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Alfa Romeo 4C will get a much-desired update next year

Milan’s pint-size sports car is set to receive its first serious refresh in 2018.

Alfa Romeo loves sports cars, but not manual transmissions apparently.

Or at least that's what Autocar's Dan Prosser found out when he managed to corner Roberto Fedeli, chief technical officer for Alfa and Maserati, at the recent Stelvio Quadrifoglio launch in the United Arab Emirates. During their conversation, the engineering maestro let slip that Alfa's current carbon-tubbed halo car would likely be launched next year with a host of upgrades including new suspension and steering, and possibly a new engine.

The Alfa 4C in its natural habitat.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

The most significant -- and for many the most disappointing -- aspect of Autocar's conversation with Signor Fedeli would be his adamant stance that there will never be three-pedal 4C. He also went on to say that there would never again be a high-performance Ferrari, Maserati or Alfa Romeo with a manual gearbox.

Fiat Chrysler representatives declined to comment on Fedeli's statements.

Roadshow's own Jon Wong piloted a 4C Spider in a shootout with BMW's M2 last year and while he sang its many praises on track or on spirited back roads, he had criticisms for its lack of sharpness on turn-in, its spine-ruining ride on less than ideal roads and its spartan accommodations. It will be interesting to see if Alfa is willing to throw some more sophisticated chassis design (read: money) at its flagship sports car to iron out some of its kinks or if it will continue to be for purists and masochists only.