Alfa shows off the US-bound 4C at Geneva
Alfa Romeo is returning stateside — and with cars like the 4C, we welcome it with open arms.
Alfa Romeo 4C
Here at last, here at last: The Alfa 4C is official and going into production very soon. To celebrate this fact, Alfa was showing no fewer than three models on its stand at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.
If you're lucky enough to get to the show at the Palexpo, or to see the 4C at a future show, just look for the crowds of people. Good luck trying to sit in one, since Alfa keeps the doors locked, even during press preview days. A sit inside is by appointment only. So it's a bit like Ferrari with the LaFerrari — only with the 4C, you could buy it for a relatively affordable price and take delivery without boasting exemplary connections or possessing an automotive provenance that includes previous Alfa purchases.
On the rest of the stand — decked out in rich red, naturally — are models from the rest of Alfa's range. Both of them. So while the 4C has certainly arrived in Geneva, much more product is needed to back it up. We sincerely hope Alfa gets this, because the 4C is too good a brand-rebuilding opportunity to pass up.
Alfa Romeo 4C
What is it? Two years after surfacing as a concept car at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the Alfa Romeo 4C sports car is back — but this time it's making its debut as a full-fledged, production-ready sex machine, one that you will actually be able to buy very shortly.
This is remarkable, given that Alfa's apparently beleaguered fortunes have reduced the once-proud Italian sporting marque to just two mainstream models at present. Does the 4C mark the start of resurgence? Well, if nothing else, it's certainly set to lead Alfa Romeo back into the U.S.
What's hot? The 4C will be the car to relaunch Alfa in America. From sultry looks to carbon-fiber engineering — both elements heavily influenced by the Alfa 8C Competizione supercar — it really has the goods to get your high-octane blood pumping.
What's not? And that's even before you consider the specially revised version of Alfa's 1.8-liter 240-horsepower 4-cylinder engine, mounted amidships and driving the rear wheels.
How much and when? There's no word on pricing just yet, but it's likely to be somewhere in the region of $45,000 to $50,000. It should be on sale here in the U.S. late in 2013 or early 2014.
MSN Autos' verdict: It's an incredibly ambitious project — if only the company's recent fortunes and ghastly reliability record didn't leave us wondering if it can really pull this off.
Alfa Romeo Gloria concept
What is it? A concept car created via collaboration between the automaker and young designers at the European Design Institute of Turin. It provides a glimpse into what American and Asian markets might like to see from Alfa Romeo, and, we have to say, we rather like it.
What's hot? Alfa Romeo is showcasing augmented-reality technology on its stand in Geneva, giving show-goers the chance to interact with the full-scale model via their smartphones. Attendees can swap wheels and five body colors to their heart's content.
What's not? The fact that Fiat stopped exporting Alfa Romeos to the U.S. in 1995. Although the 4C is said to be coming to the U.S., there are no concrete plans for the Gloria — which means we may never officially see the it, which is a shame.
How much and when? We wouldn't rule out the pretty Gloria subtly hinting at what the forthcoming new model — rumored for launch at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September -- looks like. Could we be seeing the new Giulia for the first time?
MSN Autos' verdict: The Gloria is such a studious tease; will it ever come to U.S. shores — in any guise?