After facing supply-driven delays that have pushed it back to Q1 of this year, Alfa’s local arm has at last secured an initial allocation of 120 units of the mid-engined, lightweight sportscar.
Of these, 75 are unique Launch Edition versions that will retail for $109,000, each of which has been sourced from a one-off global run of 1300 units.
These cars get extras such as Rosso Alfa red or Madreperla white paint, Bi-LED carbon-fibre headlights, different front fascia with side air intakes, carbonfibre spoiler and mirror caps, racing suspension with front- and rear-sway bars and shocks and a racing exhaust.
There are also staggered 18-inch front and 19-inch rear forged matte back wheels, red brake calipers, black microfibre trim on the bucket seats, red or white stitching and carbon-fibre trim plates.
Alfa Romeo has previously mooted a local pricing point starting a low as $75K, though more often than not has given a generalised price point of somewhere between $80,000 and $100,000 for the regular 4C and $100,000 to $120,000 or the Launch Edition to cover its bases.
The price points mean the 4C slots neatly between its two on-paper rivals, the $69,990 Lotus Elise and the $102,800 Porsche Boxster (or the $106,600 Cayman coupe) — both of which at those price points are manual offerings (the Porsche also comes with a PDK dual-clutch unit of its own).
Unsurprisingly given the hype, all 120 units across both variants have buyers deposits lodged against them, ranging between $500 and $10,000 and dating back as far as 2011. That said, Alfa Romeo admits some of these may not come through, thereby liberating supply for keen buyers.
Beyond this initial allocation, expect a waiting list of about three months on any orders placed for the car — an official figure which seems quite reasonable. All cars are made at the Maserati plant in Modena, Italy, in limited numbers believed to be no more than 3500 annually.
Both 4C variants are powered by a mid-mounted aluminium 1.75-litre turbocharged four with outputs of 177kW at 6000rpm and 350Nm at 2200rpm, matched to a TCT dual-clutch auto gearbox with paddles (no manual option). The company claims 80 per cent of torque is there at 1700rpm.
The car comes with Dynamic and Race modes (as well as all-weather and natural settings) that sharpen up the transmission’s shifts as well as throttle response and ESC calibration, and the TCT also has an integrated launch control mode.
There’s also a carbonfibre monocoque, aluminium chassis structure and composite body-shell to keep the kilograms to a minimum.
Even so, Australian examples will weigh in at about 130kg more than European versions, with a tare (dry) mass of 1025kg. Our versions have the same safety-driven thicker carbon tubs as the US market, a decision apparently made with safety in mind, according to Alfa.
The car’s numbers are otherwise familiar. It’s exactly 4.0 metres long, 1.86m wide and 1.18m tall; mid-engined with near-perfect weight distribution; lateral acceleration capabilities greater than 1.1g and maximum braking deceleration in excess of 1.25g.
More importantly, it has an unchanged 0-100km/h sprint time (claimed) of 4.5 seconds, and a top speed of 257km/h.
“Coupled with our dealers, we are thrilled to be bringing this sensational new Alfa Romeo to Australia,” said FCA Australia president and CEO Pat Dougherty.
“The 4C marks the dawn of an exciting new era for Alfa Romeo. This is a true Italian supercar offered at a price that is within reach of many Australians. The 4C is the first of an outstanding fleet of Alfa Romeo products and all will share the 4C’s focus on style, performance and luxury.”
Click the Photos tab above for more images of the Alfa Romeo 4C.