Fiat Registers 4C Trademark with USPTO, Signaling a Return to America

By Joseph Mandour on May 1, 2012

speedometer-fiat-thumb-200x159-40680 California – There is a reason to celebrate for Italian sports car Alfa Romeo fanatics in the United States. According to a report posted by Automotive News, Fiat’s Alfa Romeo division registered the trademark in the U.S. for its brand of 4C sports cars.

The trademark registration comes after Alfa Romeo’s twenty-year absence in the United States. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed in a recent press release that the rear-wheel drive sports coupe will be available to American drivers by the end of 2013. In May of next year, Italy-based Maserati will reportedly begin building the Alfa Romeo 4C in its Modena manufacturing plant, where its flagship Gran Turismo coupe and convertible models are scheduled for production.

The trademark, issued with the United States Patent and Trademark Office April 10th, will cover the 4C car line, as well as Alfa Romeo-related clothing and accessories.

Initially, Fiat said that it will only build about 2,500 of the sports coupes per year. Although its reported asking price will be in the neighborhood of $65,000, the low rate of production could create a high demand for the Italian luxury car. The demand for the car in the Unites States could very well push the price up even higher.

Marchionne stated that Fiat plans to market the 4C as a luxury brand, competing with Germany sports car BMW, the industry leader.

“The return of Alfa in the U.S. is critical for the group as a global player needs to have an upscale brand in a major market as North America,” said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting for LMC in Troy, Michigan. “This is a real sign Alfa will come back to U.S.,” he added.

The 4C will be a rear-wheel drive mid-engine design and will be powered by a 1.7 liter, direct-injected turbo four-cylinder engine used in various cars from the Fiat line, if the assembly model gets the same engine as the concept car. Power for the turbo-charged engine could reach 250 horsepower at time of production, and should produce sub-five-second 0-to-60 mph speed times, putting it in the class of a true sports car.

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