Alfa Romeo has revealed the convertible version of the 4C sports car and, unsurprisingly for an Italian convertible, it’s called the Spider. It’ll be built alongside the coupe at Maserati’s manufacturing plant in Modena and will hit UK roads in the summer.
Much of the design is unchanged bar alterations to accommodate the loss of roof. Gone is the see-through engine cover of the hard-top version, replaced instead by bodywork with functional air vents and pronounced buttresses. The roof itself is fabric and manually folded away to save weight – only 10kg have been added to the US-spec model – a carbon hardtop is optional.
To mitigate the risk of accidents in a rollover, Alfa has installed a rollover hoop behind the seats. It’s available in gloss black or optional carbon fibre to match the windscreen frame. Alfa calls this feature its ‘halo’ – safety levels are said to be angelic.
Elsewhere the design remains the same. It’s still built around a carbon fibre monocoque – partly responsible for the minimal increase in weight over the coupe – and still has lightweight composite body panels. The newer glass headlights are still in place instead of the controversial carbon fibre units of the coupe.
Exhaust specialist Akrapovic has been given the task of creating an optional sports exhaust for the 4C Spider. The new exhaust has baffles that can be opened or closed from the cabin to make more or less engine noise depending on driving conditions and your mood.
Under the redesigned rear deck, the same 1.75-litre all-aluminium four-cylinder turbo provides the thrust. It produces a respectable 240hp and a meaty 258lb ft of torque which, combined with the twin-clutch automatic gearbox, propel the 4C Spider to 60mph from rest in 4.1 seconds and on to 160mph.
Europe-specific details will be revealed closer to the car’s release date but, for America, the car gets a new yellow paint scheme, a choice of four new alloy wheel designs and optional tobacco brown leather with matching stitching. It’ll arrive in dealerships with prices and UK specifications in the summer costing just shy of £50,000.
Spi your next car?
If you like the look of the new 4C Spider, why not take a look at our aggregated review of the 4C coupe? Or, for more news from the Detroit Auto show, take a look at our preview of the new Ford GT and our rant about its slightly naff interior.