We’ve been talking about Alfa Romeo’s impending arrival in the U.S. for years now, but enthusiasts will have to wait a bit longer than expected for the arrival of the Italian brand’s first model, the 2014 Alfa Romeo 4C sports car. At a recent media event for the 4C in Italy, senior editor Joe Lorio learned Alfa Romeo will launch in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2014 — far later than expected.
This confirms a recent Bloomberg report that quotes a Chrysler spokesman as claiming the same arrival timeline. Initially, Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne claimed that Alfa Romeo models would go on sale in the U.S. in 2012. This timeline was later revised, with the date for the Alfa Romeo 4C launch being pushed back until mid-2013, then as recently as April we were told the car would launch before the end of 2013. Chrysler has not provided any reasons for the delay to mid-2014, but it could be due to certification and testing to meet stringent U.S. regulations for emissions and safety.
The 2014 Alfa Romeo 4C will be the first model offered by the brand in the U.S. in years, with 1000 copies of the 1200 unit total destined for North America. The 4C is a mid-engine, lightweight sports car intended to rival the Porsche Cayman. In the European-spec Alfa Romeo 4C, a 1.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces 240 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and is mated with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. We have also heard that the American model will be slightly heavier than in Europe. Price-wise, the 4C will start at approximately $54,000.
When Alfa Romeo arrives next year, look for the brand in Maserati dealers. Further down the road, look for Alfa Romeo’s U.S. lineup to expand with a possible Giulietta compact hatchback, a Giulia rear-wheel-drive sport sedan, and the 2C Spider, a sports car developed in conjunction with the next-generation Mazda Miata.