The Alfa Romeo 4C will get a significant refresh for 2019, according to a new report from Autocar. The carbon fiber-intensive sports car will receive revised suspension and steering, and might even get a new engine. But sadly, no manual transmission is in the cards.
Roberto Fedeli, chief engineer for Alfa Romeo and Maserati, confirmed the refreshed 4C at the launch of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. The updated car could debut in fall 2018 and go on sale in early 2019.
The 4C debuted in 2014 to mixed reviews. We loved the pure driving experience it offered on the race track but didn't enjoy the stiff ride and manual steering rack on the street. Fedeli apparently recognizes the 4C's flaws, and wants to improve the car rather than kill it off. In fact, he wants it to do more than just survive. "We are coming back to Formula 1, and we need the 4C to be our halo car," he told Autocar.
But if you were holding out for a manual gearbox option, you're out of luck. Fedeli says there are no plans to introduce manual transmissions on any future high-performance Alfa Romeo, Maserati, or Ferrari models. Fedeli cites lack of demand as the main reason. When he was at Ferrari, he says the brand spent 10 million euros to develop a manual transmission for the California convertible, and ultimately just two customers ordered their cars with the row-your-own option.