Fiat has delayed Alfa Romeo's U.S. return to the second quarter of 2014, the Detroit News reports.

Rick Deneau, a Chrysler spokesman, told the paper that the debut of the 4C sports car, the first production model Alfa plans to sell in the United States, has been pushed back at least to that time.

Back in January, Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said Alfa would begin selling the 4C here this year. At the time, Marchionne said Alfa was "finalizing the car," implying that it was just about ready for production.

This news comes just after U.S. pricing for the 4C was announced at the car's launch event. The car will start at $54,000, making it somewhat of a bargain. Only 3,500 4Cs will be allotted worldwide, a small portion of those making it to the U.S. each year.

Assuming they ever get here, those cars should find buyers pretty quickly.

So far, the 4C seems like a rare combination of style and performance; a kind of car that doesn't come around very often.

Underneath that gorgeous Italian styling is a lightweight chassis (although U.S. cars will weigh an extra 200 pounds) and a 240-horsepower, 1.75-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

All that should be enough to get sports car fans to open their wallets, even if they have to wait for the privilege. After all, aside from a few imported 8C super coupes, Alfa Romeo has been away from the U.S. for about 18 years; what's a few more months compared to that?


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