0 avatar

            @David Walton,

            Not only that but given the production numbers, this car could be a collector’s classic, appreciating over time.

          • 0 avatar
            luvmyv8

            I cant afford a 4C, but I would seriously consider a sporty Alfa Romeo sedan with a manual transmission.

            Alfa’s are known for being drivers cars. Plus as Jeremy Clarkson puts it, many Alfa’s are “automotive pornography”.

            I have a history book on Alfa’s and I’m inclined to agree with that statement.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Alfa Romeo is a well known brand going back over a hundred years with a solid racing and luxury car pedigree, they should not be dismissed as an upstart or newcomer. Enzo Ferrari worked and raced for them before striking out on his own. They are a respected auto-maker known through out the world by most anyone with even a passing interest in automobiles

          “When I see an Alfa Romeo go by, I tip my hat”

          -Henry Ford

    • 0 avatar
      David Walton

      Unknown brand??

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/what-can-alfa-romeo-learn-from-mclaren/

    • 0 avatar

      Hummer, Alfa has never been an economy car line. They have offered economy cars over the years, but no one really equates Alfa with economy.

  • avatar

    There are just so many downsides to owning something like this. You KNOW if it MSRP’s for 54k the real cost is going to be 65-70 or more after market adjustment….

    Dealerships/Service/Parts/aftermarket are all big ?’s (if someone knows please post).

    I wouldn’t touch this with a 10′ pole.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    What’s “Kawaii!” in Italian?

  • avatar
    Ion

    Once they started talking about the lightweight body materials I knew affordability was out the window.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    What the article does not state (and an article written by objective journalists would have) is that at the jaw-dropping price of 54 large, you get a measly 240 horsepower. And to get it “down” to the price of “only” 54 thousand, the car lost most, if not all of its handling prowess. Although it does weigh less than 2,000 pounds, its power to weight ratio puts it squarely in the territory of a Miata, @ about 1/2 the price, or less.
    I would suspect that on a track, the Miata would eat the 4C alive.

    In the same price range, the new Corvette Stingray will have 450 horses and more than DOUBLE the torque, and will have none of its handling neutered to fit within the price point. The torque output is so embarrassingly minuscule that journalists are leaving it out of their stories.

    TTAC therefore will gush when doing the review on the 4C, and the Vette will be harshly blistered.

    • 0 avatar
      David Walton

      The 4C has a commendable power to weight ratio, although the true, final, “wet” weight isn’t verified yet.

      I wasn’t a math major in college, so can you please help me understand how a heavier, less powerful car (the NC Miata) can have a superior power to weight ratio?

      • 0 avatar
        Larry P2

        I didn’t claim that the Miata has a “superior power to weight ratio.” I said on a track, the 1/2 priced Miata would probably eat the Alfa alive, notwithstanding its inferior power to weight ratio.

        Additionally, I noticed that you failed to mention that the new base Corvette has a DRAMATICALLY superior power to weight ratio at around the same price.

        Some things are better left unsaid.

        • 0 avatar
          Sam P

          Please explain how a Miata, with a far worse power to weight ratio than the Alfa and undoubtedly lower ultimate skidpad grip (0.87g on stock tires) than the Alfa, will “probably eat the Alfa alive on a track”.

          http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2009-mazda-mx-5-miata-grand-touring-quick-take

          • 0 avatar
            Fordson

            Yes – I am in for this answer, too. Miata – front-engine, rear-drive, 2700 lb., 170 hp. Alfa, mid-engine, rear-drive, 2000 lb., 240 hp.

            Do you have any idea how badly a 190-hp, non-forced-induction, 2000 lb. mid-engine Lotus Exige or Elise demolishes a Miata on a track?

          • 0 avatar
            DSlavik

            I am trying not to laugh at the comparisons between the 4C and the Miata (MX-5). Both cars are built by Mazda and the Alfa 4C IS a Miata rebodied and re-engine by Fiat. The basic chassis is shared between both. My understanding is this is a joint venture and Mazda gets to use some of the Italian engineering in future iteration of its own product while Fiat gets the advantage of using a proven successful chassis design. As for the price, this car is a custom engineered machine of limited production while Fiat readies to ramp up full production. I would expect that the prices will drop once that occurs. It will never be as inexpensive as the Mazda offering but will not likely be produced at that volume. Final note: the Miata (MS-5) IS a mid-engine car, its slight front bias is eliminated when the weight of a drive and a full tank of petrol is included. There will never be a perfect 50-50 weight distribution in any car except, perhaps, an electric due to changes in actual load.

        • 0 avatar
          David Walton

          In terms of pure performance, yes the Corvette is a veritable bargain.

          In terms of curb appeal, sex appeal, etc., the Corvette won’t compete with the Alfa 4C, despite GM’s (apparently) marked improvements to the Corvette’s overall refinement. The old stereotpyes of gold chains, yosemite sam mud flaps, and AARP-membership Cialis-poppers cruising around in automatic transmission-optioned Vettes will likely live on. There’s a lot of historical momentum behind that image, unfortunately.

          I am personally interested in both cars, and wouldn’t commit to one without a thorough test drive of the other.

          • 0 avatar
            hubcap

            “The old stereotpyes of gold chains, yosemite sam mud flaps, and AARP-membership Cialis-poppers cruising around in automatic transmission-optioned Vettes will likely live on.”

