Currently reading: Alfa 4C to spearhead US relaunch
New 4C sports car to spearhead Alfa Romeo’s full return to the US market

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

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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K1NZ 14 February 2012

Re: Alfa 4C to spearhead US relaunch

I feel these new Alfa models cant come fast enough. No mannual in the 4C though? arent alfas renowned for mannuals? I think a sports car should at least be offered with one

curious_insider 14 February 2012

Re: Alfa 4C to spearhead US relaunch

Los Angeles wrote:

curious_insider wrote:
hate to be picky, but what sunk Qvale's (ad)venture was the fact that the car was a dog.

It was made to order. They sold slightly over eighty. Ninety percent of potential customers entering their magnifcent Van Ness Avenue showroom in San Francisco asked for auto. (I'm a friend of the family: Jeff, Bruce, and founder Kjell - Norwegian immigrant stock.) When they sold the Modena factory to Rover they never got paid.

I would advise them to invest their money a little more wisely next time! No matter the history and prestige behind the name, if the product isn't up to it, it will fail. I'm not surprised they didn't get paid, given the people they were dealing with at the time in Rover......

integrale90 14 February 2012

Re: Alfa 4C to spearhead US relaunch

Common Alfa, this was suppose to be a "driver's" car, light, nimble, and with a manual. Porsche still does manuals.

I have been waiting for an Alfa to come back to US since they left but these stories about coming back since year 2000 or so, are becoming boring. Those few enthusiasts left in this country will not be living by the time they finally make it here, if ever. When I saw the 4C the first time I thought "this is it". Now, I will have to go to Porsche and buy that Boxster after all.

8C was and still is one of the most gorgeous cars made but in my mind they made a huge mistake not only by pricing it totally out of reach of A-R fans but making it almost unavailable (200 copies). That car should have been priced around where "911" is and they would have sold thousands of them. The history repeats itself, Italians just don't get it.