The Truth About Cars » alfa romeo 4c The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 13:19:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » alfa romeo 4c Geneva 2014: Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Tue, 04 Mar 2014 21:36:32 +0000 Alfa-Romeo-4C-Spider-06

Looking like an Alfa-fied Elise, the 4C Spider loses its roof and gains a custom made exhaust by Akrapovic, best known for making very loud aftermarket systems. Sound’s good to me (no pun intended).

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Marchionne Presents Yet Another Turnaround Plan Thu, 31 Oct 2013 18:03:43 +0000 2013-03-05_Geneva_Motor_Show_8286

Another day, another turnaround strategy from Sergio Marchionne. The plan, which won’t be revealed until April, reportedly includes a rear-wheel drive architecture as a key element, with enough flexibility to be used in everything from Alfa to Dodge vehicles.

Although Alfa Romeo is said to be a key factor in Fiat’s overall future growth, it currently fields just two small hatchbacks and the low volume 4C sports car. Most of its sales happen in Europe, where the new car market is weak. Alfa badly needs this new architecture to flesh out its product line with larger sedans, station wagons and SUVs, but nothing is expected to bear fruit until 2016 at the earliest.

Previous plans have called for Alfa to sell 500,000 units by 2014, a goal that was established in 2010. Since then, there has been a constant lowering of volume targets while the date itself is pushed back further and further into the future. The return of Alfa Romeo to America is a bit of a running joke amongst car enthusiasts, but at this point, it’s a matter of global survival for the brand, and each delay only makes the situation increasingly precarious.

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Will Auto Enthusiasts in 2053 See The Alfa Romeo 4C As This Generation’s Dino? Fri, 27 Sep 2013 12:00:36 +0000 IMG_0737

When it was first introduced, what we know today as the Ferrari Dino was a bit of a conundrum. Simultaneously a tribute to Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari, Enzo Ferrari’s beloved deceased son, the first roadgoing midengine car from Ferrari, and an attempt to amortize costs between Ferrari and Fiat, which had bought the sports car maker in 1969, the Dino was also the first non-V12 powered car made by Ferrari and in fact it was not originally sold as a Ferrari. Dino was supposed to be a new marque for six and eight cylinder cars from the company, at a lower price point than Ferrari branded cars. That idea went away after the Dino 308 models, but the notion that the Dino was not quite a Ferrari sort of stuck to the car when it first came out. That the Dino had a DOHC V6 engine, designed by Ferrari to compete in Formula 2 but originally built in a Fiat factory to homologate it and shared with the Fiat Dino, a completely different car with, confusingly, the same name, didn’t help matters. Dinos from Ferrari weren’t cheap, about $13,000-$14,000 when new four decades ago, thousands more than a Porsche 911, and if my memory serves me well, they languished on the dealer lots and then stagnated in price once out of production. In the late 1970s, I’m pretty sure you could get them for used car money. At least at first.

Today Dinos are welcome at any Ferrari meet and it could cost you the price of a new Ferrari California to buy a 1973 Dino 246. Hagerty Insurance’s price guide says that the average price of a 40 year old Dino 246 is $172,000.

I’m not here to talk about the Ferrari Dino, though.


This post is sort of written from the perspective of an auto enthusiast in the year 2053, forty years hence and it’s about the new Alfa Romeo 4C, already evoking cackles in 2013 from Chris Harris and comparisons to Ferraris by Road & Track. The 4C is the cheapest car you can buy today with a carbon fiber structure, one of the things that’s going to limit production to just 3,000 units a year. Only a few more Ferrari Dinos were made in its full production run, 3,761, so Dinos will always be rarer than 4Cs. Still at a suggested retail U.S. price of $54,000, you could buy three 4Cs, and have about $41,000 left over for when you needed something more practical if you opted for Alfas rather than that Ferrari California, and you’d have at least 10 more cylinders than if you bought the California.


I have a hunch that should Sergio Marchionne actually start selling the 4C in the U.S. next spring that in time it may become something akin what the Dino is today. While it may never have the cachet of being a Ferrari, I just don’t see with that carbon fiber tub how it’s going to depreciate the same as the cars that it will compete with, primarily the Porsche Cayman and perhaps the Evora from Lotus. The Cayman’s made in much greater volumes than the 4C is, and considering that the Evora is more costly, even Alfa Romeo probably has a better record on depreciation than Lotus.


What do you think? Will the Alfa Romeo 4C be a potential blue chip collectible, like air-cooled Porsche 911s are these days? A 1973 Porsche 911S model averages just about $100K these days. That’s a nice appreciation in price, but a ’73 Dino has done even better.


Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallac view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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Chris Harris Likes The Alfa Romeo 4C Wed, 25 Sep 2013 10:30:30 +0000

Click here to view the embedded video.

When a short news blog item based on a couple of tweets from a Road & Track writer attending the press launch of the Alfa Romeo 4C gets over 150 comments before the end of the working day, it’s quite clear that there’s some interest in the car among our readers. Chris Harris was also at the launch of the 4C and you can watch him get giddy with it in the video above.