            I see an awful lot of Porsche drivers that also fit that description as well as a few others but here’s my question.

            You’re an enthusiast. Do you not see the other side of the Corvette coin? Are the people who “drive” Corvettes invisible.

            I see more of what I would consider to be enthusiasts driving Corvettes than the grandpa doing 55 in the left lane with the blinker flashing.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            When I stopped for lunch in Dallas (Hard Eight BBQ) on my Range Rover Retrieval mission a week or so ago, the local Corvette club was there, probably 100 cars strong. There was not a single one of them that was not AARP-membership age. Some lovely old iron though – especially a couple of really beautiful split-window coupes.

            Count me in among those who really don’t care how accomplished the modern Corvette is, I would never, ever buy one, as the aura of cheap clings to them like stink on dogpoop. Utterly irrational, but honest.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @hubcap

            I have no doubt that some small handful of Corvettes are bought by actual younger car enthusiasts. I, however, have never seen one. Around here they are driven (slowly) exclusively by the same demographic I saw in Texas – Grandpa and Grandma, in matching Navy ship ballcaps. Exclusively. Just the way it is…

            I mostly see 30, 40, and 50 somethings driving Porsches. I also see about 50 Porsches for every Corvette, but this IS New England after all.

          • 0 avatar

            I have to agree with Krhodes the corvette has a bad rep as an old guy car (or as a cheap beater for 30 somethings) I respect the corvette but would never own one. I always wanted a 911 but I see as many 911′s as corvettes here in CT so that just makes it feel less special I have actually thought of an Evora just to feel like having something special and I think the 4c would be the same feel for less cash (and the lotus uses a Toyota motor of all indignities).

        • 0 avatar

          No it wouldn’t. The Miata is slow. I say this as an owner and fan of the cars.

          • 0 avatar
            David Walton

            @hubcap

            I just said that I’m interested in the C7 Vette!

            Plenty of Porsche guys fit that stereotype, and we have some of our own anyway!

    • 0 avatar
      caltemus

      You must not have been reading TTAC reviews recently, their whole ethos is giving their honest opinion of each car reviewed. The days of brand bias seem to have passed. Feel free not to read the site

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Miata is 2,593 lbs with 167 bhp. The 4C is 240bhp and less than 2,000.

      Miata 128 bhp per ton.

      Alfa – 240bhp per ton.

      So… when you said “squarely in the territory of a Miata” you were only off by almost 100%.

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      @ Larryp2

      Perhaps you could pop out of whatever GM hut you work in, and answer me this:

      C/D instrumented tests

      May 2013 Audi A8L 4.0T, 420 hp, 4635 lbs. 1/4 mile 12.4 @ 112 mph

      Sept 2013 new Corvette, 460 hp, 3444 lbs, 1/4 mile 12.2 @ 117 mph

      Both cars 0 to 60 mph, 3.9 seconds

      So the Corvette with 40 more horses and 1200 lbs, say again twelve hundred pounds, less weight runs just a bit ahead of Audi’s limousine. Go! Pushrod Powah!

      Comparisons with the twin turbo XTS are even more invidious. Same twin turbo 420 hp, 1/4 mile 13.5 seconds.

      So you’ve read that the new Alfa handles poorly. Where did you pick up this gem of misinformation?

      Gotta hand it to GM. The week the new overweight Corvette goes on sale, they summon the Fifth Brigade to attempt to crap all over another car keeping them from the limelight they feel is their due and just right.

      LarryP2, your extensive, relentless and ridiculous comments below cement it for me. This is the beginning of the campaign, People for the Return of Rick Wagoner, isn’t it?

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Next up: All 3,000 copies per year of the 4C are ordered in red/yellow/black, to be stored in garages and never used.

    2045: Vintage Alfa 4C for sale, red/red, 4K miles, $75K OBO. Needs tires.

  • avatar
    Sam P

    At $54k, this car really needs 6-cylinder power. It may be plenty fast with a four, but one of Fiat/Chrysler’s 3.2 or 3.6 liter units would make much more sense.

    The base model Cayman is $52.6k with a 275 hp flat 6, 0-60 in 5.4 seconds per Porsche, and will do 165 mph.

    And because this is TTAC, I should also point out that $54k will buy two V6 Mustangs with the 6-speed manual and a few options.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      They didn’t use a big engine – they added lightness.

      • 0 avatar

        Plus one jmo. A bigger engine would throw it off balance. This Alfa is not about hp.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          That’s a misconception. Look at the change of weight distribution for people who drop V8s into Miatas. The distribution goes from 50-50 to 52-48 or so, and those who have reviewed them have said that they lose little if anything on handling.

          • 0 avatar
            JuniperBug

            Actually, Miata starts at 52-48, and the LS adds a couple points to the nose.

            The fact that the V8 keeps most of the car’s balance speaks more of the LS’s incredible packaging efficiency (especially compared to the Miata’s lackluster 4 cyl) than anything else. Even so, in the Miata’s case, it still needs to be mounted further back than the stock 4 cylinder in the car, necessitating some transmission tunnel reforming and positioning that probably wouldn’t be acceptable for an OEM application.

