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For many years, Alfa Romeo didn’t have a presence in the United States, but the 2014 Alfa Romeo 4C changed that. Although this sports car entered the market as a low-volume model, it was an instant hit, especially with driving enthusiasts. The early 4C models were hardcore coupes that brought the driving dynamics to make purists smile.

Unfortunately, the 2020 version of this Alfa Romeo sports car was the last model year. During its final years, the 4C was only sold in the Spider body style, which meant a Targa-style removable roof panel. Today, we lament the loss of this incredible Alfa Romeo sports car.

Initially, the Alfa Romeo 4C doesn’t sound impressive

When discussing sports cars, the conversation must reach the engine and power figures. The Alfa Romeo 4C doesn’t put up impressive power numbers, but that’s part of the fun of this car. This Alfa is powered by a 1.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The only transmission offered was a six-speed automatic, which made some purists cringe.

Although unimpressive, this powertrain was more than enough to rocket the 4C to 60 mph in only 4.2 seconds on the way to a top speed of 160 mph. The impressive speed and acceleration figures are courtesy of the 4C’s low 2500-pound curb weight. This lightweight car maximized the mid-engine layout to hit remarkable performance figures.

A harsh but welcoming ride awaits 4C drivers

Much like high-performance roadsters of old, the Alfa Romeo 4C was punishing on the road, making drivers feel every bump or abrasion on the road. This was the tradeoff for the car, including a perfectly tuned suspension made for carving up the corners and rocketing down a canyon run like a champion.

The harshness doesn’t end with the ride. The 4C lacked power steering to save weight and increase steering feel while driving. According to Car and Driver, the 4C has a poorly outfitted and cramped interior, zero cargo space, and no fancy infotainment or driver-assistance tech. Although lacking in the creature comforts we love today, the 4C was the catalyst for bringing Alfa Romeo back to America, and it will be sorely missed.

Alfa Romeo 4C pros and cons

The pros and cons of this Ala Romeo sports car, according to Car and Driver, are:

4C pros

  • Vintage sports car looks and feel
  • A satisfying turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
  • Sharp handling and cornering capability

4C cons

  • A bare-bones interior
  • Low-quality interior materials
  • Convertible top functionality problems

Other Alfa Romeo models brought to the U.S. after the 4C

Using the 4C as a starting point, Alfa Romeo has since brought two other vehicles across the Atlantic to be sold here. These two vehicles are the Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV. These vehicles reach a top-level trim called Quadrifoglio, which delivers the pinnacle of what Alfa Romeo has to offer.

The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio performance sedan is truly poetry in motion. This amazing sedan uses a Ferrari-sourced 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that produces 505 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. This is more than enough power to rocket the car to 60 mph in only 3.6 seconds while boasting a top speed of 191 mph.

Turning to the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, we find the same powertrain under the hood, giving this compact luxury SUV impressive power figures in its class. Amazingly, the SUV is slightly quicker to 60 mph than the sedan, hitting the mark in 3.3 seconds while listing a top speed of 176 mph.

Although the Alfa Romeo 4C will be missed, the new Alfa lineup provides fitting performance luxury vehicles to deliver something unique and exciting to those looking for something other than a German luxury car or SUV.