Alfa Romeo Spider 2007 Review
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Style over substance. It's a common phrase associated with Alfa Romeo's charges, and one that has likely hobbled the marque in its quest to make significant inroads in Australia.
But it's too general a comment in the mind of this motoring journalist, and not just because the sharp lines, aggressively slick grilles and headlamp configurations on the Alfa range have oodles of appeal.
Some time spent in both the petrol and diesel (JTD) 147 hatches (albeit quite a while ago) filled me with enthusiasm and praise for the marque — even after I'd spent a week feeling regal, but wallowy, in a 159.
And a number of straps in a GT proved fun, but it fell shy of the performance I was hoping for from a coupe touted as offering “searing performance”. I'm yet to spend time in the awesome-looking Brera. However, I'm informed I may be disappointed with the performance of that stunner.
So far this year Alfa Romeo has sold 600 vehicles, compared with 474 in the same period the previous year. This year's sales include 147 147s (we're serious), 343 of the 159s and two dozen of the good-looking Spider.
I spent a week trying to establish if Alfa really is all show and no go. The new Alfa Romeo Spider JTS is the car to test that theory, because it's simply stunning to the eye.
But my initial reaction to questions about this drop-top was regularly: looks good, but not much stick.
The Spider was definitely driving its way into the all-show-and-no-go category. Granted, the test car was the 2.2-litre in-line four-cylinder JTS version producing 136kW of power and 230Nm of torque, not the 3.2-litre V6 with 191kW and 322Nm, which obviously would have had much more pep.
Sulking that I'd not been put behind the wheel of the Spider with more bite, I lapped up the fact that my ride for the week featured true luxury with its clever power-folding roof and exquisite interior.
The interior is clean and concise, and very functional without being techno overload.
At just 4393mm in length but weighing 1470kg, the front-drive Spider (the V6 version is all-wheel-drive) handled well without being exceptional, and the inclusion of next-generation traction, braking and stability control offers peace of mind.
Driven with a bit more endeavour, the in-line four-cylinder picks up points in the performance stakes. However, it's not the nimble little sports car its style suggests it should be.
Alfa Romeo JTS Spider
On sale: Now
Engine: 2.2-litre four-cylinder, 136kW@6500rpm, 230Nm@4500rpm
Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Performance: 0-100km/h in 8.8 seconds; top speed 217km/h
Fuel: 9.4litres/100km combined (claimed), 13litres/100km on test; 70-litre tank
Range and Specs
|2.2 JTS||2.2L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||$14,600 – 20,570||2007 Alfa Romeo Spider 2007 2.2 JTS Pricing and Specs|
|3.2 JTS V6 AWD||3.2L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||$15,000 – 21,120||2007 Alfa Romeo Spider 2007 3.2 JTS V6 AWD Pricing and Specs|
Lowest price, based on third party pricing data