            The stock Miata engine is iron and not representative of what a modern semi-exotic alloy 4 cylinder designed for light weight could weigh. The Miata shares its engine with Mazda’s economy car, and especially in the NA/NB which sees V8 conversions, is really nothing special at all. That is mainly why the LS V8 doesn’t incur a huge weight/balance penalty, (although it’s still around 150-200 lbs once all is said and done).

            To call the weight and balance penalties of a V8 “a misconception” based on the Miata’s case is a fallacy.

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        Aurally, a six will beat a four any day. That may be subjective, but how many $50k+ premium sports cars that aren’t Lotus Elise variants come with 4 cylinder power?

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          My Fiat Abarth’s 1.4 Turbo sounds better than 99% of the V6s out there. And the other 1% are all Italian too. Nothing wrong with the way my Alfa Spider’s four sounds, for that matter.

    • 0 avatar
      Larry P2

      Isn’t it just embarassing that a mid-$20′s Mustang has 300 horses @ 1/2 the price of this turd?

      • 0 avatar

        No, different cars, different expectatins. If I had all the money in the world, I’d a have a Mustang and a 4C.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        “Mustang has 300 horses @ 1/2 the price of this turd?”

        Mustang (V-6) 3,501 lbs and 305 bhp = 174bhp/ton vs. 240bhp per ton for the Alfa.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          Of course, assuming it actually hits the 2000 lb mark. My gut feeling is it won’t.

          • 0 avatar
            George Herbert

            The car launched. It’s being driven by journalists at tracks. They haven’t taken it home and weighed it, but it’s out and testable.

            Why would you think the specs on a launched car are off?

            Harris quoted 925 kg with full fluids, which is 2035 lb.

      • 0 avatar
        JuniperBug

        “Isn’t it just embarassing that a mid-$20′s Mustang has 300 horses @ 1/2 the price of this turd?”

        Only in the same way it’s embarassing that a Caravan has multiples of passenger space for less than the price of a Mustang.

        If you want cheap power with decent handling, get a Mustang, but make no illusions that it’s a replacement for cars like the Miata, Elise, Boxster, and apparently, this Alfa. They’re focused differently, and which one is “better” very much depends on the priorities and tastes of the driver. If all you do is read spec sheets on the internet and drive a Camry or SUV to work, you can’t understand the driver’s appeal of a light, sexy, handling-focused car, even if the horsepower and acceleration numbers won’t set the world on fire.

        My Miata can barely keep up in a straight line with a new Hyundai Accent (no exaggeration), and is orders of magnitude less practical, but take a drive down an empty winding road in each and then tell me which brings a bigger smile to your face.

        The Alfa vs. Mustang/Camaro/whatever-big-heavy-car-has-more-power debate is somewhat analogous to this. Things sold by the gram will always be more exciting, and more expensive, than things sold by the pound.

        People harping about the price of this car also don’t understand economies of scale. Producing cars in large numbers makes them much, much cheaper. You’ll always get a better deal, in terms of objective economy, buying something that many other people are also buying. For some people, though, it’s worth the extra price to have something more exclusive. It would be silly to expect this car to offer the same value-for-money as a Miata or even a Boxster, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be an attractive proposition for some buyers who want something a little different.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Price and specs make this a beroofed successor to the Lotus Elise. Comparisons to Mustangs and Miatas are missing the point. This is a boutique car with some track cred.

    • 0 avatar

      exactly

    • 0 avatar
      Larry P2

      Wow, I have never lived in a world where Miatas (particularly ones properly outfitted from the factory for track usage) and base Mustangs (particularly ones with the track pack) have no “track cred.”

      Either the Mustang or Miata, properly kitted out for track with a few options, should eat this turd alive @ about half the price.

      • 0 avatar

        You’re missing the point Larry. An Alfa is an Alfa, a Miata is a Miata. Both fine cars, but aimed at completely different things. I can see where you’re coming from, but Alfa, to remain relevant in the Fiat game plan has to be aspirational. I don’t know if this car has what it takes to go after the likes of BMW and Mercedes, but those are the boys Alfa should aim for. There are people in the world who can see value in an aspirational Italian car brand. The Alfa is for those people.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          There’s a lot more to “aspirational” than price and badge.

          How aspirational will it be if they are successful at keeping the weight down to 2000 lb? At that weight, it might just be a rattle-clap gokart. Sure, it will be quick and nimble, but will it be worth the cash?

          • 0 avatar

            I agree redav there’s a lot more to aspirational than badge and price. Alfa once was, now is not so much (though the memory in others parts of the world outside NA is strong), but they’re trying to make their way back.

            As to being unsafe, I’d think they’d’ve used special steels and not to keep the weight down and still make it safe. I’m not really worried from that aspect.

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            “I’d think they’d’ve used special steels and not to keep the weight down and still make it safe.”

            IIRC it’s carbon fiber.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            My comment is not about safety. It’s about quality materials and construction.

            Will the interior materials be so thin and and will so few fasteners be used (to keep weight down) that it does not feel solid and instead start rattling at 10k mi? If so, they will destroy any hope of being considered aspirational.

          • 0 avatar

            Thanks jmo, you’re right. Redav, see Charlie’s post below,he summed it up better than I ever could.

      • 0 avatar
        JuniperBug

        Larry P2: Repeatedly calling a car which you’ve never seen in person nor driven “a turd” doesn’t make you seem discriminating; it makes you seem like a close-minded buffoon who’s never looked at things outside of his own little bubble.

