Alfa Romeo ponders a higher-performance 4C

Alfa Romeo displayed the 4C sports coupe at the New York auto show. A higher-powered version may be developed.

Alfa Romeo's low-volume 4C sports coupe won't arrive in the United States until June, but Alfa is already considering higher-powered versions.

Alfa Romeo CEO Harald Wester said the chassis could handle more power.

"The stiffness is very high," he said. "The first adjustment would be the brakes."

The two-seater's turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder has more potential, Wester said. "We are only at 134 horsepower per liter, so there is space."

Wester said the 4C needed to be tweaked significantly for the United States.

"The base car in the U.S. has richer equipment," he said. "Europeans are more willing to have a naked driving machine."

There were a lot of technical changes as well.

"The monocoque and the front and rear frames are different, the suspension has been reinforced and suspension tuning has been changed," he said. "It was a really significant overhaul."

As for cosmetic changes, all U.S. 4C models will get the new and improved headlights showcased on the 4C Spider shown in March at the Geneva auto show.

Prices have not been announced, but the standard 4C will sell for around $55,000, Wester said. A fully equipped version will retail for around $70,000. Alfa expects to sell 800 to 900 units in 2014.

You can reach Jens Meiners at

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