Here's the Story Behind Those Mysterious Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio Prototypes

Screenshot: Masterpilot Emiliano Perucca Orfei (YouTube)
Screenshot: Masterpilot Emiliano Perucca Orfei (YouTube)

Alfa Romeo told on itself yesterday when a video tour of the new Fiat-Chrysler heritage facility revealed not one, but two Alfa Romeo 4C Quadrifoglio prototypes, just hanging out with a bunch of other cars. Here’s what they are exactly, and how they got there.


In the video we posted yesterday at around the ten minute mark, there’s a white and a red Alfa Romeo 4C with heavily revised bodywork and the signature four-leaf clover badge on the fenders, suggesting that at some point, Alfa Romeo was seriously considering a higher-performance version of its cute little carbon-tubbed, 1.75 liter sports car.

Today, we finally heard back from a spokesperson at Alfa Romeo to confirm just what exactly those cars are doing in FCA’s new heritage facility:

The 4C vehicles pictured inside the new FCA Heritage HUB are simply an exercise in style done by the Alfa Romeo design team at Centro Stile in Turin, Italy. While they appear to be Quadrifoglio editions, they have the same powertrain as a normal 4C and were only meant to showcase what a possible, more aggressive version of the 4C would look like. Simply put, they were never meant to enter production as they were only an exercise in design.

As we mentioned yesterday, a higher performance 4C was once teased by a company executive, who suggested they could get more power out of the original engine and boost the brakes, but it just never seemingly came to fruition.

While it is indeed sad that the was seemingly never enough push, neither from consumers nor company insiders to get a 4C Quadrifoglio into production, it’s still pretty cool that the company didn’t shy away from its consideration and now has the models out on display.

If you already have a 4C and may be getting a little bored with it, now you have some inspiration on some light modifications you can make that will be at least decently OEM-accurate.

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik


Romeo Reject

I always felt like the 4C was in a super weird niche where it was:

  • A featherweight sports car that didn’t offer a manual, unlike the Miata and GT86. In that market, you kinda need to have a manual option. Not manual-only, but without the option you’re cutting off a huge niche of buyers in that already small market.
  • Extremely expensive compared to similar rivals. This thing absolutely blew the Miata’s and GT86's price out of the water, and was even more expensive than a Corvette - a car that utterly trounces it around a track, has more practicality and is a generally more comfortable car.
  • Super interesting in some ways (Carbon fibre tub! Mid-engined! Gorgeous!), and utterly uninteresting in others (Turbo-four! DCT-only! Open-differential!), which combined with the price problem meant it was basically an impossible sell even against its own sibling: The 124 Abarth. That’s a car with a similar motor, more practical, significantly less money, limited slip, manual option...

The 4C should’ve been great, but they stumbled at the last ten percent of making it great.