Alfa Romeo previews 4C Spider, production slated for 2015
By C.C. Weiss
March 11, 2014
Ever since we first laid eyes on the Alfa Romeo 4C, we've been thinking that the top just needs to come down. The ultralight two-seater looks made to drive with the air rushing through your hair, and a convertible version is finally on the way. Alfa Romeo revealed the 4C Spider last week at the Geneva Motor Show.
While it's called a "Design Preview," this appears to be nothing more than a technicality because this car looks like it's ready to roll into dealerships as is. Alfa says that it will begin Spider production early next year.
In order to give the 4C the proper roof shaving it's long deserved, Alfa strengthened the structure of the car to meet convertible regulations. As usual, this process added weight, but the Italian automaker was able to keep that addition to around 132 lb (60 kg) thanks to the use of carbon fiber roll bars, spoilers and windshield surround. The elimination of the rear windshield and the soft canvas top also helped. The convertible maintains the 40:60 front-rear weight distribution of the coupé.
Taking the extra 132 lbs into account, the Spider should weigh in just north of 2,100 lb (955 kg), giving it performance "all but identical" to the 4C coupé's 4.5-second 0-62 mph (100 km/h) and 160 mph (258 km/h) top speed. Those numbers come by way of the same 1.8-liter turbo four-cylinder driving the rear wheels through Alfa's six-speed dual clutch TCT transmission.
Simply prying the top off the 4C would have been more than plenty, but Alfa also gave the Spider a few evolutionary updates. The Design Preview shows a new set of carbon fiber clamshell headlamps, along with new aluminum alloy wheels wrapped up tightly in bespoke Pirelli tires. We definitely prefer the simpler look of the new headlamps versus the multi-light bug eyes on the coupé, pictured below.
Underneath its sensuous curves, the 4C Spider packs a new dual-stage central exhaust system from Akrapovic, a motorcycle and sports car exhaust specialist. The system offers enhanced performance and revised exhaust note at the push of a button.
One of Alfa's selling points for the Spider version is opening up a better view of the interior to the outside world. As seen in Geneva, the cabin included an elegant contrast between rich leather and the underlying carbon fiber monocoque, which peeks through in places like the door sills, center console and rear bulkhead.
We would have preferred to see the debut 4C Spider dressed in one of the luscious reds that the hard-top has worn in the past and present, but Alfa explains that it chose three-layer gloss white because it believes the color emphasizes the car's shapes and surfaces particularly well. Still, please make it red next time, Alfa.
Source: Alfa Romeo