Supercars On A $50,000 Budget: Alfa Romeo's Mini Ferrari


Alfa's little sports car has already depreciated to under $50,000.

We love a good depreciated supercar, so long as we weren't the ones foolish enough to buy it new. Our entire Supercars On A $50,000 Budget series is based on the idea that even extremely expensive exotic cars will lose their value eventually and become "reasonably priced." With this week's car, the process happened a lot quicker than we would have guessed. The 2016 Alfa Romeo 4C had a starting price of $55,900, which is not that much above $50,000. However, we found a Launch Edition model which had a price of $68,400 back in 2015.

When the Alfa Romeo 4C first reached US dealerships they were quite hard to come by and were usually sold with a dealer markup. We guess that a good portion of US buyers thought that they would be buying some rare collectible that will go up in value, but we have some bad news for those people. Many 4Cs have still held their value, although these cars seem to have almost no miles on them. If you dig a little deeper, as we have, you can see that the market on these is just ripe for depreciation. We can't wait for the day that we'll be able to snatch one of these for around $25,000. Take for example our 2015 Launch Edition, which is being offered for $48,000 by Carl Burger's Dodge Chrysler Jeep RAM.

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The Launch Edition Alfa 4C was part of a limited production run of just 500 vehicles for North America so they are the rarest version of the car (for now). Only small changes were made to the Launch Edition such as carbon fiber trim, red stitching and alcantara, and a special plaque. The 1.75-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine was unchanged, producing 237 horsepower. Some low-mileage Launch Editions are going for over $60,000, but ours has over 8,000, on the clock which could deter collectors. It was also a Lemon Law buyback, which means that in typical Alfa Romeo fashion it probably has some major problems. Don't be discouraged, because we still found a few regular 4Cs that were under budget.

With just 237 horsepower, the Alfa Romeo 4C is not the car that will impress your friends with its raw acceleration power. But this mini Ferrari can still draw a crowd just like its big Italian cousin from Maranello. With the 4C, you still get those drop-dead gorgeous mid-engined Italian looks and a lightweight carbon fiber body. The 4C makes an excellent track day car, and unlike a Ferrari you won't be as worried about ruining a car that costs more than most houses. In the past we featured one of the 4C's competitors as a budget supercar. The Lotus Evora is another greatly depreciated mid-engined model, but the one we spotlighted was a 2011. This Alfa Romeo is a few years newer.

We would never call the Alfa 4C practical. In fact, some of its interior ergonomics are downright awful. However, aren't weird quirks just part of the supercar experience? Not being able to see out of the back was one of the trademark features of the Lamborghini Countach, and it made the car more interesting.

The Alfa Romeo 4C is the perfect fourth car if you already have a daily driver, a family car, and a weekend cruiser. This car needs to at least be a third or fourth car as it doesn't even offer a crumb of comfort (it doesn't even have power steering). Faults aside, the 4C is actually a great little supercar. It has many irksome qualities, but that is what supercars are all about. If you want to turn heads like a $250,000 Ferrari, but only have one fifth of that budget, check out an Alfa Romeo 4C.