Is this the Alfa we have been waiting for?
The all new Alfa Romeo 4C coupe and Spider have been announced and unveiled as the opening shots in Fiat Chrysler’s somewhat grand plan to elevate the underperforming but much loved Italian brand. Fiat intends to bring Alfa Romeo into contention with the Teutonic heavyweights of BMW, Mercedes and Audi, and perhaps the emerging British Cat, Jaguar.
Expect the next shots later next week with the unveiling of the Alfa Romeo midsize luxury sports sedan, which is of course aimed directly at the BMW3, Jag XE and Audi A4, and is expected to hit the showrooms, at least in North America, in early 2016.
This will not be the last offerings from Alfa Romeo but it is hoped that the 4C will start to reignite the passion that many of us had for the Italian design and racing heritage, putting the brand firmly back on the radar of wealthier households or collectors, ahead of the coming product blitz.
We always used to say that you are not a petrol head until you have owned an Alfa, due to the simple recipe that Alfa has always followed: attract attention with outrageous styling; tune the engine so that it has some guttural stomach-churning exhaust note; then add a dose of controllable speed.
The 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C certainly is good-looking, with some fantastic design cues showing the heritage and pedigree of the marque. It will be powered by a 1.7-litre in-line four pot engine that cranks out 237bhp, mated to a twin clutch six-speed automated manual gear box. The spec and pricing is aimed very directly at the BMW Z4, Jaguar F-Type, Lotus Elise and the Porsche Boxster.
In a strange twist though, the combined output of hand-built 4C Coupe and Spider will be limited to just 2,500 units in 2015. Just enough for Alfa enthusiasts and collectors to pick one up but at the same time keeping the beast in short supply and thus apparently helping exclusivity and price.