THE most anticipated Alfa Romeo in years, the 4C sports car, will start at $89,000 when it finally hits Australian roads later this month.
After extensive delays due to lack of supply, the first batch of 60 4Cs hit Melbourne docks last week, with Alfa expecting to sell at least 120 of the lightweight mid-engined sports car this year.
In addition to the the base 4C Coupe at $89,000, buyers will also have the choice of a limited-run 4C Launch Edition for $109,000.
Both cars boast a mid-mounted, high-boost turbocharged 1.7-litre four-cylinder petrol that sends 177kW and 350Nm to the rear wheels via Alfa’s own six-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Launch Edition models receive bigger wheels (205/40 R18 up front and 235/35 R19 at the back) and stickier Pirelli P Zero tyres, a sports exhaust and a ‘racing’ suspension tune. Cosmetically, there’s additional lashings of carbonfibre trim, red brake calipers and an Alfa car cover.
Of the 120 4Cs expected to be sold this year, Alfa says 75 will be Launch Edition spec.
To put the 4C’s pricing into perspective, its key rivals, the Lotus Elise and the Porsche Cayman, start at $69,990 and $106,600 respectively.
While the 4C finds the middle ground between the hardcore, track-focused Lotus and the more refined Porsche, its $89,000 starting price is significantly higher than first expected.
At the car’s international launch in November 2013, Alfa said the 4C would start at $75,000 when it arrived Down Under.
However, while the price tag has grown due to a poorer Australian dollar, so too has 4C’s level of standard equipment, according to Alfa Australia spokesperson Lucy McLellan.
“We understand international comments have been made in the past, however the pricing that has been announced today reflects the high level of standard equipment we have in the car,” she said.
“The pricing provides outstanding value for a supercar available in the Australian marketplace.”
Asked whether Alfa expects the higher price to deter buyers, McLellan said: “FCA Australia gave indicative pricing at the Geneva Motor Show in March last year, which is aligned with today’s pricing announcement. This indicative range only increased customer demand.”