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Alfa Romeo 4C to spearhead marque's return to the US

Tue, 25 Mar 2014

Alfa Romeo is coming back to the U.S. this summer, and at next month's New York auto show the company will present the 4C Coupe to the American public.

We need to take a step back to point out that even though the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione was officially sold on our shores in a handful of locations (to a smattering of well-heeled buyers), the automaker's planned return this summer will offer cars for--ahem--a slightly larger audience. After all, Fiat's return to the U.S. market came with the express promise to offer new Fiat dealers a wider range of cars, cars that they've been expecting for a few years now.

The Alfa Romeo 4C was originally set to be offered in the U.S. in fall 2013, but deliveries will now start in the early part of the summer. The 4C has been on sale in other markets since last October.

The mid-engine rear-wheel-drive two-door coupe is powered by a 1.75-liter turbocharged inline-four engine mated to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. The 4C spits out 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque--good enough for a sprint to 62 mph in just 4.5 seconds, thanks to a lithe 1,973 pound curb weight. Once the 4C debuts, it'll take on the likes of the Porsche Cayman and Boxster. It will likely start around $54,000, quite a difference in price from the 8C.

The 4C is merely the first Alfa Romeo that'll land on our shores in the near future; it is expected to be joined by other cars in the coming months. Just what those cars will be and how soon they'll get here is yet to be revealed, as Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne is expected to present a road map for the brand's full return in May of this year. But for starters, we expect the 4C Spider, entering production in early 2015, to appear stateside.

And speaking of the 4C Spider, we're expecting to get a glimpse of that variant at next month's New York auto show as well, during which time we'll undoubtedly hear a few more specifics about Alfa Romeo's return to America.

By Jay Ramey