Alfa Romeo 4C Will Get a Heavy Refresh in Late 2018

Going forward, no high-performance Alfas, Ferraris, or Maseratis will be offered with a manual transmission.

© 2017 FCA US LLC

According to an Autocar report, Alfa Romeo's 4C sports car is about to receive some significant revisions. Speaking at the company's launch of the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, Alfa and Maserati CTO Roberto Fedeli reportedly confirmed that a heavily-refreshed 4C will debut in late 2018 and hit dealerships in January 2019. Among the changes are improvements in the lightweight sports car's suspension and steering along with the possibility of a whole new engine. 

"We are coming back to Formula 1," Fedeli was quoted, "and we need the 4C to be our halo car."

In the same report, the Italian exec also confirmed that manual transmissions will not be offered in any future, high-performance Alfa Romeos, Ferraris, or Maseratis—4C included. Fedeli justifies this with a severe lack of demand among actual paying customers (impassioned internet commenters notwithstanding), specifically citing a story from his time with Ferrari. Apparently, the Maranello supercar maker spent upwards of $17 million (the current day equivalent of 10 million euros in 2008 adjusted for inflation) developing a manual gearbox for the then-new California. In the end, only two such cars were ever ordered, one of which sold at auction for $445,000 just last year.

When reached for comment, FCA spokespeople refused to "discuss future product past the upcoming model year."

The 2018 Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe and Spider start at $55,900 and $65,900, respectively.

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