Stuck in customs: Alfa Romeo 4C priced at $54k, won’t hit Stateside until mid-2014

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C

Just like the Jeep Cherokee, the launch of the Alfa Romeo 4C has been delayed.

Alfa fans: which do you want first, the good news or the bad news? OK, we’ll go with good.

The good news is that Alfa has announced U.S. pricing for its 4C, the mid-engined sports car that will mark the brand’s return to the Land of the Free. The bad news is that it won’t get here until the second quarter of 2014.

According to Road & Track, the Alfa Romeo 4C will carry a sticker price of $54,000. That puts it in the same territory as the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (base price: $51,995) and Porsche Cayman ($52,600). The kicker, though,  is that Alfas won’t be sold at FIAT dealers but rather and the rarer Maserati dealerships. So getting your hands on one might be even trickier than it before seemed.

How does the 4C stack up? It’s 1.75-liter, 240 horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder gets it to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds. The Corvette can do 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, and the Porsche takes 5.4 seconds to do the same. So it seems the Alfa is right in the middle.

Also, the 4C has something that other sports cars don’t: a lightweight carbon fiber monocoque chassis. While carbon fiber body panels are trickling down to cheaper cars, complete carbon fiber chassis are still pretty much exclusive to exotic supercars.

So the 4C should delight car enthusiasts, but it will also keep them waiting.

At the 2013 Detroit auto show this past January, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said Alfa would bring the 4C to the U.S. before the end of the year. Apparently, the plan has changed.

The 4C will probably be available in the second quarter of 2014, said Rick Deneau, a spokesman for Chrysler, in an e-mail to the Detroit News.

It looks like Alfa’s return to the U.S. will be delayed at least one more time. Still, with the exception of a few 8C exotics, Alfa’s haven’t been sold on this side of the Atlantic in about 18 years. Compared to that, what’s a few more months?

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