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2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Marks Official Return of Storied Italian Marque

By: Jeff Youngs, 4/30/2014
At the 2014 New York Auto Show, Alfa Romeo announced further details about the new 4C sports car, which marks the official return of the marque to the U.S. market.

Engineered to be as light as possible, the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C employs a carbon-fiber and aluminum structure, composite body panels, and thinner window glass. Six paint colors, four brake caliper colors, and four wheel designs are available for the new Alfa Romeo 4C.

A turbocharged and direct-injected 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine, visible through the rear window thanks to the 4C's mid-engine powertrain layout, generates 237 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. Alfa Romeo says that 80% of peak torque is available starting at 1,700 rpm. An automated manual gearbox called a Twin Clutch Transmission (TCT) is standard, featuring paddle shifters and an Auto mode that allows the TCT to shift automatically.

An Alfa DNA Selector with All-Weather, Natural, Dynamic, and Race modes is standard, adjusting the 4C's powertrain response and stability control system accordingly. According to the automaker, race mode activates a launch-control system, which supplies acceleration to 60 mph in a claimed 4.5 seconds, and the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C model's top speed is 160 mph.

For the U.S. market, the 4C's double wishbone front and MacPherson strut rear suspension is tuned with softer springs, revised shocks, and larger anti-sway bars. The steering, however, is manual with no power assist. All Alfa Romeo 4C models are equipped with 17- or 18-in. front wheels with 18- or 19-in. rear wheels, as well as ventilated 4-wheel-disc brakes with 4-piston front calipers.

Alfa Romeo says motorsports inspired the 4C's interior. Composite-formed sport seats with a carbon fiber and fiberglass structure are standard, wrapped in cloth, leather, or a leather/microfiber mix. Exposed carbon fiber structural elements, an "asphalt treatment" for the door panels and dashboard, a flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters, and aluminum pedals and foot boards provide a minimalist environment. Traditional analog gauges are jettisoned in favor of a 7-in. Thin Film Transistor (TFT) instrument cluster.

Options are primarily grouped into packages. The Convenience package adds cruise control, a premium audio system, rear park-assist sensors, and an anti-theft system. The Leather package adds black or red leather upholstery and cabin trim, and a leather storage bag. The Exterior package features unique wheels and trim, and a racing exhaust system with concentric outlets. The Track package installs lightweight forged aluminum wheels, performance tires, racing suspension, racing exhaust system, and more. Additionally, Alfa Romeo offers fitted luggage, a fitted car cover, and a battery tender with a wall plug.

Built in Modena, Italy, at the Maserati factory, Alfa Romeo constructs one new 4C every 20 minutes, and each car gets a 25-mile shakedown run prior to shipment. The first 4C models to arrive in June of 2014 will be the Launch Edition versions, specially packaged models with serialized build numbers aimed at Alfa Romeo loyalists commonly referred to as the "Alfisti."

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