Twelve months after the hardtop 4C made its first appearance in production form, Alfa Romeo has taken the wraps off a new soft-top Spider version of its carbon-fibre sports car.
The Spider replaces the existing hardtop’s carbon fixed roof with a removable soft panel, fixed carbon roll hoop, and the glass engine cover is replaced by a sculpted carbon decklid.
The body has been shaped to maintain the same downforce capabilities of the hardtop, while minimising cabin turbulence with the roof open. Alfa claims that the Spider’s dry weight is still within 1000kg, compared with the hardtop’s 895kg dry figure.
Aside from the open roof, the Spider also scores much improved ‘Clamshell’ headlights, eight-spoke 18 and 19 inch staggered alloy wheels and twinned central exhausts to replace the hardtop’s dual corner exits. This exhaust is a dual-stage carbon and titanium unit designed by Akrapovic – a brand well known in motorcycle racing circles.
The suspension has been tweaked to suit the Spider’s slightly altered weight distribution, but is otherwise mechanically identical to the 4C hardtop, with a mid-mounted 177kW/350Nm 1.7-litre petrol turbo and Alfa’s six-speed TCT dual-clutch auto driving the rear wheels.
The 4C Spider is scheduled to appear in European showrooms in early 2015, but Alfa is yet to confirm the likely limited production run. Only 4500 hardtops are being built, and Spider numbers are only likely to be a fraction of this figure.
It’s unclear at this stage if any 4C Spiders will make their way to Australia, but with the Australia-Pacific region allocated about 10 percent of the hardtop’s production limit, you’ll want to make good friends with your local Alfa dealer.
This reporter is on Twitter: @Mal_Flynn