Lotus and Porsche ought to be watching out as a new breed of mid-engined sportscars emerges from automakers across Europe.
Think of mid-engined European sportscars and your mind is likely to conjure up images of high-end exotics like Ferraris, McLarens, Bugattis and Paganis. But those six and even seven-figure supercars aren't the only ones that fill the bill. So does Porsche's Cayman and the Lotus Evora, but even those are about to get some serious new competition from new models reaching the market in the near future.
The picture painted is one of a new generation of European sportscars with V6s and turbos fours driving the rear wheels of nimble lightweight chassis. Two of them were revealed at the Geneva Motor Show. On the one hand we have the Alfa Romeo 4C, a highly-anticipated lightweight Italian sportscar with a 240hp turbo four that hopes to put the brand back on the map – the map of the United States in particular - and is now reaching production. On the other we have the Spyker B6 Venator, which holds similar promise for its manufacturer, with a 375hp V6 in a form still in the concept phase but destined for production as well.
Before the show is over, though, we'll have two more. Caterham and Renault are working together on a new Alpine sportscar which each will sell with its own unique character. They'll also be mid-engined, and while Renault realizes it can't take on the Cayman right out the gate, it has the Alfa and Lotus firmly in its sights. With this many players entering the field, this is shaping up to be one very exciting battle royale.