Lovers of pure, Italian driving excitement will be distressed to hear the Alfa Romeo 4C has ended production. Che tristezza!
Alfa had already withdrawn the 4C Coupe from the important US market, leaving only the Spider. Now both have been axed from the European market with only leftover dealer stock remaining. No 4C replacement appears to be forthcoming.
It’s a lean time for two-door sports cars at Alfa Romeo. In a third-quarter earnings call, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles also announced there’d be no new GTV or 8C as had been announced in the company’s last five-year plan.
Alfa discontinued the MiTo in 2018 despite the B-segment it occupied being Europe’s largest by volume. The C-segment Giulietta was introduced almost a decade ago, but despite some detail changes in the interim its European sales are half what they were at its zenith.
It’s also set to be discontinued, being omitted from the slideshow accompanying the third-quarter earnings call. Also left on the cutting room floor were a previously planned larger sedan and crossover.
This leaves Alfa Romeo to focus on its Giorgio-based Giulia and Stelvio and a couple more crossovers, one of which is the recently leaked Tonale and the other is an as-yet unknown model slotting in beneath it.
Evidently, the focus is on more profitable, mainstream offerings. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of thrills to be found in the Alfa range, such as in the Giulia QV and Stelvio QV with their Ferrari-derived twin-turbo V6 engines.
Those are very different vehicles to the 4C, however, which famously has never offered power steering.
The 4C first arrived on the Australian market in 2015, though the coupe first appeared in some markets in 2013. So far, Alfa has sold 24 4Cs this year, putting it fairly close to the Alpine A110 (18 units) and the Lotus Exige (26 units). Meanwhile, Porsche has so far sold almost four times as many Boxsters and five times as many Caymans.
Alfa Romeo was never going to topple Porsche overnight, especially after a lengthy absence from this part of the market, but the company’s other products aren’t storming up the sales charts.
Giulia sales are down 52.4 per cent year-to-date and Giulietta sales have sagged 40.2 per cent, though the Stelvio is up 7.8 per cent over the same period even as rivals from Jaguar, Land Rover and Lexus are sliding.
Fiat Chrysler Australia had no comment on the future of the 4C Down Under.