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2015 Alfa Romeo 4C at Autobahn Country Club

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe

Race Organizer Review

07/29/2015

The race series that employs me, the 24 Hours of LeMons, is now in its busiest part of the year, and that means I don't always have time to drive something suitable for a Race Organizer Review to every event. A couple of weeks ago, I opted for a rental Chrysler 200 at the Pacific Northworst race, but before that I took a blindingly orange-and-white Fiat 500e to San Francisco for some LeMons administrative meetings. Why not follow up a silly-looking yet oddly practical Italian car with an Italian car that makes no sense? Last weekend, I picked up a Rosso Competizione Alfa Romeo 4C at Midway Airport and drove it to the Autobahn Country Club for the 2015 Doin' Time In Joliet 24 Hours of LeMons.

The 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider goes on sale in late summer.

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider first drive

Joy at your fingertips

06/12/2015

What is it?

The 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider is the second salvo in Alfa’s latest incursion into North America. So far all of the company’s hardtop launch edition 4Cs are sold, and the average on-lot time for the next batch is just 17 days. It’s a good problem to have, says Alfa -- though it's worth noting total sales this year only add up to 295 units. The removable-top 4C Spider arrives later this summer. It’ll sticker for $65,495 including $1,595 in destination charges.

The 4C Spider gets the same Italian-made, all-aluminum 1.75-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the coupe, making 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It sits behind the driver, but doesn’t cause nearly as many visibility problems as it does on the coupe. A six-speed twin-clutch transmission sends power to the rear wheels through an electronic limited slip differential. That, plus the launch control function, pushes the 4C Spider to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds. Alfa notes that it’s faster than both the Porsche Cayman and the Boxster--two of the most obvious competitors. Top speed is 160 mph, which seemed easily reachable on a decent stretch of track.

The 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C testing at Michigan International Speedway during our Best of the Best testing.

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C review notes

12/16/2014

ROAD TEST EDITOR JONATHAN WONG: It takes a special car to make me wake up at 4 a.m. to drive across the state of Michigan to a racetrack and then back before returning it in the afternoon. But that’s exactly what the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C made me do earlier this year. We were out at Michigan International Speedway doing an Autofile track test with the car and were having a good old time with it slinking effortlessly through our tight slalom course and blasting around the short infield road course. However, there was a part of me that really wanted to get the 4C on a proper road course where I could push the car harder and really get to know it. As an enthusiast, the 4C really spoke to me, which got the gears turning in my head to see if something could be done to scratch my track itch. A phone call was made and a two-hour window was mine at GingerMan Raceway in South Haven, Mich., as long as I didn’t mind getting there at 7 the following morning. A group had the track rented for the day beginning at 9 a.m.

Only approximately 1000 examples of the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C will be coming state side in the next 12 months.

Driving the Alfa Romeo 4C, finally, on US soil

06/16/2014 "Colin Chapman,” says Fiat Chrysler design boss Lorenzo Ramaciotti on the eve of -- finally -- the U.S. introduction of Alfa Romeo's 2015 4C, “was one of my heroes … ”This, and the Italian's fondness for the bygone-era sexiness of the racing-derived 1967 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, is explanation enough for the lightweight, mid-engined 4C's conception, though of course less romantic business considerations apply, such as returning the marque to the states with combustible flash ahead of more pedestrian future offerings.You'll excuse us for worrying about those future cars in the coming months; for now, the present is enough following the carbon-monocoqued 4C's seemingly never-going-to-get-here gestation. But after technical delays and arrival-date resets, Alfa's new two-seater lands in 82 U.S. dealerships -- three o
An exquisite track-day toy, the Alfa Romeo 4C is also a legitimate on-road performer.

2014 Alfa Romeo 4C drive review

09/25/2013 What is it?First shown in concept form at the 2011 Geneva motor show, the 2014 Alfa Romeo 4C heralds the company's return -- hyper-rare 8C notwithstanding -- to the American market. And what a return: Sleek, sexy as hell and unmistakably Italian, the 4C boasts technical specs that live up to the car's visual promises.Lightness and affordability were the engineers' watchwords during 4C design, with the resulting road car built around a carbon-fiber central chassis tub that weighs just 143 pounds; in fact, the dry weight of the entire 4C is under 2,000 pounds. Final curb weight sans passengers is likely to come in under 2,500. To move it along, Alfa added an all-aluminum 1.75-liter turbocharged I4 that makes 240 hp at 6,000 rpm; more importantly, 258 lb-ft of torque comes in at a reasonably low 2,200 rpm. The end result for t
The base four-cylinder engine in the 2013 Dodge Dart cranks out 160 hp.

2013 Dodge Dart

Drive review

04/27/2012 What is it?The 2013 Dodge Dart is Chrysler's first all-new car designed and built since the takeover/rescue of the company by Fiat. The compact car rides on a modified Alfa Romeo Giulietta platform and will be available in five trim levels with three engine choices, three transmission choices, 12 exterior color choices, 14 interior trim combinations and more than 100,000 ways in which to configure it. And right at launch, the Mopar accessory group will have 150 parts to help people further customize their Darts.Chrysler has not had a player in the compact-sedan market--which makes up 85 percent of compact sales--since the Dodge Neon left the lineup in 2005. But with its bold styling, including the 152-LED "racetrack" taillights taken from the Dodge Charger, a sport-tuned suspension and an interior unlike that of other compacts in the market, the Dart stands out in a crowded field that includes, amon
The 2011 Alfa Romeo Giulietta's 1.4-liter turbocharged MultiAir four makes 170 hp.

