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Alfa Romeo to Launch U.S. Return at NY Auto Show

New Alfa 4 C could soon be followed by other Italian models.

by on Mar.24, 2014

The Alfa Romeo 4C will blaze a return to the U.S. market for the Italian maker.

Picking up on that old punchline, it was beginning to look like Alfa Romeo was going to be the brand of the future – and always would be.  The Italian maker has been talking about a U.S. revival almost since it left the market two decades ago. But despite a few abortive attempts – and an original plan outlined shortly after parent Fiat and Chrysler partnered up in 2009, Alfa’s American comeback has been repeatedly delayed.

Until next month, anyway.  The sporty brand has confirmed it will officially mark its comeback at the upcoming New York Auto Show with the official unveiling of the U.S.-edition Alfa Romeo 4C.  That’s only part of the good news for long-suffering Alfisti.  Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of newly merged Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, recently suggested that the Alfa 4C won’t be alone for long, with other models under consideration for import.

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“The recent announcement that Alfa Romeo is returning to the market and has chosen the New York Auto Show to mark the occasion is very special for us and will be well received by our visitors,” said NY Auto Show Chairman John LaSorsa.

Don’t expect a fast ramp-up for Alfa when the first of the 4C sports cars arrives in June.  The initial plan is to offer the exotic, mid-engined coupe, with its carbon-fiber body, in only a select handful of dealers handling another up-market FCA brand, Maserati.


First Look: Alfa Romeo 4C

Sports car likely bound for U.S. market.

by on Mar.02, 2011

The lightweight Alfa Romeo 4C is expected to help revive the Italian brand's U.S. presence.

With more than 60 new or significantly updated products making their debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, it takes a real winner to draw a large crowd, but getting anywhere near the Alfa Romeo stand is a challenge, thanks to reveal of the maker’s striking 4C.

The downsized sibling of the 8C super car sold several years ago, the matte-finished, mid-engine sports car has the sorts of looks that might belong on a car in the six-figure price range, though word has it the Alfa 4C will be priced somewhere around $40,000 when it comes to market.

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And the good news for U.S. buyers is that the two-seater is expected to be one of the first of the Italian marque’s offering to cross the Atlantic as part of the effort to bring Alfa Romeo back to the American market.

Measuring about 158 inches, nose-to-tail, with a 95-inch wheelbase, the Alfa 4C will be powered by a turbocharged, Direct Injection 1.8-liter four making somewhere between 200 and 235 horsepower.  That will drive the rear wheels, fittingly, for a car designed to deliver some serious driving fun.

The mid-engine 2-seater will weigh in at less than 1800 pounds thanks to the use of aluminum and carbon fiber.

The engine might seem a bit on the down size but the new Alfa 4C weighs in at just 1784 pounds due to the use of various lightweight materials.   That includes not only aluminum but also carbon fiber.

Significantly, the latter material has not only wound up on a number of new offerings at this year’s Geneva Motor Show but is beginning to migrate down from supercar territory into the mainstream.  Mini, for example, is using carbon fiber on the Rocketman concept and could begin offering it on production models in the near future.

By holding down mass, that 1750 TBi powertrain is expected to punch the Alfa Romeo 4C from 0 to 100 kmh (62.5 mph) in just 5 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 155 mph.

The Alfa 4C will go on sale in Europe in 2012.

Long-Rumored Revival Of Dodge Viper Confirmed

New version of the “snake” to be “unique,” and debut as a 2013 model.

by on Dec.01, 2010

One of the last of the old Dodge Vipers proves its mettle on the track. A new version returns in the 2013 model-year.

Long-time fans of Chrysler’s quirky supercar, the Dodge Viper, have gotten an early Christmas present, though they’ll have to wait a few years to unwrap it.

As part of its restructuring, the automaker wrapped up production of the Viper earlier this year, (Click Here for more), after an 18-year run.  But as first reported in November 2009, a revival was already under study. (For more on that story, Click Here.) Chrysler is now confirming that the 2-seat sports car is scheduled to make its comeback in 2012 as a 2013 model.

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Don’t expect Chrysler to simply pick up where it left off, however, says Ralph Gilles, Chrysler’s corporate chief designer and the head of the Dodge brand.  “There won’t be a part of the car that’s untouched,” he tells Alisa Priddle, of the Detroit News.

While Gilles won’t provide all the details – perhaps because some significant development work is yet to be completed – he did drop one big surprise.  Shortly after taking control of Chrysler, after its 2009 bankruptcy, Fiat sources suggested that the next-generation Viper would be paired with one of the Italian maker’s models, most likely the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione.  Alfa used that high-performance model to launch a limited return to the U.S. market, two years ago.


Sneak Peek: Alfa-Romeo GTA Mito

Alfa’s next model for the US

by on Feb.26, 2009

The Alfa-Romeo Mito GTA may soon join the high-performance 8C in U.S. showrooms.

The Alfa-Romeo Mito GTA may soon join the high-performance 8C in U.S. showrooms.

Despite its long absence, there are legions of American fans desperate for the return of the Alfa-Romeo brand. The Italian maker, a subsidiary of Fiat S.p.A., staged a sort-of comeback, last year, with the launch of the high-performance 8C, but volumes are so low, few will ever see, let alone drive, the sensual sports car.

With Fiat now talking a global joint venture with Chrysler, Alfa’s commitment to a true, U.S. return seems to be taking root. We’ll get a good look at the model to follow the 8C at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show: the GTA version (Gran Turismo ‘Alleggerito’, which means lighter) of the Mito, the small car that that went on sale in Europe last year. With 240 hp, the Mito GTA promises to be a true rocket.