Think of an Italian mid-engined sports car, and the first brands that come to mind are most likely Ferrari or Lamborghini. Sadly for us regular folk, neither of those brands produce cars below the six-figure mark. An often forgotten option is the Alfa Romeo 4C with its carbon fiber chassis, turbocharged engine, and its $67,150 starting price. A recent search on Autotrader revealed that older models sell for less than $45,000. Thanks to depreciation, the Alfa Romeo 4C could be the Italian sports car you can actually afford.
You get a mini supercar for $45,000
$45,000 is by no mean an inconsiderable amount of money, even for an Alfa Romeo 4C. If your mid-engined sports car dreams don’t require it to be Italian, then a Porsche Cayman or a Lotus Elise are great options. In terms of Italians, the 4C is the only modern Italian sports car that fits the bill. Depreciated Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s are most likely a bad idea from a maintenance standpoint and still more expensive. So, if you have to pay a healthy sum to get a 4C, what do you get in return?
The Alfa Romeo 4C features a 1.8-liter turbocharged inline-four engine. The tiny powerplant produces 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to the 4C’s light 2,465-pound curb weight and the six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the race to 60 mph happens in 4.5 seconds. However, the most impressive part of the 4C is that it utilizes a carbon-fiber tub, just like you would find in a modern McLaren. Combining these elements results in a sports car that is exceptionally rigid, fun to drive, and reasonably cost-effective to own.
The Alfa Romeo 4C won’t cost an arm and a leg to maintain
It is no secret that the Italian carmaker has gotten a bad reputation for reliability, although the Alfa Romeo 4C does not seem affected. A quick search of Car Complaints revealed that now owners have chimed with negative feedback for the 4C. In contrast, Car Complaints listed the Giulia as the automaker’s worst model based on customer feedback. The lack of complaints with the 4C could have to do with the availability of parts based on shared components. The engine that powers the 4C is the same basic modular engine design that has powered a handful of cars from Alfa Romeo, Fiat, and Jeep.
The dual-clutch transmission is also a parts-bin special given that it lives in various Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Dodge, and Jeep vehicles. This part sharing is that if they were to go wrong, the widespread availability lowers the parts’ overall price. In contrast, if any significant component goes wrong in a cheap Ferrari or Lamborghini, the bill could be astronomical.
It seems like the 4C has finished its initial depreciation
The total cost of owning a vehicle goes far beyond its initial price. Purchasing an Alfa Romeo 4C for $45,000 won’t mean you have to spend that sum entirely. The unfortunate original buyers of the 4C most likely spent over $70,000 with options included. After years of depreciation, it seems the values have settled at around $45,000.
Given the value-for-money proposition and the cult following these cars have, it is unlikely that they will continue to dip below that figure. The prices are also most likely stable because the 4C is no longer in production, meaning that new models won’t arrive to drive the price down. In short, any prospective buyer should be able to own their 4C with minimal maintenance, only to sell it forward for close to that initial buy-in price.