        Tell me: what vehicles have you driven and/or owned with which you can draw comparisons to this Alfa (which none of us has seen or driven yet)?

        Bumpy ii never said that Mustangs and Miatas don’t have track cred; he said that like the Elise, the Alfa will be a boutique car which has it. Miatas and Mustangs are in no way “boutique” in the sense that a Lotus (or this Alfa) is. If you don’t understand that, this car won’t be for you. That’s ok, because there definitely will be 3,000 buyers who will understand.

    • 0 avatar
      David Walton

      Agree!

      • 0 avatar
        Larry P2

        I spent two months in New Zealand in 2007 where there was an Alfa dealership in every major city. I couldn’t help but notice the size of rebates offered on so many Alfa models.

        And every time I got away from the family and entered into some “licensed establishment” ran by some coal miner’s union or some such, once my yank credentials were established I became subject to a never-ending torrent of questions about the legendary Corvettes and Camaros and so on.

        Apparently those benighted Kiwis completely missed the Top Gear program extolling Alfas.

        • 0 avatar

          Larry don1t know much about New Zealand but I’d venture to say it’s somewhat like Brazil in that we’re able to appreciate bith worlds. We buy our midsized PUs but love the full sized American ones. We mention Corvette, Porsche and Ferrari in the same breath. Camaros, Mustangs, Challengers are seen as just as worthy as BMWs and Mercedes.

          It’s not either or, but more.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    You gearheads are missing the potential here.

    With an NA 4-banger getting 37 combined MPG, this could be the ultimate chick car. Female professionals would see this as a sexy Italian purse they can drive to work.

    Get the price down into the 40′s without adding weight and look out. Performance only imperils this beauty’s potential by driving up price.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s what the Alfas that’ll come later will be for. This one is to re-establish Alfa.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Selling a ton would be a good way to do that, no?

        • 0 avatar

          Not really, Alfa is samous the world over. Their ‘natural” competitors are the German wonder brands. They haven’t been able to go head to head with them in a while. So this is their try at making something special that will put them in a position to later sell ‘fashion statements’. Kinda of like the BMW 2002 that set the image of the brand. If that car hadn’t existed, I think it’s be tough for BMW to be selling so many Xs like they do now at the prices they command.

          Remember, global brand,a huge wellspring of fans in Europe rooting for the company to get back on track. I think the car, as is, is extremely appealling to Europeans and people the world over who are to used to a more European template (hence, light, no Vs etc.). There are also enough people in America for whom the car, as is, is attractive. If they can climb out aof their hole, later they can offer the Vs and lower prices necessary for volume in America.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Ignore female consumers, especially Americans, at your peril.

            This thing is dead sexy and the only performance most women care about ain’t from a car.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Never forget that Alfa Romeo was BMW BEFORE BMW was BMW. They have been lost in the woods for a while now, but hopefully they can find their way back. It takes time, focus, and money. See Audi as an example of how to do it right. And while Audi did not start out with a semi-exotic sports car, they certainly COULD have.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          If they sell so few in the US, it will do nothing to affect brand image in the US, just like the LFA does nothing to affect the Lexus brand.

          They have no well-springing of fans or support in the US. They are an absent brand that some people will recognize, but far fewer will correctly identify.

          Any strategy in the US based on “but we are Alfa” will utterly and epicly fail. A more successful strategy would be one that includes “You don’t know who I am, but I’m going to get in your face, kick your ass, and take your girlfriend and look good while doing it.”

          • 0 avatar

            redav, you’re right, but then again you’re not. !00 comments on 2 paragraphs on a car site. Pics and articles and more pics and articles on other sites and magazines. It’s a way to spread word of mouth. To get Alfa into the brains of people who buy high end and aware of cars. The volume campaign will come later.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        Marcelo – - –

        I realize you are trying to champion this new Alfa. And that’s good. It’s got many virtues.
        But, from a practical point-of-view, if you want to introduce a new car to an existing market, you’d better hit a “home run”, not a grounder to first base.

        Here are some issues I have, — an enthusiast’s concerns :
        1) Lack of a manual transmission;
        2) Poorly done, rough, lagging turbo;
        3) Spider-eyes headlamp design – polarizing at best;
        4) Competent pre-existing competition (Corvette; Mustang; Boxster, Cayman)
        5) Unknown reliability and service availability beyond the warranty period.

        So, is this car a “slam dunk” to do a sweep? I think not.
        (Apologies for the sports analogies.)

        —————–

        • 0 avatar

          Oh, I understand your analogies fine. Love American sports!

          I would agree on all your points except this is not a regular model. It’s a special deal, a one time thing, that is offered take-it-or-leave-it, offered at a price and volume that’ll appeal to a special kind of enthusiast that Alfa thinks there are at least 500 of in the US.

          As to your points:
          1) Agreed,
          2) In the Brazilian press there were no complaints,
          3) Doesn’t bother me, but I see your point,
          4) It’s not intended to compete,
          5) A nightmare most surely.

          Finally, I’m not championing the brand as much as cheering for it. I’m in no position to buy one, though as I’ve said on other Alfa articles, Alfa is the only “aspirational” brand that appeals to me.

    • 0 avatar
      Larry P2

      “sexy italian purse they can drive to work.”

