2015 Alfa Romeo 4C coupe makes its American debut

The all-new Alfa Romeo 4C coupe recently made its debut at the New York Auto Show, marking the brand’s return to North American soil after nearly two-decades of absence.

The return to the US market, spearheaded by Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, comes as part of the company’s ongoing effort to revamp itself and re-enter into markets in America, Europe and the rest of the world.

Marchionne said that while the targets set by the Alfa renaissance were ambitious, they would be successful saying: “I wouldn’t have put them down if they weren’t achievable” at an event to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of Fiat’s former chairman Umberto Agnelli.

FHM Car of the Year

The 4C, which won various awards since its release, including FHM Car of the Year and Most Beautiful Car of the Year, and was described as ‘the most important Alfa for decades’, has a mid-engine design inspired by the brand’s legendary racing pedigree and a state-of-the-art carbon fibre frame, while the latest 2015 incarnation features sharper aesthetics than the previous model, representing the brand’s reputation for Italian style and performance excellence.

Turboocharged engine

An all-new 1.75-litre turbocharged engine lurks beneath the bonnet, offering 237bhp for optimum acceleration. The F1-inspired architecture and dynamic efficiency also leaves the 4C about 400kg lighter than a Porsche Cayenne S, the equivalent of chucking out a rugby team’s front row, meaning that the 4C coupe can offer near supercar performance for a reasonable price tag.

The car’s paddle-shifting transmission has also been specifically tuned with uniquely calibrated software that adjusts with the Alfa’s signature DNA driving mode selector system, becoming most aggressive in the Dynamic and Race modes and the system also integrates a launch control mode which delivers a blast of the highest acceleration possible as soon as the driver releases the brake.

The inside is similarly race-inspired, with a driver-oriented cockpit with flat-bottomed performance steering wheel and aluminium pedals while a seven-inch full-colour instrument display shows simple, high-impact graphics to keep the driver focused on the road, or track ahead.

Performance is the key word with the new 4C coupe, with only essential components integrated including two composite-framed sport seats, a thermoformed dashboard and an exposed carbon fibre frame that highlights the coupe’s technological uniqueness and racing history.

Five-year plan

Earlier this month, Fiat’s executives announced a five-year plan to make big gains within the industry. The company announced that they aim to increase yearly vehicle sales by 60% to seven million by 2018, with Marchionne saying that the Alfa Romeo launch would play a major part along with a new sports-utility line from Jeep.