We're out in California driving the Alfa Romeo 4C as we write this – which is the good news. The bad news is that we can't offer up any driving impressions of the car for another few days. On the other hand, we can provide a few interesting non-driving-based tidbits from the launch program, with which to further enlighten you about Alfa's upcoming "compact supercar" (that descriptor comes direct from Alfa CEO Harald Wester, for what it's worth).

So, for starters, the price. When Matt Davis drove the European-spec 4C in the fall of last year, he guestimated that the starting price for the US would hover around $55,000. As it turns out, that was a pretty good guess. Eventually, the starting bill on a 4C will be $53,900, plus a significant $1,295 for destination, netting out to $55,195 out the door.

That price might sound inline with what you'd expect for an Italian quasi-supercar, but it's not likely what you'll actually pay if you buy one. We're told that $62k to $65k will be the sweet spot for 4C sales in the US. What's more, if you simply have to have a 2015 model, you'll have to pony up a healthy $69,695 (that's including destination), for one of just 500 examples of the launch edition that will be sold here this year. In addition to a serialized plaque that will certify your historic purchase, the launch edition cars get the larger optional wheels in a dark-finish, the sport suspension, sport exhaust, and some other bits and bobs.

Finally, while we're happy to report that the curb weight of the feather-light 4C will stay below the magical 2,500-pound mark (2,495 lbs., wet), it has still gained some 342 pounds versus the European-spec car. The added weight is down to a beefier carbon-fiber tub and additional US safety equipment. It's also fair to mention that the ultra-light European model was arrived upon thanks to a homologation rule with the EU, that (among other things) will limit 4C sales on the continent to just 1,000 units per year. We'd expect that to evolve as the model stays on sale.

Stay tuned for our full review of the car, thick carbon-fiber and all, early next week.