      You owe me $75 for the apple keyboard that was just destroyed by a spewed overdose of coffee.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Nah… here’s 30 bucks for a real keyboard.

        Build up your forearms.

        • 0 avatar
          Larry P2

          I guess I am still mad about the Alfas I owned in the mid-1990s. Those are cars you only owned if you believe that intense financial suffering is a virtue.

          About the same time, I rejected my stern Calvinist upbringing and adopted a more Episcopelian theology wherein cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off and a relaxed attitude toward masturbation were extolled.

          Never owned an Alfa after that conversion experience.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “Never owned an Alfa after that conversion experience.”

            And I’ve never before responded to a comment that mentioned both cucumbers and masturbation.

            I don’t like what’s happening to me.

          • 0 avatar
            brenschluss

            “And I’ve never before responded to a comment that mentioned both cucumbers and masturbation.”

            You need to meet some more interesting women.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “I rejected my stern Calvinist upbringing and adopted a more Episcopalian theology”

            Ah, you like to drink a bit too, huh?… Where there’s four Episcopalians, you’ll always find a fifth

  • avatar
    jmo

    So, again I’m detecting the same tone from some of the B&B that we got during the Kia discussion. Cars that cost more than they can afford must not be worth it and only fit for silly posers.

    They even managed a misogynistic dig as well – in fine B&B tradition. Although, maybe I should give them credit for directing their wrath and Prada purse owning female professionals rather than their usual target – soccer moms.

    • 0 avatar
      Larry P2

      The problem here isn’t mere unaffordability. The problem is the car’s obvious jaw-dropping deficits at a jaw dropping price.

      240 horsepower in this day and age is mini-van/econo-box power.

      In this hurricane of cheaper and more powerful technological revolution that we are living in, it is going to be harder and harder to justify $54,000 for a niche product and get Hyundai/Kia economy car horsepower in return.

      And so far, nobody has seriously claimed that the new Corvette, at the same price point will not stomp a new mud hole in this turd.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “a misogynistic dig”

      You think I was kidding?

      And as far as misogyny, both my wives got PhDs while I stacked jobs to help.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      So far, the prevailing attitude in the comments section seems to be that if it doesn’t have eight cylinders, then it sucks.

      They may have a point, sort of. This Alfa is taking the less-is-more approach followed by Lotus, and we all know how well that’s turned out.

      On the other hand, the American more-is-more-for-a-bargain-price philosophy doesn’t exactly impress most Europeans. The lack of finesse is taken as a cultural metaphor for other deficiencies, and is not appreciated.

  • avatar
    ccd1

    I’m shopping for a sports car. The Cayman is on my list, but the 4C is not. The Cayman is a VERY practical sports car. It has a front trunk (frunk) as well as rear cargo area. There is also a level of comfort, mechanical sophistication and reliability to make the Cayman a daily driver. The 4C is more akin to a modern interpretation of the Elise. Totally impractical for anything but driving with its negligible storage capacity. The 4C is not likely to be serious competition for the Cayman for this reason. The coming F Type Coupe and TT-RS are MUCH more likely candidates for competition. The 4C is basically a toy. Cheap by exotic standards, but still a toy.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “practical sports car”

      Seems a bit of an oxymoron. If its practical its hardly a “sports car” by traditional standards.

      • 0 avatar
        Larry P2

        Sports cars absolutely can be practical. I have hauled a full-sized refrigerator or 20 2″x 6″s in a top down Miata.

      • 0 avatar
        ccd1

        Which is why the Cayman can be a daily driver. There is room to take your wife or girl friend shopping and have room for her and the things you might buy. There is room to pack enough bags for a weekend trip away. The car is refined enough that it won’t beat either of you up on a long road trip. I’d argue that the Cayman is about as practical as sports cars get (with the possible exception of the 911).

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Maybe you guys have a point. In my mind if I’m owning a “sports car” its prob not a DD (or at least not a year round DD) and I have other more practical transportation. But if you’re spending the big bucks and intend to use the car for more than pleasure, the Cayman sort of in a certain light makes some sense. *cringes*

        • 0 avatar
          ccd1

          I’m not a Porsche fan boy. The company is arrogant, its cars are generally over priced (IMHO), and I HATE how they nickle and dime you for options which really would be standard on just about any other car costing as much as a Porsche.

          But the cars are also generally well made, reliable and refined enough to be driven every day with few complaints. In fact, if Porsche has any problem, its that the cars can be a bit boring until you step on the gas or get into twisty roads.

          The Cayman, depending on your circumstances could be your only car. Hardly any of us would own the 4C as our only car.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      Cayman reliability? Really? Given their recent dismal engine history and the contempt they display towards their customers, I’d seriously consider the Alfa if I were looking for a sports car. I don’t see how I could possibly do worse than I would with Porsche.

      • 0 avatar
        ccd1

        The IMS issues were resolved in MY2009. The Cayman is generally rated very high for reliability in most reviews I’ve seen looking at this.

        It was never clear to me how many Caymans actually had engine failure due to this faulty design, but you are correct that Porsche was less than forthcoming in its willingness to admit fault and pay for repairs.

