Now that Alfa Romeo is rejoining Formula 1, it needs a halo car that shows the world what it’s got.
With the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio doing more than enough to satisfy any gearhead’s need for a lusty Italian sports car, the 4C has been left to fend for itself. That hasn’t gone too well unfortunately, with only 480 being sold in 2016 and 2017’s trajectory looking grim since only 281 had left dealership lots at the end of November 2017. So what is Alfa to do? Overhaul it. Or at least that’s what Autocar heard that of Alfa’s engineering boss Roberto Fedeli wants to do.
Speaking at the launch of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, Fedeli mentioned that the lightweight 4C sports car could get updated steering, improved suspension, and possibly even a new engine to replace the small but spritely 1.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder power plant. The 4C never needed much power—237 horsepower proving to be more than enough to have fun with the 2,500 pound sports car—but it could stand to improve. Thing is, Alfa Romeo is reportedly killing off the 4C in 2020, so why spend time and money on an overhaul? According to Fedeli, that’s because the brand is slowly evolving. Alfa Romeo recently announced that it was getting back into Formula 1 racing and would like the 4C to be its halo car.
We have no idea how the 4C will mature given the high bar set by the Giulia Quad, but Fedeli has experience working with Ferrari, so our hopes are high. A revamped model would launch in fall of 2018 with sales starting in January 2019. Don’t, however, think that the new 4C—or any other high performance Alfa Romeo and Maserati—will come with a manual. Fedeli learned the hard way while working with Ferrari. At the time, he was helping develop the California and saw Ferrari dump €10 million into a manual option only to have two stick-shift Californias ever leave the factory. We’ll know Alfa is gearing up for the updated 4C when it begins to launch new paint colors and specs for the current model in an effort to move the last of its product.