Alfa Romeo is back.
That’s what U.S. car enthusiasts have been waiting to hear since the storied Italian brand left our shores in 1995. It’s been plotting a return for roughly a decade, and it will finally make its comeback here at the 2014 New York Auto Show next month.
Alfa will show off the 4C sports car which, aside from a limited run of 8C Competizione models, will be its first officially-imported model since the Clinton administration when it goes on sale this June.
The 4C is the perfect car for Alfa Romeo to stage a comeback with. Small and mid-engined, with a lightweight carbon fiber monocoque chassis, it’s essentially a love letter to fans of driving pleasure.
The lightweight chassis is paired with a 1.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which produces 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Mated to the mandatory six-speed TCT dual-clutch transmission, the 4C will go from 0 to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds, and reach a top speed of 160 mph.
Anyone disappointed by the lack of a clutch pedal will be happy to know that the 4C doesn’t have a feel-sapping electronic power-steering system.
In fact, it has no power steering at all. That should provide the ultimate road feel, and given the 4C’s low curb weight (around 2,193 pounds in U.S. trim), it should also be manageable at parking lot speeds.
Alfa Romeo may also bring with it the 4C Spider convertible, which it unveiled earlier this month at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. However, the 4C Spider has not been confirmed for production.
Right now, Alfa Romeo only has two other models, the micro MiTo and the Giulietta, which shares its platform with the Dodge Dart and Jeep Cherokee.
Alfa Romeo was supposed to launch a new Spider sports car based on the nest Mazda MX-5 Miata, but that plan appears to be dead. There have also been rumors of an SUV based on the upcoming Maserati Levante.
Whatever its future plans, it will be good to have Alfa Romeo back on U.S. shores. The company’s return kicks off at the 2014 New York Auto Show, which opens April 16.
The hardtop 4C is expected to go on sale in June with a base price of $54,000.