      • 0 avatar
        David Walton

        All Modern Porsche sports cars feature a 9A1-derived engine (including the upcoming GT3 and Turbo (S) models). The old M96/M97 reliability issues are no more.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Would it help if I said this car is a cheap Ferrari, or an expensive Miata? Cos that is what it is…

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    So TTAC Staff I’m confused this seems like a real car, where’s the redundant CUV? Sports cars don’t match my Prada purse much, only tall wagons with no real capability will fit the bill.

  • avatar
    Charlie84

    I am astonished that people don’t seem understand the point of this car. Let me spell it out for you: It has a carbon-fiber tub. It has unassisted steering. It weighs under 2,000 lbs. It’s incredibly Italian.

    As far as I’m concerned, it has no competitors.

    • 0 avatar
      Larry P2

      And for $54,000 it should have more than 240 horses, regardless of all of its other points.

      That’s just an epic fail that cannot be justified.

      240 horses is early 1990s sport car stuff, or what you get in a current Hyundai/Kia economy car or a minivan or a CUV.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        Power to weight ratio.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          The point goes beyond the power to weight ratio.
          The point is, they have the perfect chassis and setup, but then they dropped the ball on a decent engine.
          It’s like seeing a women walking down the street, perfect behind, perfect chest, then she turns her head, and you see her face, and wish you never had.

          Why couldn’t they push a light V8 similar or even sourced from GM?
          With minimal tuning a 5.3 could get 350 HP be very upgrade able, In fact a 6.0 is the same block just lighter.
          And still get close to 35 mpg

          And it’s very possible that even then the engine would be cheaper, a magnitude more reliable at the very least.

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            Why would you do that when it already has the same power to weight ratio as a 420bhp Camaro V-8?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            To give an even greater edge over the Camaro.
            Forget the competition why do you have to compare it to vehicles that don’t even fit in the same category?
            Hell if they got a GM 6.2 with say 450 HP then it would have almost double power to weight of the above mentioned Camaro.

            Point is, why let it fall short of being a car that brings the Phoenix from the ashes?
            Instead they let it be ho-hum thinking it will sell based on heritage alone.

          • 0 avatar

            6.2? It would get real heavy real quick and throw the whole balance off. It’d be a completely different car. Maybe better, who knows, but I have a feeling it’s fine as is.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            A 6.2 I believe (as I could only find a little info quickly) weighs south of 500#s
            Attaching a manual to it would prevent an additional mass associated with a larger trans.

            Supposably the engine an trans combined of the new Alfa engine ( no idea what all that includes) weighs 300#s

            So at minimum a 6.2 and associated parts would probably be an additional 300 lbs
            Then our concern is weight distribution 200 extra pounds on the front would be about 1250:1050
            So i suppose that’s out of the question on the current platform

      • 0 avatar
        Charlie84

        That’s an absurd argument. Horsepower isn’t everything.

        It’s far more costly for Alfa to offer a car with such extensive carbon fiber construction than it would be for them to simply make a more conventional/mainstream car with more horsepower.

        If you want a pure numbers car, buy a GTR. For those of us who are enthusiasts, we’ll savor the pure, visceral driving experience that a car like the 4C offers and a Mustang/Camaro/GTR/whatever simply can’t.

        If Ford or Chevy made a mid-engined, carbon-fiber, under 2,000 lbs sports car with one of their V8s for less than $54K, I’d sell my organs to buy one.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        It may also depend on the powerband, 240 usable horses (say sub 5000 rpm) is better than the economy car’s 240 at 7800 rpm or some such. Few drive economy cars in such a way to hit such high rpms.

      • 0 avatar
        David Walton

        How much hp does a formula ford have?

        Shifter kart?

        Liter bike?

        Be careful of words like “always”, “never”, “regardless” etc.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    Cynical marketing gimmick with swollen profit margins. For no good reason, other than a totally unjustifiable profit margin, does this thing only have 240 horses.

    Of course, they will get away with it and sell every one of them at “adjusted market price.”

    That doesn’t make it right.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    Alfa 4C estimated 0-60 time @ 4.5+ seconds. $54,000.

    Corvette C-7 Stingray estimated 0-60 time @ less than 4 seconds. $51,000.

    240 horsepower is just unacceptable in this day and age.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, the Alfa has one advantage. You won’t have to wave much in traffic as the possibility of seeing another one in traffic is slim. In a Corvette on the other hand…

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      Yes, and a Kawasaki ZX-10R has a 0-60 time well under three seconds, and only costs $14,000.

      Your apples are just categorically inferior to my oranges.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        Here’s some weight to power figures for some well known performance cars.

        E90 M3 3483 lb/ 414 hp= 8.41 lb/hp
        BOSS 302 3666 lb/ 444 hp= 8.3 lb/hp
        C7 Z51 3400 lb/ 460 hp= 7.4 lb/hp
        991 GT3- 3200 lb/ 475 hp= 6.7 lb/hp
        981 Cayman S- 3100 lb/ 325 hp= 9.5 lb/hp
        FR-S 2900 lb/ 200 hp= 14.5 lb/hp
        Miata 2500 lb/ 167 hp= 15 lb/hp
        Alfa 4C 2100 lb/ 240 hp= 8.8 lb/hp

        I think the 4C is in pretty good company. Also, its lighter weight should make it easier on consumables. Ultimately, at least for me, it’s all about how a car makes you feel and I’m glad multiple alternatives exist.

