Alfa Romeo 4C Spider (2015) unveiled at Detroit show | CAR Magazine

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider (2015) unveiled at Detroit show

Published: 14 January 2015 Updated: 26 January 2015

A car so logical for Alfa Romeo that it almost undermines the carmaker’s passionate, heart-on-sleeve image, the 4C Spider will offer an open-top alternative to the coupe. 

Loses its head, becomes prettier still

It’s a mark of the talent within Alfa’s design team that, rather than compromise the exquisite aesthetics of the 4C coupe, the transition to open-topped Spider has produced a car that’s somehow prettier still. The required rollover protection – a single sculpted hoop in aluminium and carbonfibre – has been effortlessly blended into the 4C’s elegant body. An exposed carbonfibre windscreen frame, the Spider’s centre-exit twin exhaust (an Akrapovic system offering more noise on demand), new wheel designs and revised headlights are the other visual differences.

Two roofs, or none at all

Eschewing a traditional retracting soft roof or folding metal roof, the 4C Spider uses a lighter removable soft roof, with an optional carbonfibre hardtop. The interior has been revised for the Spider, with an upgraded stereo (an Alpine system with Bluetooth streaming) and a greater choice of colour and trim options.

Business as usual elsewhere

The 4C’s ultra-stiff and lightweight carbon tub negated the need for any serious reinforcing work on the Spider’s roof-less chassis, so the weight penalty for open-topped driving joy is a scant 10kg. Thinner window glass has even been used to help keep the Spider’s weight down. The increase in aerodynamic drag is equally inconsequential. Performance is all but unchanged, the 1742cc turbo four helping the 1060kg (dry) Spider to 62mph in 4.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 155mph. Weight distribution remains the same, so expect identical handling to that of the coupe – agility to the point of distraction on Track pack-equipped cars, with their bigger wheels and firmer suspension, and an altogether more composed and trustworthy front end on the smaller rims.

Due 2015

The 4C Spider will enter production shortly and go on sale this year. 

Click here to read CAR’s review of the Alfa Romeo 4C on UK roads in right-hand drive with the ‘Comfort’ suspension setup – which makes a surprisingly big difference to the car’s behavior.

By Ben Miller

The editor of CAR magazine, story-teller, average wheel count of three