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2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Coming this Fall, Starts at $55,195

The return of Alfa Romeo to the U.S. felt like an unending on-again, off-again saga, but today Chrysler Group finally announced pricing and launch times for the sexy 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C. The hard-core "Alfisti" who have been clamoring for years on end for the return of the Italian sports car brand will want to be among the first 500 to jump into the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition arriving this summer, while the standard 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C coupe will follow in the fall.

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition models, limited to 500 units, will cost $69,695 including a substantial $1295 destination fee, while base models total just $55,195. Pricing is right in line with what we anticipated, meaning the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C will position itself as a direct competitor to the $53,550 Porsche Cayman. We haven't seen an options or equipment list just yet, but hopefully the additional costs of upgrades and add-ons won't be as difficult to swallow as Porsche's.

On top of the serialized plaque included in each coupe, the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition adds some modern trappings to an otherwise all-business sports car. The special edition includes Bi-xenon LED-accented headlamps, leather-wrapped interior components, a carbon fiber rear spoiler with matching mirror cars, as well as an aluminum rear diffuser. Wheels are staggered with 18-inchers in the front and 19-inch units in the rear, and are paired with performance shocks and lacquered-red brake calipers. Finishing off the racing suspension are stiffer front- and rear-sway bars.

Having previously sampled the carbon-fiber 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C in Europe, we're more than a little antsy to get our hands on this Italian sexpot here at home. With its mid-mounted, all-aluminum, 237-hp 1.7-liter turbo-four; rear-wheel-drive arrangement; and refreshingly distinct design, the 4C ticks all the boxes on our sports car checklist. The U.S.-spec 4C weighs in at a sprightly 2465 pounds -- heavier than the European model but still a featherweight -- helping it rocket from 0-62 mph in a claimed 4.5 seconds using the coupe's launch control system. Top speed clocks in at 160 mph, but the real joy of the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C is its all-out rawness and slightly unhinged personality in the corners. On the skidpad the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C pulls 1.1 g in turns, and it can manage 1.25 g of deceleration under maximum braking.

Stay tuned for our first drive of the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C.