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Alfa Romeo 4C to Cost $54K in U.S. When It Arrives In Q2 2014 Tue, 24 Sep 2013 11:30:55 +0000 alfa-romeo_100419893_l

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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Alfa Romeo 4C Narrowly Avoids The Ton Tue, 11 Jun 2013 19:18:42 +0000 130611_ar_4c_24

We all knew that the Alfa Romeo 4C was going to be light, but the recently announced curb  (looks like it’s the dry weight) weight of 1969 lbs is unprecedentedly svelte in this era. That’s the same weight as a Lotus Elise or a Volkswagen Up! That  237 horsepower turbo 4-cylinder doesn’t seem so puny anymore, does it?

The carbon monocoque being used by McLaren weighs in at a mere 143 lbs – less than the average adult male. Other tricks like thinner glass and special plastic for the front and rear bumpers also help trim weight. Best of all, the car’s bodywork and monocoque are impervious to corrosion, so if you’re a special grade of crazy (or brave), only a set of snow tires stands between you and winter driving. How about a ski rack mounted over the rear, like James Bond’s Lotus Esprit?

On the performance front, Alfa Romeo is said to be expecting a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds – a few tenths quicker than a PDK-equipped Porsche Cayman S, which weighs 880 lbs more and has 88 more horsepower. Unlike other Alfas, the 4C gets a 25 mile shakedown to ensure everything functions properly prior to delivery. Leave your best reliability joke in the comments.

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Volume, Customer Satisfaction To Determine Alfa Allocation – Oh, And Service Bays Tue, 19 Feb 2013 18:10:19 +0000

Are you a Fiat dealer looking for an Alfa Romeo franchise? Well, better hope you’re doing solid volumes and are making your customers happy.

Automotive News caught up with Peter Grady, Chrysler’s VP of Network Development and Fleet, at the NADA conference in Orlando. Grady was candid about what it will take for Fiat stores to get an Alfa Romeo franchise, specifically, the upcoming 4C sports car that wll relaunch the brand in America

“The 4C is the first vehicle that comes at the end of this calendar year, and it’s going to go to the current Fiat dealers that are performing…So if you’re selling and you’re taking care of your customer, you’ll be first up for Alfa Romeo.”

One sticking point is the lack of service outlets at certain Fiat showrooms located in malls and other unconventional locations. Because, well…the joke about Alfas and service bays tend to write themselves, don’t they. Since the 4C will be the sole Alfa product until 2015, Chrysler will apparently give dealers a pass on building service centers right now, but they must be ready for the 2015 full-line roll out.

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Vaffanculo! Alfa Romeo 4c è Stupendo Tue, 12 Feb 2013 15:51:45 +0000

The first shots of the Alfa Romeo 4C have been released, and it’s just as gorgeous as one would expect a mid-engined Alfa to be. A 1.75L turbocharged 4-cylinder and a 6-speed twin-clutch gearbox motivate the 4C. No horsepower rating has been released, but in current Alfas, the same engine makes 232 horsepower.  We’ll have to wait for the car’s debut at the Geneva Auto Salon for more details.

001-2014-alfa-romeo-4c 002-2014-alfa-romeo-4c Alfa Romeo 4C. Photo courtesy Autoblog ]]> 32
Alfa Romeo U.S. Launch In Shambles Tue, 04 Sep 2012 15:01:54 +0000

A shocking report from Automotive News has broached a previously unfathomable development; Alfa Romeo’s U.S. launch is apparently delayed, catching countless observers off-guard, after expecting an efficient, trouble-free re-introduction for the historic marque.

The AN report suggests that Alfa’s launch is about as well-organized as a Republican Guard counter-attack. Key products, like the MiTo and Giulietta, have been shelved for America. So far, the company will lead with the new 4C sports car…and that’s it. The fate of the larger Giulia sedan is still up in the air. Once planned for a rear-drive chassis, it will now share the size-XL version of the Dodge Dart platform that will also underpin the next Chrysler 200.

The Mazda MX-5 derived Roadster is also on track, as is a Jeep Liberty-based crossover. But a small crossover has also been canned. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne will unveil a definitive model lineup plan for Alfa on October 30th. As cynical and sarcastic as we can be, seeing Alfa fail is something that nobody wants. Fingers crossed.

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Maserati Builds Another Alfa Romeo Sports Car Fri, 13 Apr 2012 18:19:42 +0000

Maserati will be lending a hand to baby bro Alfa Romeo when the brand launches its 4C sports car in 2013. Having previously been tasked with production of the ultra-low volume 8C, Maserati will handle the annual assembly of the 2,500 4C coupes, that will supposedly serve as a halo for Alfa’s U.S. re-launch (stop me if you’ve heard this one before).

Automotive News reports that the 4C will retail for 50,000 euro, or roughly $66,000 on the continent. A U.S. price point hasn’t been decided on. The 4C is expected to weigh a mere 1873 lbs, and use a 4 cylinder turbocharged motor displacing 1.8L with direct injection. The 8C used a 4.7L Maserati V8. 1000 units, split evenly between a coupe and a roadster version, were built from 2007 to 2007. A small number were sent to the United States, but they were sold through Ferrari and Maserati outlets, price between $250,000-$300,000.


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