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Alfa Romeo will give its 4C sports car a refresh for 2019, with revisions to its chassis, steering and powertrain, according to a new report out of the UK.

Autocar’s coverage also contains some bad news, though – the refreshed 4C won’t be offered with a manual gearbox, instead sticking with a dual-clutch transmission.

“We are coming back to Formula 1, and we need the 4C to be our halo car,” Roberto Fedeli, engineering boss at Alfa Romeo and Maserati, told Autocar at the launch of the new Stelvio Quadrifoglio SUV.

Fedeli, who transferred to Alfa from Ferrari, said the manual transmission was essentially dead in high-performance Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Ferrari products. Cause of death? A lack of demand.

The ex-Ferrari man used the example of the first-generation (modern) Ferrari California to illustrate his point. After pouring €10 million ($15,678,600) into developing a manual transmission, just two (yep, 2) were sold to customers.

When it lands in 2019 – likely after a 2018 unveil – the revised 4C will be targeted at the Alpine A110. Although achingly pretty, the original 4C was widely criticised for its skittish steering and awkward road manners.

It will be interesting to see if Alfa stands by the original decision to fit unassisted steering, or if the new car will instead have a hydraulic (or electric…) rack.

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