- True to the philosophy of the Alfa Romeo 4C, the Spider remains an ultra-lightweight, high-performance driving machine
- Extensive use of carbon fibre and SMC*, as well as a lightweight canvas hood, ensures the Spider retains the Alfa Romeo 4C focus and purity
- Stunning evolutionary design sees the addition of new headlamps, new wheels and an advanced new central exhaust system by Akropovic
The stunning Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Design Preview made its world début at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, with production starting in early 2015 at the Maserati plant in Modena, Italy, alongside the Alfa Romeo 4C Coupé. Designed by the Alfa Romeo Centro Stile, the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider takes full advantage of the ultra-rigid construction and distinctive design of the coupé to produce a Spider in the truest sense of the Alfa Romeo tradition – a car that brings the driving experience into even sharper focus by allowing the sounds and sensations of performance to fill the cabin and stir the driver’s soul still further.
Like its Coupé sibling, the new Alfa Romeo 4C Spider is built around an ultra-lightweight carbon fibre monocoque with minimal structural enhancements required in the transition from Coupé to Spider. These structural reinforcements (required by safety regulations for open-top vehicles) mean that the Spider inevitably weighs slightly more than the Alfa Romeo 4C coupé, but thanks to the use of carbon fibre for the rollover bars, spoilers and windscreen frame, as well as the adoption of a lightweight canvas soft top and the replacement of the glass rear screen with a continuation of the SMC (*sheet moulded compound) bodywork, the 4C’s structural rigidity, mechanical purity and low weight philosophy are not compromised. SMC is a low-density, high-strength composite material that is 20 percent lighter and dimensionally more rigid than steel, and even the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider’s windscreen and side windows have been optimised for lightness, using 10 percent thinner glass than those normally fitted on cars – to reduce weight by up to 15 percent.
The main developments include a new aluminium rollover structure, which is nestled underneath a black “halo”; a specially-developed carbon fibre windscreen frame and an engine compartment cross-member made from high-strength steel. As a result, the additional weight of the open-top transformation has been limited to approximately 60kg.
The purposeful stance and stunning form of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider has been evolved to ensure the highest levels of aerodynamic efficiency and downforce, resulting in impressive high-speed stability, while at the same time minimising the open-top air turbulence in the passenger compartment.
The Coupé’s fastback rear end is replaced by classic and distinctive Spider buttresses and a new engine cover which also features three heat extractors and a subtle rear spoiler. There are significant changes to the front, too, with new, covered, projector-style xenon headlamps as standard on the Spider (and optional on the Coupé).
Special attention has been paid to the aerodynamic characteristics of the Spider to ensure minimal wind and noise intrusion when the cloth roof is removed and stowed away, and for those owners who want to use their Spider all year round, a carbon fibre hardtop will be available as an optional accessory at a later date.
A new carbon-fibre air intake system, engineered to provide additional transmission cooling for track-focussed drivers, also joins the options list, while four all-new alloy wheel designs debut which have been milled from solid aluminium blocks and shod with bespoke Pirelli tyres.They come in a choice of either in 17/18-inch (front/rear) or 18/19-inch sizes in silver or dark finishes.
The exterior features are rounded out with a vibrant new pastel Giallo Prototipo (yellow) paint option.
The unique Spider open top experience bestows the driver to connect even more closely with their surroundings but also allows the world to get a better view of what is a truly special and unique interior. Carbon fibre dominates the cabin, but not as a decorative afterthought – the monocoque of the 4C Spider Design Preview is constructed entirely from this distinctive material and is clearly visible in the centre console, door sills and rear bulkhead, for example.
Inside, a new Alpine head unit and standard Alfa Hi Fi sound system is now available with wide-ranging device connectivity including Bluetooth phone calling and music streaming. To further enhance the Spider’s cabin it can be trimmed in premium leather with accent stitching and carbon fibre vent surrounds to create a more luxurious ambience for the occupants. A traditional tan leather interior is also offered as an option for the first time.
Powered by the same, all-aluminium, 240hp, 258lb.-ft., 1750 turbo petrol engine as the Coupé, which drives the rear wheels via a six-speed, dual dry-clutch Alfa TCT transmission – performance is on a par with the hardtop model, with a top speed of 160 mph and a 0-to-62 mph time of less than 4.5 seconds. It also has the same capability to generate the same 1.1g of lateral acceleration and 1.25g of braking deceleration as the Coupé. In addition, the outstanding deceleration and lateral acceleration performance, and the balanced 40:60 front-to-rear weight distribution, remain unaffected by the evolution from coupé to Spider.
The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider comes with an enhanced standard specification in line with the revised Coupé, including the upgraded audio system; luxury floor mats; glove compartment with leather cover; bespoke car cover and car care kit – plus parking sensors and cruise control available as free options – in addition to its carbon fibre windscreen frame, new wheels and fared-in xenon headlamps, which are standard on the Spider.
The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider also debuts a new dual-stage central exhaust system with titanium and carbon tailpipes by Akrapovic, a company which produces competition exhaust systems for numerous motorcycle classes including Moto GP, Superbike, Supersport, Motocross and Enduro. This beautifully crafted system consists of two centrally-mounted tailpipes and computer-optimised asymmetrical mufflers with a dual-mode exhaust valve system and link pipe with resonator to eliminate in-cabin droning. The electrically-operated switchable valve system can improve the performance and enhance the exhaust note at the push of a wirelessly-linked button. This optional system is finished with carbon fibre bezels on the exhaust tips.