2011 Alfa Romeo Giulietta, an AutoWeek Drivers Log Car Review

07/14/2011 NEWS EDITOR GREG MIGLIORE: I spent a weekend in this impressive Alfa, and I was struck by how enjoyable it makes regular driving--and that the Giulietta is, in fact, a conventional car.People do take notice, which is interesting because it doesn't stand out in the mind-blowing fashion of, say, an Audi R8 spyder. But I did get a honk from a guy in a TT on the way home, and traffic seemed to cluster around me in search of a better look more than I would have liked. The most comparable cars are the Volkswagen GTI and the Mazda Mazdaspeed 3, which have tons of power and panache in small packaging. The engine and transmission are well paired. The six-speed is smooth with throws bordering on the long side, and the clutch take-up is supple and easy. The tranny is so interactive; it makes the pilot want to dart to outside lanes and downshift past sluggish traffic, which I did on a splendid June morning made all the better by the Alfa's dynamics.Speaking of which: I punched up to the sport setting and was rewarded with a tighter drive, heavier steerin
The Constant family's 1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider.

What we drive

1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider

06/10/2011 The tires squealed as the black Alfa Romeo Giulietta rounded turn one of the Watkins Glen International road course. A quick shift into second, and the little Italian car made its way up the hill through the esses. It was a rocket ship at the hands of the greatest racing driver in the world . . ."Bradley! Dinner!" my mom shouted, bringing me back to reality.Once again, my nine-year-old self was sitting in the garage behind the wheel of my grandfather's 1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider. The car, despite my family's not-so-rich racing lineage, lit my passion for automobiles and racing.The black Alfa joined my family in 1962 when my grandfather, Harry Constant, bought it with the intent of competing in the SCCA G-Production Class. He raced it once in Grayling, Mich., but did not like the way it performed.As a result, my grandfather decided it was time for him, as a father of three boys at the time (his youngest son was not yet born), to get out of racing. He decided to keep the Alfa as his cruise-around-town-on-a-beautiful-day car.Over
The top engine in the Alfa Romeo Giulietta is a 1.7-liter four-cylinder rated at 235 hp.

The 2010 Alfa Romeo Giulietta, an AW Flash Drive

04/15/2010 What is it?Fiat Group's upscale division, Alfa Romeo, revives a beloved nameplate with the 2010 Giulietta, a five-door, midsize hatchback boasting an abundance of Italian style along with a fair amount of sporting intent. The last time a Giulietta graced the streets was 1985, but true Alfisti will want to recall the original, which debuted in 1955, when considering this third iteration. By its looks, the Giulietta is unmistakably Alfa. Its face carries the familial triangular grille, a chrome version here floating within the center of the air intake and anchoring the V-shaped scallops carved down the center of the hood. Its bixenon headlamps look particularly cool with the optional LED running lights outlining the inner corners, while out back the taillamps light up like spirals, unwinding from high atop the car's rear haunches and trailing their LED "tails" across the hatch on either side. And the Giulietta cuts an aggressive profile, its long hood and chopped rear end topped by a greenhouse sloping gradually rearward.More elegant touches in
The top engine in the Alfa Romeo Giulietta is a 1.7-liter four-cylinder rated at 235 hp.

2010 Alfa Romeo Giulietta

An AW Flash Drive

04/14/2010 What is it?Fiat Group's upscale division, Alfa Romeo, revives a beloved nameplate with the 2010 Giulietta, a five-door, midsize hatchback boasting an abundance of Italian style along with a fair amount of sporting intent. The last time a Giulietta graced the streets was 1985, but true Alfisti will want to recall the original, which debuted in 1955, when considering this third iteration. By its looks, the Giulietta is unmistakably Alfa. Its face carries the familial triangular grille, a chrome version here floating within the center of the air intake and anchoring the V-shaped scallops carved down the center of the hood. Its bi-xenon headlamps look particularly cool with the optional LED running lights outlining the inner corners, while out back the taillamps light up like spirals, unwinding from high atop the car's rear haunches and trailing their LED "tails" across the hatch on either side. And the Giulietta cuts an aggressive profile, its long hood and chopped rear end topped by a greenhouse sloping gradually rearward.More elegant touches i

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The image the company sent to future owners who have made deposits is a lightly photoshopped sketch that Britain's Autocar magazine published in March of this year.

TVR makes progress on new Cosworth V8, teases owners with Autocar's sketch

12/29/2015

TVR, the boutique British automaker run aground in 2006 after purchase by a Russian oligarch, is back with plenty of deposits on an undisclosed coupe and a teaser image photoshopped from an Autocar magazine sketch. The fledgeling car company is at work on a new coupe powered by a Cosworth V8 with an expected output of 450 to 500 hp, though it won't be until 2018 that customers will be able to take delivery of the cars. The factory has to be built first, even though the first year's allocation is already sold out.

TVR Chairman Les Edgar gave the future owners of the new coupe a progress report, stating that the company is running at least one engineering mule that has been operating on roads, and that they've recently fired up one of the Cosworth V8s.

Watch F1 cars rip up a mountain in Japan

12/29/2015

Two ex-Formula One cars plus one mountain road equals an epic video shot in Japan by Motor Head Magazine.

It's not too often you see open-wheel cars on public roads -- the Stallone vehicle "Driven" notwithstanding -- but something about it makes the cars look even better than when they're on the racetrack. After the F1 cars have a go, they're followed by some drifters who are nearly as impressive.

The camerawork is also great, so check out more of Motor Head's stuff here.

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