Alfa Romeo axes 4C sports car to focus on SUVs
Firm’s Porsche 718 rival is dropped just six days after the GTV Coupe and new 8C were scrapped from plans
An Alfa Romeo spokesperson was unavailable for comment, but the Porsche 718 Boxster rival now no longer appears on Alfa’s configurator and was absent from a list of current and future models shown at the firm’s third-quarter earnings report last week.
The 4C has consistently struggled to secure a strong foothold in the unpredictable sports car market, selling just 421 units in Europe last year. That compares with 9943 Audi TTs and 8202 Porsche 718s sold in the same period.
Last week, Alfa Romeo boss Mike Manley told the company’s stakeholders that its future product portfolio has been “significantly scaled back, with a corresponding reduction in capital spending”. The removal of the 4C will make way for two new SUVs and refreshed versions of the Giulia saloon and Stelvio.
The smaller of the two new SUVs, the Tonale, has been designed as a means of entering the competitive and highly profitable compact SUV market. It will take its power from a hybrid system shared with its Jeep Renegade platform partner and be priced to compete with the Audi Q3 and BMW X1.
There has been no suggestion that a new partnership between Alfa’s parent company FCA and French automotive giant PSA could foster further sports car development, making it unlikely that a replacement for the 4C will appear any time soon.
The new alliance is the fourth-largest car-making group in the world, but new CEO Carlos Tavares is known for bringing in drastic cost-cutting measures to improve profitability.