Alfa Romeo 4C features, specs review, price, and release

The Alfa Romeo 4C is a small, lightweight, rear wheel drive sports car, similar in size to the Alfa Romeo MiTo.

It uses a carbon fiber tub, front and rear crash box, and hybrid rear frame mainly out of aluminum to keep its weight at 895 kilograms (1,973 lb); 995 kilograms (2,194 lb) in the United States. The 4C will be the first mass-produced Alfa Romeo car for re-entry into the US market by 2014.

Alfa Romeo made a quiet exit from the U.S. nearly 20 years ago. The Italian automaker, owned by Fiat, will try its hand at the U.S. market again, this time with the 2014 Alfa Romeo 4C.

Alfa added an all-aluminum 1.75-liter turbocharged I4 that makes 240 hp at 6,000 rpm; more importantly, 258 lb-ft of torque comes in at a reasonably low 2,200 rpm. The end result for those keeping score at home is a specific output of 137 hp per liter and 8.3 lbs/hp.

The turbo four – visible through a glass panel, Ferrari-style – will pair with a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission with paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

U.S.-spec cars will get additional equipment (and, unfortunately, weight) like an adjustable passenger seat (optional on global 4Cs), rear parking assist and a handful of other convenience touches, all for an estimated starting price around $54,000.

The 4C concept version unveiled in the 81st Geneva Motor Show in March 2011, followed by Mille Miglia 2011 parade, Goodwood Festival of Speed 2011, 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.