With news that Porsche is to produce a new flat four for the Boxster and Cayman, here's our list of what we think the best four-cylinder mid-engined sports cars are:
Using Renault running gear at first, before moving on to proper Ford/Lotus power, the Europa still offers world class handling and performance almost 50 years after its inception. It may not be the best looker on this list but it's a wonderful drive and remarkably engaging.
VW Porsche 914
This VW-Porsche joint venture may have looked quirky in the late 60s, but it seems as fresh as a daisy right now. The four wasn't as quick as the much rarer flat-six version but the car was beautifully balanced and if you’re lucky enough to find a RHD one, they're reasonably cheap.
Possibly not developed as well as it should have been with tiny engines and rather insubstantial body parts, the wee Fiat was a delight to drive and if looked after can be good long-term prospect. The car's looks have aged well in the 42 years since it was first built.
The Elise has grown up from its Rover-powered beginnings and has spawned all manner of four cylinder and V6 Toyota-powered beauties. It also supplied the body and chassis for the world's fastest car, the Hennessey Venom, which used a massive blown GM V8.
Alfa Romeo 4C
This is the car that the new four-cylinder Boxster and Cayman are aimed at. Using a mid-mounted turbocharged Giulietta engine, it employs alloys and composites and is a super-light car which is as quick as the six-cylinder Porsches and just as slick in the curves.
Also considered: Lancia and MG also built some good mid-engined cars.