Alfa Romeo Marks the 4C’s 10th Anniversary With a One-Off Designer’s Cut Version

It’s been discontinued since 2020 but that’s not going to stop Alfa from throwing a birthday bash

The Alfa Romeo 4C Designer's Cut
The Alfa Romeo 4C Designer's Cut

People may not think about the Alfa Romeo 4C all that often these days, but ten years ago, it was one of the most exciting and hotly anticipated sports cars. To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Alfa plans to build a one-off special edition with a design chosen by fans. 

Let’s go back a bit. In 2009, Italian automaker Fiat began its merger with Chrysler after the latter had struggled during the previous year’s economic crisis. While this brought a level of stability to the US company’s sub-brands like Jeep and Dodge, it also opened up the possibility of seeing some of Fiat’s Euro-centric cars make the leap over to our side of the pond, and that included sports cars from Fiat-owned Alfa Romeo. 

At the time, Alfa Romeo’s Ferrari-V8-powered 8C Competizione was wowing international car fans with its stunning good looks and brawny performance, making it a bit of forbidden fruit for us American gearheads. It quickly came to represent the kind of exciting Europe-exclusive wares Fiat’s reintroduction to the US could bring along, and while the 8C was mostly daydream fuel, the new 4C was coming soon, it would be priced at around $50k, and it was bound for the States.

Produced in 2013, the 4C was a small two-seater sports car powered by a mid-mounted 1.75 liter turbocharged inline-4 engine. It sent around 240 horsepower to the rear wheels through a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox and laid out 258 pound-feet of torque. Its configuration and Alfa-heavy looks were very foreign to stateside drivers, with it being comparable to the Lotus Exige in stature, layout and rarity. Nonetheless, it made its way to Fiat Chrysler dealerships, where it could be seen sold alongside Jeep and Ram vehicles. 

The 4C was a fun if quirky car to drive. The styling turned heads, the turbo 4-pot was window-rattlingly loud, there was no power steering and the seats were brutally rigid. But when it came time to move, it was solidly planted around corners, quick to respond and a riot to whip around. After a few special editions, the 4C enthusiasm ran its course and was discontinued in 2020. 

Still, with it being out of production for three years, Alfa Romeo’s parent company Stellantis and its heritage department commissioned the 4C “designer’s cut” project to mark the milestone. Alessandro Maccolini, Alfa Romeo Design Project Manager and former head of design for the 4C, created three possible versions for the one-off. The first is the 4C “Tributo,” a red model with smoked-out rims and unique headlamps that represents classic Alfa Romeo sports cars, the “Corsa” which sports a matte gray body paint, and the “Leggenda” that pairs a pastel blue paint scheme with white alloy rims. 

Once finalized, the Alfa Romeo 4C Designer’s Cut will be available for purchase by any eager collector looking to become its caretaker. Happy 10th birthday, 4C, we still remember the smiles and the back pain.

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