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Alfa Romeo 4C Spider revealed


Topless Alfa 4C sports car revealed at the Detroit motor show.

Alfa Romeo has taken the wraps off the production version of the new 4C Spider, as previewed by the Spider concept at last year's 2014 Geneva motor show.

Based around the same mid-engine carbon fibre monocoque structure as the 4C coupe, at 1128kg the Spider is only 10kg heavier than its hardtop sibling and around 180kg lighter than its nearest Porsche Boxster rival.

That exotic carbon fibre structure also means the 4C should lose little chassis rigidity in the transformation from hardtop to Spider, though it is believed Alfa Romeo has tweaked the suspension slightly to compensate for the loss of the fixed roof.

The roof is a manually removable lightweight carbon fibre item to match the distinctive composite windshield. The rear buttress can also be specified in carbon fibre but comes finished in black as standard.

Power is supplied by the same 1.75-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the coupe, which sends 177kW/350Nm to the rear wheels via a six-speed twin-clutch transmission. While a 0-100km/h acceleration figure hasn’t been specified, the Spider should match the coupe’s 4.5 seconds – 0-96km/h (60mph) is claimed to take 4.1 seconds.

Like the coupe, the new 4C Spider does without power assisted steering in its pursuit of lightweight performance and purist handling feedback.

Visually, the new Spider can be differentiated from its coupe counterpart by its new cooling ducts placed ahead of the rear wheels, redesigned alloys, new engine cover and centre mounted exhaust tips if the optional Akrapovic titanium exhaust is fitted.

Three different exhausts will be available on the 4C Spider – the standard system, a race setup that does without mufflers and features Y-shaped cats for reduced cabin drone and the dual-mode Akrapovic system.

The cabin of the 4C Spider mimics the coupe’s and features the same sparse design with flat-bottom steering wheel, digital TFT instrument display and Alfa Romeo’s DNA drive mode selector.

Moving up from All-weather to Race mode through Natural and Dynamic, introduces varying degrees of electronic stability control intervention, faster gearshifts and revised differential actuation. A launch control system is also calibrated into Race mode, designed to give the ultimate getaway.

Strong overseas demand and limited build numbers for the 4C coupe has delayed its arrival on local shores, but is expected to become available in the coming months.

The new 4C Spider variant isn’t expected to arrive in local showrooms for at least another twelve months.