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Alfa Romeo returns to U.S. with carbon fiber chassis

By: Kerri Jansen

March 7, 2014

Fiat Auto SpA is bringing the Alfa Romeo brand back to America in the form of the 4C, a carbon fiber-fitted sports car optimized for low weight and agility. The Italian-made 4C is slated to arrive in June to a few select U.S. dealers, with more models on the way in 2015, Plastics News sister publication AutoWeek reported. The brand has not been sold in the U.S. since 1995.

Key to the 4C’s low weight is its one-piece monocoque chassis of carbon fiber composite pre-impregnated material. With exposed carbon fiber details visible from the car’s interior, the monocoque weighs in at only 65 kilograms (143 pounds), according to brand owner Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, now incorporated in the Netherlands.

Adler Group, Italian manufacturer of the 4C’s carbon fiber chassis, recently announced an exclusive supply agreement with Dutch thermoset and thermoplastic composites supplier TenCate Advanced Composites for the use of their E700 series carbon fiber material, produced in Langley Mill, England. The companies are working to enable local production of the material as well, according the company .

TenCate also supplies products for the automotive, aerospace and medical industries. Adler produces components and systems for transportation, including automotive, trains and naval, according to the release.