Alfa Romeo 4C priced at $53,900* in US, gains 342 pounds vs Euro version

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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