No manual for the updated 4C, which arrives in 2019 after a late 2018 reveal
8 December 2017

The Alfa Romeo 4C carbonfibre sports car will be overhauled in the near future, but it will never be offered with a manual transmission, says Alfa Romeo and Maserati engineering boss Roberto Fedeli. 

Speaking at the launch of Alfa Romeo's Stelvio Quadrifoglio, Fedeli confirmed that the lightweight two-seat sports car will be revised with improved suspension and steering, as well as possibly a new engine. A launch in autumn 2018 is likely, with sales commencing January 2019. 

The original 4C was heavily criticised by the press for its awkward ride, handling and unpredictable steering. Rather than hasten the 4C’s demise, though, Fedeli - formerly chief engineer at Ferrari - says he wants to make the 4C the car it should be. “We are coming back to Formula 1,” he said, “and we need the 4C to be our halo car.”

However, Fedeli also confirmed that no future high-performance Alfa Romeos, Maseratis or Ferraris will be available with manual gearboxes, citing a lack of demand among buyers. It's likely that Alfa Romeo will seek to steal share from the Alpine A110, as the new sports car launches as a Porsche Cayman rival next year.

Fedeli said his experiences at Ferrari were enough to convince him that the manual transmission was dead. While developing the California roadster several years ago, he says, Ferrari invested €10m in a manual gearbox option and, overall, just two such cars were built for customers.

Our Verdict

Alfa Romeo 4C
Alfa 4C is built to encapsulate all of the Alfa Romeo brand values

The 4C is Alfa's first true driver's car for decades, and it shows how brilliantly a small turbo four can go and sound in a lightweight package

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Ahead of launch, Alfa Romeo will be tweaking the spec of the 4C, adding to the selection of paint colours available on the two-seater.

Read more:

Alfa Romeo returns to Formula 1 with Sauber

Alfa Romeo Giulia gets new options and price drop

Alfa Romeo Stelvio review

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Comments
20

8 December 2017

I think the world has decided that the Alfa Romeo 4C isn't very good and has moved on. If the company couldn't get something vital like the ride and handling right first time, then one wonders what other mistakes were made. No amount of tinkering is going to fix the problem. And the logic of there being no market for a manual model just because Ferrari couldn't sell a manual Califonia is flawed because they are very different products.

 

 

8 December 2017
LP in Brighton wrote:

I think the world has decided that the Alfa Romeo 4C isn't very good and has moved on. If the company couldn't get something vital like the ride and handling right first time, then one wonders what other mistakes were made. No amount of tinkering is going to fix the problem. And the logic of there being no market for a manual model just because Ferrari couldn't sell a manual Califonia is flawed because they are very different products.

Stop being a drama queen and grow up. Ferrari never got it right with the first California either, but the T was a significant improvement. The Guilia is a spectacularly good car because of ex Ferrari engineers. I'm sure they'll nail it again with the updated 4C.

As for manual gearboxes ask yourself why the new Alpine is not offered with one either? Get a life, and frankly so should Prosser for making such a big deal about it.

8 December 2017
I completely disagree - a manual box would be delightful in this car.

It says a lot about the respective customers of Ferrari and Porsche that Porsche has reintroduced manual boxes by popular demand, and Ferrari couldn't sell them (although the California was the least aporopriate model to put one in).

Alpine say it was a cost based decision.

I never understand why people who don't like the act of changing gear derive pleasure from denying it to those who do?

8 December 2017
I never understand why people who don't like the act of changing gear derive pleasure from denying it to those who do?[/quote]

My view is that no-one has explained satisfactorily why they like changing gear so much - there's precious little skill involved, these days, to give a frisson of satisfaction, and it just seems an unnecessary interuption to forward progress, to me. I've no desire to stop people from periodically stamping and waggling, I just don't understand why they want to do it. After all, 95% of the time one isn't changing gear anyway. Do manual gearbox fans only enjoy 5% of their driving time?

10 December 2017
eseaton wrote:

I completely disagree - a manual box would be delightful in this car.

It says a lot about the respective customers of Ferrari and Porsche that Porsche has reintroduced manual boxes by popular demand, and Ferrari couldn't sell them (although the California was the least aporopriate model to put one in).

Alpine say it was a cost based decision.

I never understand why people who don't like the act of changing gear derive pleasure from denying it to those who do?

They haven't. The manufacturer has based on sales and development costs.

11 December 2017
eseaton wrote:

I never understand why people who don't like the act of changing gear derive pleasure from denying it to those who do?

We don't.
It's always better to give people a choice rather than joining the ranks of "ban autoboxes", "ban SUVs", "ban Diesels", etc.

I agree that performance and luxury cars are moving increasingly towards auto only and that is a pity for those who like manuals. However for family and city cars, most likely to be driven through congested traffic, the choice is still more skewed towards manual.

9 December 2017

LP, the 4C has been sorted with some relatively simple mods by an alfa specialist.

XXXX just went POP.

8 December 2017

I seem to remember, but no longer have the copy of Autocar as proof that Steve Cropley got an "exclusive" first drive in a 4C in Italy and absolutely raved about how wonderful it was ! That's a surprise !

9 December 2017
Dear autocar, are there any information about next mainstream alfa romeo?

9 December 2017
I never thought I would have an auto until I bought a Giulia. Now, I don't see the point in a manual.
The car is always in the gear I'd be in anyway and when I want to overtake there are the flappy paddles to drop it down a couple.
Modern autobox with paddle manual option just work brilliantly.

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