Could Alfa Romeo’s forthcoming 4C create a new class of sports car?

Alfa Romeo 4C official

In Europe, buyers will see three variants of the Alfa Romeo 4C: an Alfa, an Alpine from Renault, and a Caterham. While the three will share a chassis, each will have its own distinctive engine and transmission combo along with exterior styling and interior amenities.

While we can agonize over the differentiating details, let’s instead look at what the new breed of mid-engine, two-seater sports cars could mean for the global car market. If this trio turns out to be successful as we automotive enthusiasts hope they will be, the three could usher in a new class of sports car.

Although the exterior design and name of the Alpine has yet to be decided, it’s compact supercar design has already been cemented. Aimed at driving enthusiasts, the joint-venture sports coupe will hopefully attract the wealthy and young motoring enthusiasts alike.

For those keen to know the specifics: the Alpine will most likely feature a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, much like the Alfa 4C, but unlike the Alfa, which will only receive a dual-clutch transmission, the Alpine might instead receive a conventional manual, according to an Autocar report.

While Alfa and Renault will building their own engines, the Caterham version is reportedly to be powered by a Toyota-sourced four-cylinder.

While it’s unlikely Americans will see the Caterham and dead certain the Renault will never cross the pond, it’s exciting to know a new breed of sports car is being developed. We’d long feared that rear-wheel drive, stripped-down sports cars were going the way of the dodo. We’re glad to see there still might be a chance for redemption yet.