Alfa 4C will be a global car, will come to U.S.
By Luca Ciferri, AutoWeek
Alfa Romeo says the production version of the 4C rear-wheel-drive coupe will be a sold around the world, including the United States.
"The halo car "will bring us back into markets such as the United States, where we are not present today," Alfa CEO Harald Wester said Tuesday, adding that the 4C will go into production in late 2012.
The automaker plans to build 15,000 to 20,000 units of the 4C coupe over five years, two people familiar with the matter told Automotive News Europe. Another 5,000 to 10,000 units of a roadster version of the 4C will be built for Abarth, the sources said. Abarth is Fiat's sporty sub-brand that markets high-performance versions of the Fiat 500 minicar and Punto Evo subcompact.
Fiat's struggling Alfa brand is set to price the production 4C at about 45,000 euros (about $62,000) in Europe, company sources say.
Alfa enthusiasts have dreamed for almost two decades of the return of an affordable rear-drive model after the Duetto Spider was discontinued in 1994.
Alfa's 8C Competizione, which was built from 2007-2008, was too expensive for most Alfa buyers. The spider version of the 8C cost up to 213,000 euros and the car's production run was limited to 1,000 units.The 157.5-inch-long, 200-hp mid-engine 4C concept took design cues from the legendary 33 Stradale, company sources say. Launched in 1967, the 33 Stradale was a rear-engine, rear-drive two-seat coupe powered by a 230-hp 2.0-liter V8 derived from Alfa's 33 race car. Alfa built just 18 units of the 33 Stradale.
The 4C concept was styled by the Fiat Group subsidiary's design center in Turin. The car is rakish, very compact and extremely low to the ground.
The 4C will go on sale at a crucial time for Alfa because by the final quarter of 2012 the company also plans to introduce the Giulia mid-sized sedan to replace the slow-selling 159 and launch the brand's first ever SUV, a sister model to the Jeep Compass/Patriot replacement.
Fiat S.p.A. CEO Sergio Marchionne wants to lift Alfa sales to 500,000 units by 2014. Alfa's global sales last year increased a modest 10.2 percent to 112,000 units.
Thanks to an innovative construction method, which combines carbon fiber and aluminum, the 4C will weigh less than 850kg (1,784 pounds).