IT SEEMS sensational reports of the Alfa Romeo 4C’s untimely global death may have been a little overcooked, with its maker this week confirming that it is only North America that will have to bid farewell to the bantamweight carbon-bodied Coupe.
Initial reports had painted a gloomy picture for the little two seater - introduced in 2013 to defibrillate the company’s uncertain long term prospects - with the news that the Coupe version would be killed off as early as this year.
However, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has since told US publication thedrive.com that it is only production for North America that has ceased and the rest of the world need not panic for now.
“While the 4C Coupe is no longer in production for North American market, it remains in production for all other markets,” it said.
The hype followed a misconstrued statement by FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne during Q&A at the Capital Markets Day in Balocco earlier this month, in which he appeared to sound the 4C’s death knell following changes to registration policy.
“The 4C has some technical limitations in terms of… approval outside the US and Europe, so it has a limited future, as it will no longer be possible to register it and have it approved”.
According to Marchionne, the registration hurdle concerns one of the 4C’s key selling points and its ultra-light carbonfibre construction. “For structural reasons, because of the monocoque,” he said, but homologation in other global markets appears to be unaffected, allowing its continued sale outside of the US.
Indeed, FCA Australia has confirmed to Wheels that the model in both Coupe and Spider varieties is still available for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, a 2019 update is expected to fully douse rumours that its days are numbered. You’ll have to wait on official confirmation for those details, but a few creature comforts excluded from launch are expected as part of its update.
Since launching, 246 4Cs have found homes in Australia, with 194 of those represented by the Coupe. The Spider, which arrived later has sold 52 to the end of May this year.
Even if reports that the Coupe was on the chopping block were true, it perhaps should come as no surprise as the six-year old model is probably about two thirds the way through a typical sports car’s life cycle and “a limited future” could be justifiably applied to any model generation by definition.
A replacement however, is almost certainly not going to happen with the company confirming its plans to focus on a more ‘roid-pumped 8C and revenant GTV as the Alfa’s high-performance flag-bearers for the future.
Nonetheless, the press coverage has highlighted that, like any sports model, the 4C will one day be put out to pasture - if you are a fan of the unique carbon-tubbed rocket, now might be the time to slap down a cheque.
Although, if it follows the typical circa 10-year lifecycle of specialised sports models, you may have as many as another four years to think about it.
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