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  • 77 Comments
      fordskydog
      • 7 Months Ago
      342!?!?!? THREE HUNDRED AND FORTY TWO POUNDS?!?!?!?! I just don't believe it was necessary to increase the weight THAT much to make it North America compatible. What additional equipment is required? There are like three black boxes on every system, two NSA agents, and a pot-sniffing canine included with each one?
        domingorobusto
        • 7 Months Ago
        @fordskydog
        A lot of it is content that the Euro spec car doesn't have that Fiat feels is necessary to appeal to the American market, like more sound deadening, a real stereo system, powered windows, stuff like that. But i still agree, 350 lbs of weight gain is ridiculous.
      DucatiCorse
      • 7 Months Ago
      The launch edition is silly, really (rarity notwithstanding). Cavaggioni has already said the Spider and RS are good bets as they plan to update the car every year. Nothing strikes your buyer's remorse like a hotter, better version that follows just shortly after you buy it. And this car should have debuted with Alfa's 300hp 1.8L instead of the 240hp 1.7L. ...But there's always next year.
        TomazHilton
        • 7 Months Ago
        @DucatiCorse
        Like... the Elise only had 120 hp when it came out... now its at about 180..... 240 is a big deal in a 2400lb car hell it beat 300+hp Sports cars on the Ring ......Save that 300hp version for the "Cloverleaf"
        pavsterrocks
        • 7 Months Ago
        @DucatiCorse
        That's where the aftermaket will pick-up the slack.
      Benjamin Roethig
      • 7 Months Ago
      The weight is news? FMVSS/CMVSS requires heavier bumpers than UNECE.
        Georg
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Benjamin Roethig
        my bet this the weight comes more likely from seats and such stuff... many bucket seats street legal in the EU are not street legal in the USA... and sporty seats weight tons more than race bucket seats... the next thing is what weight is comnpared... dry weight with US curb weight? Alfa Romeo is extremly optimistic with their weight claims in europe.... most test show that the 4C weights one ton or over 2200lbs... so if the US version stay under 2500lbs the different is under 300lbs. The claimed 900kg is dry without any fluids and fuel
      Hernan
      • 7 Months Ago
      If you can keep it around $60K with some options, the competition will mostly be the German roadsters (TT, SLK, Z4, Cayman non-S).
        Bandit5317
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Hernan
        And the Corvette. Different demographic, I know, but the cars can be compared.
      Teleny411
      • 7 Months Ago
      This car would a serious Boxster rival with a NA v6 & MT.
        ScottT
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Teleny411
        I think the Boxster is more of a daily driver, the Alfa is more of a track toy/weekend car. No trunk limits it market by a large margin.
      r53CooperS
      • 7 Months Ago
      Seyth, stop "instagramming" the photos. It's distracting and looks like someone just got Photoshop for xmas. Yay! Filters!
      psarquis
      • 7 Months Ago
      This is Corvette Stingray money. No thanks.
        lasertekk
        • 7 Months Ago
        @psarquis
        This is a car site. Automatic ban for spelling it 'alpha'.
        Losferatu
        • 7 Months Ago
        @psarquis
        I doubt the two will ever be cross shopped
          ExigeS
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Losferatu
          Yeah no one looking at sports cars would ever be tempted by the Corvettes supreme performance when you can get a 4c complete with a permanent morbidly obese passenger.
          Rr778
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Losferatu
          Buyers frequently cross shop vehicles of similar body type and price I expect the 4c will be cross shopped with the Vette and the cayman
          Ron
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Losferatu
          BS... I am shopping for a 60k sports car, I am definitely cross shopping the 2.
          pavsterrocks
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Losferatu
          Let's be real - the Alpha will be the 3rd of 4th car in someone's garage. It will be cross-shopped with every other car under the sun because shopping for toys of this caliber is as much fun as owning them. Maybe even more so.
        r_dezi
        • 7 Months Ago
        @psarquis
        Maybe, but the Corvette isn't as beautiful.
          dacelbot
          • 7 Months Ago
          @r_dezi
          That's your opinion. The 4C's a good looking car, but the '14 Corvette is definitely in my top 5 or at worst top 8 of all time. 4C nowhere near.
          Quen47
          • 7 Months Ago
          @r_dezi
          Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.
          pavsterrocks
          • 7 Months Ago
          @r_dezi
          @dacelbot - I almost agreed with you when I saw the 'worst 8' then I realized you mean something different. Corvette is not beauty; it's a forceful design that does look very much in your face, but it will age just as badly as all other vettes.
        S40Powered
        • 7 Months Ago
        @psarquis
        And billion of times hotter.
        S40Powered
        • 7 Months Ago
        @psarquis
        And billion of times hotter.
      username
      • 7 Months Ago
      342 lbs? **** our insane safety standards... seriously. 342 lbs is a lot.
        thequebecerinfrance
        • 7 Months Ago
        @username
        It's a lot because they are using a loop hole to bypass being fully certified in Eu. If they were fully compliant with the EU regulation, I'm pretty sure their weight would be much closer.
      Nathan
      • 7 Months Ago
      lol 16% weight increase, what a joke. Yay nanny state regulations...
      sloturbo
      • 7 Months Ago
      Glad to see regular lights on the US version, I hated those sea creature looking ones.
      Gmdv
      • 7 Months Ago
      342 lb is a lot of weight, but still this car truly is a special technical package. Carbon fiber tub for that amount of money? Consider me sold. I don't get how this would be comparable to a Corvette, since it's much closer in philosophy to a Lotus...
      mookieblaylock
      • 7 Months Ago
      342=kiss of death for US sales.
        KaiserWilhelm
        • 7 Months Ago
        @mookieblaylock
        The car is still under 2500lbs! Thats nothing!
          adamt
          • 7 Months Ago
          @KaiserWilhelm
          Are you kidding? That's like an extra 2 adults in the back seat! That has to be worth 20 hp, 2 mpg, etc.. And in terms of being under 2500lbs, 342lbs is a significant percentage of weight. Me? I'll take the car that is 20% lighter, thanks.
        11fiveoh
        • 7 Months Ago
        @mookieblaylock
        It's ATLEAST 3 tenths in the 1/4. May have even more of an adverse effect with it being relatively light and underpowered to start.
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