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Future models - Alfa Romeo - 4C

Customers queue up for hot Alfa

Form a line: The Alfa Romeo 4C should arrive in Australia early next year and is expected to carry a sub-$80,000 price tag.

Alfa Romeo has received a flood of interest after opening its order book for 4C

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Alfa Romeo logo31 Jul 2013

IT’S not available here for at least another six months, but that hasn’t stopped 85 cashed–up Australians from throwing money down for Alfa Romeo’s shapely 4C sports coupe.

The super-hot lightweight coupe is scheduled for a local release between the first and second quarter of 2014 and is already building a waiting list, with a number of keen punters putting down “serious cash” for their deposits, Alfa says.

With demand this high well before launch, slow-moving Australian customers could have to join the end of the queue for the 4C, with global production capped at around 3600 units a year.

Alfa’s low production volume is partly due to the limited manufacturing capabilities of the Italian company that builds the 4C’s lightweight carbon-fibre chassis.

While Alfa Romeo’s local arm said it would confirm pricing for its 4C in the first quarter of next year, previous reports have suggested it could carry a sub-$80,000 price tag, potentially making it cheaper than a Lotus Exige S ($119,990), but more expensive than a Peugeot RCZ ($58,990).

Fiat Chrysler Group director of corporate affairs Karla Leach would not be drawn on pricing, only to say that it would be “affordable.” The Italian brand ripped the covers off the production 4C at the Geneva motor show earlier this year, revealing a design that remained largely unchanged from a concept version shown six months earlier at the Frankfurt show.

Power for the 4C comes from a re-tuned version of the lightweight aluminium 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine from the Giulietta QV.

While Alfa is yet to release power figures for the 4C, the same engine in the Giulietta pumps out 173kW/300Nm. This should be enough to propel the sub-1000kg coupe from 0-100km/h in the five second mark.

Parts of the polished carbon-fibre passenger cell are exposed in the no-frills cabin, while the 4C features paddle shifters on its flat-bottomed sports steering wheel, sports seats made of composite materials, and aluminum pedals.

Meanwhile, Alfa Romeo is continuing work on its other future sports car, the reborn Spider convertible being engineered and built in collaboration with Japanese car-maker Mazda.

The Spider will share a platform with the next-generation MX-5 roadster and is expected to use a selection of Fiat engines when it arrives sometime in 2015.

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