Alfa will start production of the affordable rear-drive sports-coupe 4C next year But it won't be Alfa making the car - Maserati has been charged with adding the Giulietta-powered 4C to its production line at Modena from May next year.
It is expected to sell for about $65,000 in Europe, equivalent to about $80,000 in Australia thanks to domestic taxes and distribution, with annual production of about 2500 cars. The 4C was unveiled as a concept car at the 2011 Geneva motor show.
The two-seater has a mid-mounted 1.8-litre engine that was shown in turbocharged version. It is 4m long and has a 2.4m wheelbase and Alfa says it would weight about 850kg. However, production models are likely to be heavier as they may not have the concept car's carbon-fibre components.
The 4C follows the theme of the outrageously expensive, Maserati-built 8C Competizione which, in its final Spider iteration, cost the equivalent of about $280,000 in Europe. The 8C models were made from 2007 to 2010.
At less than one-quarter of the 8C's price, the 4C is expected to be a hit not only in Europe but in the US where a large slice of its sales are expected to head as a hero model to Alfa's 2013 foray into the American market.
The 4C will be built alongside the Maserati GranCabrio and GranTurismo models in Maserati's centre-city Modena factory. Maserati's upcoming new-generation Quattroporte and E-class mid-size "baby Quattroporte'' sedan will be produced at the former Bertone plant at Turin.
About 50,000 cars are expected to be made at the Turin facility, possibly including platforms for some Chrysler and Fiat Group vehicles. The Bertone plant has a maximum capacity of 100,000 vehicles a year. Maserati says with the two new sedans - and possibly an SUV - it plans to sell 50,000 cars a year by 2015 in its 65 markets.