        IMO, the limited availability isn’t going to do Alfa any favors if their aim is to establish a beachhead for a returned assault on the U.S. market.

    • 0 avatar
      Fordson

      Hey! A new Peterbilt with 500 hp will just DEMOLISH that Alfa!

      I mean, that jaw-dropping turd.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      It’s unacceptable to you, maybe. Others will feel differently. 0-60 in 4.5s may not beat a Corvette, but neither will a Porsche or any number of other credible sports cars. Yes, a Corvette or a Mustang is nearly unbeatable in terms of power to dollar. That’s not the only measure of a performance car, though. If that’s what matters to you, by all means buy a Corvette – those are spectacular cars for the money. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t virtue in other cars that are less fast in a staight line, even if they cost more.

      Why do some people seemingly insist that we all drive the same cars?

      • 0 avatar

        Oh JuniperBug, you just don’t get it! That half second will be surely missed by Alfa buyers all acros America as they take their 4Cs to the drag strip Friday and Saturday nights!

        • 0 avatar

          LarryP2 is just trolling because he feels TTAC still hates GM and hasn’t given the C7 its due.

          • 0 avatar
            Larry P2

            My responses are derived from owning several Alfas and driving several more right-handed drive ones in NZ and OZ.

            On the whole, they were, to a one substandard compared to their other class members, in reliability, durability, fit and finish and most of all performance.

            And why, when Alfas are so readily and easily available, do Kiwis and Oz so rabidly pester any available Yank about storied and mythical Corvettes and Mustangs? Why?

            Is it because they know something we don’t?

            My responses, without any recent evidence whatsoever, gave Alfa the benefit of the doubt and just assumed that it had alleviated all of the above obvious quality deficits.

            So just assuming without any evidence that Alfa has joined the rest of the world in the new century, and no longer builds expensive and crippling unreliable museum pieces like the Duettos I owned. And also assuming without evidence Alfa has dramatically improved its quality over the ones I drove “down under” in 2007, 240 horsepower in a car that seeks to be included in “super car” company is, at best…….

            A disappointment.

          • 0 avatar

            The same reason Americans pester Aussies about HSV and Ford rwd muscle cars. Grass is always greener…

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “And why, when Alfas are so readily and easily available, do Kiwis and Oz so rabidly pester any available Yank about storied and mythical Corvettes and Mustangs?”

            I spent about six months in both places. I owned a car in Australia, and helped someone to buy a car in NZ.

            I do recall having one conversation with an Aussie about the Taurus. I could tell that he was hesitant to tell me that he didn’t like it, until I made it clear that I thought that the equivalent Falcon was a superior car.

            Otherwise, nobody seemed to think that I was an ambassador for grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side cool car ownership. The bogans seemed to be pretty happy with their Manaros.

      • 0 avatar
        JuniperBug

        But those were Alfas that were made in the past. They’ve gotten better since then, they swear! There’s a huge perception gap there, and it’s just not fair to have this anti-Alfa bias on this site. If you’d just give them a chance, they swear they’re much better now.

        I’ve driven a Cavalier from 1992, so I already know all I need to about the C7 Corvette.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    Not to mention, the 4C does not have the crippling disadvantage of being made by GM.

    • 0 avatar
      George Herbert

      I have driven GM cars which were every bit the turds that your Alpha Romeo experiences were. Despite that experience, I understand that the world moves and shifts, and have bought GM cars since then and enjoyed them just fine, with decent lifetime reliability and performance. I have had the same experience with Ford; the 70s / 80s era stuff was horrible, but I bought one in the 90s and used it until it ran out of life a few years ago.

      This could turn out to be another fine piece of Italian carbon fiber flambe, or fragility, but only road experience will show that yea or nay. Prejudging that on a completely new model by completely new engineering teams is unreasonable.

      Could you lay off the hyperbole and unrealistic comparisons?

  • avatar
    motormouth

    For what little it’s worth, I have a decent amount of respect for Marchionne. That said, you’ve got this great little car that everyone’s talking about and the plan is to only build 3,000 of them? Sorry, but the days of limited production to maintain the ‘mystique’ of brand are long gone – particularly in the case of Fiat’s volume brands and Chrysler. If Marchionne had any sense he’d up that to 300,000 units, pass on the price reductions gained through increased volume part purchasing discounts and give the Boxster/Cayman a sales-related black eye.

    • 0 avatar
      David Walton

      Volume limitations aren’t artificial; they’re a function of the CF monocoque and Adler Plastic’s capacity to build composites.

      300k units? Over what time horizon?

      • 0 avatar
        motormouth

        300K units was only a suggestion, but let’s just go with 10 years for arguments sake. That would put it in line with the BMW i3 – but wait, that’s got a serious amount of CF in it as well. That said, Fiat probably wasn’t interested in investing in a CF production company and sinking buckets of cash into the development of a largely automated CF parts production system, a la Beemer.

        I think it could be argued that the Fiat Group has no business using CF if this is the limiting factor in mass production of the 4C (it’s probably hitting margins as well). They could have gone with a bonded aluminium chassis (tub, if you like) and upped figures quite dramatically, perhaps to 10,000 units over 10 years, while also cutting related production costs. Probably would have shortened the gestation time for the model as well. Electing to use a lightweight steel solution would have added weight, but this could have been welded on a standard line, limiting production output to the speed of the line. The GT86 is proof that you don’t need an absurd power-to-weight ratio to deliver a car that is fun to drive.

