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Alfa Romeo 4C Spider in the wings

Artist's impression of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider courtesy of

We're still waiting for the Alfa Romeo 4C to hit Australian showrooms, with overseas demand for the beautiful sports coupe meaning delivery down under will be delayed for a while. And now it seems like we'll be left hankering after another variant of the Alfa halo car, with an open-top Spider said to be heading for a global unveiling at Geneva motor show next week -- three years after the 4C concept was first shown there.

Reports suggest the 4C Spider won't have a folding convertible roof but a removable panel -- there's no suggestion yet about whether there will be onboard storage for the roof section once you unlatch it, but it may be a fold-and-stow design.

The Italian carmaker has previously said taking the top off the 4C would be comparatively easy, given the torsional stiffness gained from the car's largely carbon-fibre chassis. However Alfa Romeo development chief Guglielmo Caviasso has signalled that the car would target a light weight, meaning a mechanised folding roof is off the table.

There's talk of the headlight design of the coupe being dumped for styling that reverts more to that of the original concept, while a fresh alloy wheel wardrobe is also on the cards.

However the 4C Spider is likely to be powered by the coupe's mid-mounted 1.7-litre turbo four-cylinder, with two levels of tune -- a 176kW/350Nm version and a Launch Edition with the horses geed up to 179kW -- matched to a dual-clutch automatic.

The big question for Australia will be supply. Alfa is producing only 4500 of the 4C coupe in its first year -- of which 1000 will be Launch Edition models -- and the local HQ has previously said the Australia-Pacific region would get around 10 per cent of that, but how many of those are allocated for our shores is yet to be revealed. The cars were scheduled to arrive in the second quarter of this year, but in 2013 Alfa Romeo Australia put a hold on orders until the final quota is known -- and with more than 100 expressions of interest in hand.

This reporter is on Twitter: @KarlaPincott