The Lotus Elise Convertible and its coupe brother, the Exige, have left the American market in 2011. The lovers of small, light-weight, mid-engine sports cars have been wondering what if anything will come next? Enter the 2014 Alfa Romeo 4C. Yes, it’s actually coming!
Waiting for Alpha’s return to the United States market can be described as searching for the end of a rainbow. You can see it, as if it’s just over the next hill, but it is further and further away. Well, the official word is that Alfa Romeo is coming back to United States and it’s doing it with this stunning 2014 4C mid-engine sports car by the end of the 2013 calendar year. Rejoice!
You will be even happier when you hear the specs for the production 4C coupe. Mid-ship mounted, small 1.75 liter, direct injected and turbocharged motor is good for 240 horses! Are you concerned about turbo lag from this small displacement power plant? Alfa says not to worry as they fitted special intake runners and the “scavenging control system” to eliminate any lag. We will learn more details when the 4C is properly unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, which begins on March 5th.
If the 240 horsepower does not sound like a lot for a proper modern sports car, please consider that the 4C is said to weigh roughly 2,100 lbs. If you are familiar with the Lotus Exige and Elise, these specs must be causing you a deja vu. The 2011 Exige weighed in at 2,004 lbs and was powered by a small supercharged motor good for about 257 hp. The Lotus and the Alfa have about the same footprint, with the Alpha about six inches longer, one inch taller, and a noteworthy nine inches wider. The 4C must have a decent amount of interior space and possibly some of best handling characteristics this side a Formula 1 race car?
One significant difference is that the 4C uses a 7-speed dual clutch automatic to send the power to the rear wheel, while the Exige used a 6-speed manual. This has a potential for an endless debate. What are your thoughts? Should Alfa also offer a 6-speed manual in the 4C or is the new era of high tech sports car has dual-clutch written all over it?
Pricing on the 4C has not been announced yet. Considering that production numbers will be limited and that it uses a carbon fiber tub and a host of aluminum components, the price is likely to be north of $45,000 (possibly in the $55,000 range). I would not be surprised if the 4C price matched that of the Exige.
Also, I sense 4C versus Exige match-ups on every automotive journalist outlet imaginable. We at TFLcar definitely want to compare these two amazing machines. By the way, 4C Convertible is expected to come later in 2014 calendar year.
While we wait – here is TFLcar testing an electric version of the Lotus Elise – the Tesla Roadster.
Andre Smirnov is a life-long automotive enthusiast, software engineer, writer, and reporter. He has been writing and reporting at TFLcar since 2011. When not working or spending time with the family – you can find him tinkering in the garage or scouring the internet and other media for various automotive, mechanical, and computer related information.