  • avatar
    DIYer

    When the auto company prices a vehicle, it is not based on the steel, glass, rubber, or even cost of labor that go into the making of the product. The vehicle price is based on 50% of the target market group’s individual annual income. They want to sell this vehicle to someone making $108K a year.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Yes but who making an 108k a year would actually buy this?
      Excellent point though, someone making 108k a year isn’t going to have the flexibility to buy an unknown car with questionable reliability, that will have an insane cost of ownership seeing how parts will be hard to come by with so few units. 108k after a kid or two leaves little discretionary spending.
      That may be the case for many vehicles, but the actual ones who buy these cars will be making perhaps double that.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        “Yes but who making an 108k a year would actually buy this?”

        Hand raised.

        I have no kids (nor will I, ever), and a very small mortgage. And a housemate. Leaves plenty of cash lying around for keeping the garage full of interesting cars. Two German, two British, and two Italian at the moment. I suspect there are 499 others like me in a country of nearly 350 million people.

        Why would parts be hard to come by? The chassis is exotic, the mechanicals are not. No different than a Lotus Elise. It’s going to be under warranty for 4-5 years anyway. I would strongly suggest not crashing one though. This would be a nice upgrade from my Abarth.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Alright point taken, there’s enough enthusiasts to sell a limited run of them.

          The fear of parts I have would be equal to any low volume car… So take that with a grain of salt.

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        Software engineers. 108k is pretty low for them, especially if they work for a first tier tech company like Amazon, Google, Apple, or even Microsoft. Average income of people who buy this car will be more like 150k.

        The market for this Alfa will be in the major cities of California and western Washington and other places with a lot of tech money.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    Funniest string of comments I have read on here in a long time, I can’t believe you guys fed the troll for so long!

    As for this car, I showed my wife just one picture. She said that’s beautiful but I bet its crazy expensive. I told her $54k, first she didn’t believe me, then she told me I can trade her MR2 in for one if I want one but she gets to drive it too. At that price they will sell every one they bring over. Its a beautiful car. She did not ask how fast it went or how much HP is has.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Talk amongst yourselves. The valet will park this in front of the restaurant. Your Corvette or Porsche? Somewhere in the lot.

  • avatar
    VA Terrapin

    For whatever reasons, America doesn’t like sporty coupes (Mustang excepted) all that much these days. If Fiat can pull off selling out the Alfa Romeo 4C in America, more power to them. There are already too many boring sedans, CUVs, SUVs and trucks that never see a race track or an off road surface more challenging than a grass parking lot in America these days. I’d rather see more cars like the 4C than the Cherokee.

  • avatar
    ccd1

    First and foremost, the 4C is a halo car to reintroduce Alpha to the American public and establish its branding as a performance car company. It will never be a volume product and was never intended to be a volume product. It’s all about establishing Alpha identity.

    Second,it’s a toy. Toys don’t need to be practical, they don’t need to have a certain horse power or power to weight ratio. They need to be interesting, quirky, unusual, very pretty or otherwise different or stand out from the crowd. Lesser vehicles worry about reliability, hp, practicality, etc. Toys need only be exclusive and interesting. The 4C is a compelling and relatively cheap toy that looks like nothing else on the market. It will do well.

  • avatar
    Italian

    Yesterday I went for a walk on lake como and while i was crossing the street one passed in front of me! I like the car very much and it is also much nicer in person than it is in the pictures. It has a nice sound for a 1750.

    To bad I didn’t see it parked to get pictures of it.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    Car and Driver , which claims it has actually driven a 4C in real life, has predicted the American version of this car will weigh a much much porkier 2,650 pounds and has downgraded its horsepower rating to to a more popcorn fart 237. Additionally, C & D asserts that American versions will lack the exhaust note of the European version.

    Did TTAC just reprint the Alfa press release for this story?

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    TTAC SCANDAL ALERT!

    Here’s the skinny on the 4C’s vaunted “power to weight ratio.” It appears that TTAC pulled a fast one for apparently cutting and pasting directly from Alfa’s gushing and wildly-fraudulent press release. The latest on this scandal from Motor Trend’s own, and TTAC’s alumn Johny Lieberman:

    “the new 4C is principally light, though not quite as light as Alfa is claiming. Italian carmakers have this horrible habit of weighing cars without certain fluids—oil, gas, coolant, transmission and brake. They also tend to leave out airbags. The result is a meaningless number they call “dry weight.” Alfa claims the U.S.-spec 4C will weigh 2083 pounds (the Euro version will weigh about 100 pounds less because of no side or knee airbags, no A/C, and a fixed, non-sliding passenger seat). I’m here to tell you that the 4C’s actual weight is going to be closer to 2500 pounds, if not more. Alfa’s number is pure fantasy”

    Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/coupes/1309_2014_alfa_romeo_4c_first_drive/viewall.html#ixzz2gClm9izA

    How about it TTAC? Publishing Alfa’s vaporware claims that are clearly willfully fraudulent regarding the car’s weight? tch tch tch.

    Who would have thought publishing the “weight” of a car and bragging about its amazing “power to weight ratio”, and leaving out the gasoline, engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, antifreeze, airbags, air conditioning, passenger seat bits and who knows what else?


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