Saturday, May 31, 2014

Alfa Romeo Back in North America

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C debuts at New York International Auto Show.
(PRNewsFoto/Chrysler Group LLC)
It’s been a long wait—since 1995 in fact. Dates for the return kept being given and passed with nothing happening. It seems this time they’re in earnest, though, as they debuted the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C coupe at last month’s New York Auto Show. A limited edition 2015 4C (only 500 serialized coupes will be produced) is supposed to be available in June.

Sounds like it might have been worth the wait. According to the press release bumpf, the 4C is:

“…a mid-engine design inspired by the brand's legendary racing history, state-of-the-art carbon fiber monocoque and all-aluminum turbocharged engine influenced by Formula 1, and advanced technological solutions, all to deliver supercar-level performance and driving exhilaration.”

Why 4C? There’s a 1750 cc four-cylinder engine under the hood, putting out 237 horsepower. Okay, four-cylinder and supercar may not sound like they belong together, but the car and engine are both very light, and of course it’s turbo-charged. They’re claiming instantaneous torque delivery, 80% of which is available at 1,700 revs. Top speed is 160 mph and it will do 0-60 in the mid-4 second range.

To go with the power under the hood is a flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle-shifters, and carbon fiber and fiberglass sport seats. There’s a twin-clutch transmission with four different modes, including All-weather, Natural, Dynamic, and Race, which, as you probably guessed, allows you to deactivate various safety features and take care of traction through the accelerator. The first three modes can also be used in “auto,” if you’re more in the mood for touring.

What’s special about the limited edition? Here’s a direct quote from the press release, to make sure I get all the details in:

  • Alfa Red, Rosso Competizione or Madreperla White exterior paint
  • Bi-xenon headlamps with LED illuminated daytime running lights
  • Carbon fiber rear spoiler and mirror caps
  • Aluminum rear diffuser
  • Race suspension tuning with front- and rear-sway bars and performance-tuned shock absorbers
  • Racing exhaust
  • Staggered 18-inch (front) and 19-inch (rear) forged wheels painted in Dark Gray
  • Red lacquered brake calipers
  • Sport seats with black microfiber
  • Leather-wrapped instrument and door panels
  • Red or White interior accent stitching on the instrument panel, steering wheel, handbrake, floor mats and door handles
  • Serialized "Launch Edition" plaque

And here’s a little Alfa trivia for you, as found on Wikipedia.

  • Alfa Romeo began imports to the US in 1961
  • Alfa Romeo ceased imports to the US in 1995
  • The company was founded in 1910, and was named A.L.F.A. (Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili). I’d always assumed (incorrectly) that it was somebody’s name.
  • The Romeo part of the name comes from one of the company’s early directors, Nicola Romeo.
  • Alfa Romeo’s first racing car was built in 1913.
  • In 1925, Alfa Romeo took the inaugural Grand Prix world championship.
  • One of the early drivers for Alfa’s racing team was Enzo Ferrari.

[SOURCE Chrysler Group LLC, via,]

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