Alfa Romeo to make U.S. comeback with new sports car
DETROIT — After a 30-year absence, Italy's storied Alfa Romeo brand will return to the United States later this year with a new two-seat compact sports car.
Italian automaker Fiat SpA said Tuesday that the long-delayed Alfa 4C will go on sale during the second half of the year. Fiat owns Alfa and controls the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram brands in the U.S.
The 4C will officially debut at the Geneva International Motor Show next month. The low-sitting car with flared fenders is based on Alfa's history of racing. It has a turbocharged 1.75-Liter aluminum four-cylinder engine with 200-plus horsepower. The chassis is made of lightweight and expensive carbon fiber.
The rear-wheel-drive car will cost around $60,000 in the U.S. and be sold at U.S. Fiat dealers. The company plans to make about 1,500 per year at a Maserati factory in Modena, Italy. Half the cars will be sent to the U.S.
Fiat has promised the 4C would lead Alfa's return to the U.S. ever since a concept prototype was put on display in Geneva in 2011.
"This is the first car," Fiat spokesman Richard Gadeselli said. "In the next year, you'll see another."
Chrysler's U.S. business plan has five more Alfa Romeos coming to the U.S. by 2016. That includes an Alfa Romeo SUV, the Giulia sedan and a station wagon. Alfa also has plans for a large sedan in the U.S. market.
The Alfa debut in the U.S. is good news for Fiat dealers, who have invested in dealerships but have had few models to sell. Fiat returned to the U.S. in late 2010 with only one model, the 500 mini-car. The company has since added electric and four-door versions of the 500.
Sales started slow but more than doubled last year to almost 44,000. Still, the number is below Fiat's main competitor, BMW's Mini brand. BMW sold more than 66,000 Minis in the U.S. last year.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Amusement parks fight off home entertainment threat
- State officials prompt UPMC, Highmark to go to mediation to resolve Medicare dispute
- Caution creeps into economic picture as consumer, business spending taper
- S&P 500 logs 47th record high close for year
- Retailers that won’t open on Thanksgiving hope move pays off
- BNY Mellon trader fired in conduct probe
- Lower gasoline prices fail to spur consumer spending
- Federal agency checking whether Highmark has enough doctors in Medicare plan
- Butler County firm Deep Well Services tackles tough gas wells
- Iron ore price decline hurts U.S. Steel’s cost advantage over rivals
- Westinghouse to construct colossal nuke plant in Turkey