New 4C sports car to spearhead Alfa Romeo’s full return to the US market
14 February 2012

Alfa Romeo’s US relaunch will finally take place at the Detroit motor show in 2014. The production version of the mid-engined 4C sports car will make its debut at the same show.

The 4C will head a range that is set to grow over the next two years to include the five-door Mito, new Spider, Giulia saloon and estate (to replace the 159 range), a new compact SUV and the new 6C flagship saloon.

The first of the new Alfas is not due to be seen until the second half of next year, Autocar sources have revealed. So the company will have to make do with the current Mito and Giulietta for at least 18 months as its sole two new cars available in showrooms.

Once sales are under way in North America, Alfa will turn its attentions to launching in the Chinese market. It had a stand at the Guangzhou motor show late last year and was pleased with the response its models received.

Autocar has also learned from Fiat Group sources that the 4C will only be offered with a dual-clutch automatic gearbox with paddle shifters. There will be no manual option.

However, the 4C’s twin-clutch ’box won’t be exactly the same Fiat Powertrain-developed dry-clutch auto used in the Giulietta TCT (see first drive, p37) because it can’t be installed in a mid-engined car in its present state. Instead, the 4C is likely to get a version of this transmission adapted for mid-engined installation.

Sources have confirmed that the 4C will be powered by a new 230bhp version of Alfa’s 1750 turbo petrol engine. In its present 197bhp state, this engine has a torque output of 236lb ft.

This is well inside the new auto’s maximum torque tolerance of 258lb ft, which means the 1750 engine is also in line for a torque increase for the 4C

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Comments
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14 February 2012

[quote Autocar]Autocar has also learned from Fiat Group sources that the 4C will only be offered with a dual-clutch automatic gearbox with paddle shifters. There will be no manual option. [/quote]

I personally think this is a very big error on Alfa's behalf.

With a car that such as this a manual is a no brainer, even in the US where "stick shifts" are seen as a little more sporting (hence why the new M5 gets a manual box).

Does this hint at where the dynamic abilities of this car are going to lie? A car with sporting intent but in reality is compromised by a couple of factors? I hope not because yet again we will be looking and another miss by Alfa.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

14 February 2012

[quote TegTypeR]I personally think this is a very big error on Alfa's behalf.[/quote]

Me too, a dual clutch transmission is heavy...shaving the same amount of weight elsewhere means added costs...if it has to be an automatic option a a sequential single-clutch transmission would be a better choice, it is a car based on a chassis made by Dallara, there is no point of chasing comfort in other departments, it should be an extreme car.

14 February 2012

I just hope that it is only 18 months for the new models and not 24 months as in other stories, how accurate is this information as there appears to be different times on a weekly basis.

I am waiting to order the Giuila so at a possible 18 months wait that is getting better for me.

14 February 2012

[quote TegTypeR][quote Autocar]The 4C will only be offered with a dual-clutch automatic gearbox with paddle shifters. There will be no manual option. [/quote]This is a very big error on Alfa's behalf.[/quote]I doubt it, Teg. It's all there in the title, "To spearhead the US [Alfa] relaunch." A lack of automatic or paddle shift sunk Qvale's Modena sports car adventure. The North American market prefers auto, and paddle shift is all the rage. (Use it all the time of me Smart!) [quote TegTypeR] (hence why the new M5 gets a manual box).[/quote]

Yes, one of the best manual shifts on the plant - ever. No idea why other car manufacturers don't take it apart to copy it. But ... Mazda also offer the MX5 with an auto box, very popular in North America.

14 February 2012

[quote alfa bob]I am waiting to order the Giuila so at a possible 18 months wait that is getting better for me. [/quote]

Wow, you are gonna order it before seeing it, driving it and before knowing on which Dodge model it will be based?

Alfa should really do better cars just for the number and passion of its fans out there!

Something is moving at ex-Bertone plant, I hope the next Maserati saloon will become a base for an Alfa too (6C?) rather than going for something made in Detroit.

14 February 2012

WHAT ABOUT EUROPE?

14 February 2012

I am fearful that old Macarroni face will pull a fast one at the last minute and badge them with Dodge Charger name tags!!! - which might be a life saver for the name Alfa in the states as this car already will be using some crappy underpinnings..

14 February 2012

[quote newdevonian]WHAT ABOUT EUROPE?[/quote]

It seems Alfa is concentrating on US as a primary market. The research they made showed that Alfa is still recognized as a strong sport brand there.

Giulia, and supposedly 6C, will be produced in US and exported in Europe as a second market in significance.

I have read that at the Geneva motor show 4C will be presented in the near production version.

There are also rumors that Abarth will present at Geneva his Coupe based on the same Dallara chassis as 4C .

14 February 2012

I don't understand this Abarth activity; isn't it diluting the efforts to resuscitate Alfa?

14 February 2012

[quote Mario B]I don't understand this Abarth activity; [/quote]

My German neighbour owns a beautiful Abarth black over black-red Fiat 500 for city use - Abarth transforms the car's desirability!

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