If Autocar is correct, Alfa Romeo will show its all-new 4C sports car next summer, roughly six months prior to the originally planned date.
The 4C was previewed by the 4C concept car at last year’s Geneva show. The concept car is powered by a turbocharged and direct-injected inline-four that was rumored to make around 235 hp. That same engine is what is being reported to be found under the hood of the production-spec car, albeit rated to 296 hp. There is also a chance that the 4C’s engine could also make it into the upcoming Spider (to be built in tandem with the next-generation Mazda Miata) as well as other Fiat and Chrysler models. Alfa has also aimed to keep the 4C’s weight under 2000 pounds, and Autocar is reporting that the 4C will weigh just under 1900 pounds thanks to a carbon fiber body. An exact price has yet to be set, but the original goal stated at the concept’s unveiling was about €40,000 ($54,600).
Alfa Romeo had originally planned to have the 4C on sale next year as the first car to help re-launch the brand in the U.S. While that goal won’t be met, company officials had slated a debut at the 2014 Detroit auto show for the car – now it sounds like the wraps will be coming off sometime in the summer of 2013. However, keep in mind that Alfa Romeo has been announcing its return to the U.S. market, as well as various new models (anyone remember the Kamal concept?), for the better part of a decade now, so it is yet to be seen if the 4C – and Alfa’s other plans – are truly ahead of schedule, if not at least on time.
Also apparently on track is the all-new Giulia compact sedan, which will replace the aging 159 sedan. That car is an equally as important model for Alfa to help reestablish itself in America, as it will go up against the likes of the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Infiniti G37.
Of course, all this remains to be seen: we’ve heard plenty of talk of Alfa’s U.S. rebirth over the past decade, but previous milestones seemed to slip by the wayside time and time again. As Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne himself noted in a recent interview with Automobile, “I understand we’ve been threatening the world with an Alfa comeback now for a long time…so the car[s] ned to be perfect. If it can’t be perfect, it can’t get launched. And if I can’t build the perfect vehicle, I won’t make it.”