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Alfa's 4C goes topless. Image by Alfa Romeo.

Alfa's 4C goes topless
Gorgeous new Alfa 4C Spider previewed at Geneva Motor Show.
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What's the news?

Following on from our piece at the end of last month about a solitary image on, Alfa has more or less confirmed that the inevitable open-top version of its stunning 4C coupé is set to go into production, with the usual Italian roadster epithet of 'Spider'. The car in Geneva is apparently only a 'Spider Design Preview', but cars looking pretty much identical should be rolling off the Modena line in early 2015.


What can we say? It's glorious. It's even better than the 4C coupé because Alfa has got rid of the controversial, fussy front light clusters, replacing them with carbon fibre clamshell headlights that get rid of our only aesthetic criticism of the coupé. The show car is finished in three-layer gloss white and looks absolutely immaculate, the roof-off treatment working very well with the 4C's tiny proportions. The 4C Spider Design Preview also has new alloy wheels, said to have been milled from solid aluminium blocks, which are shod in bespoke Pirelli rubber.


The 4C Spider has the same sort of bare, minimalist look of its coupé sibling, with plenty of the car's monocoque carbon fibre on display. The obvious change is the fact that the occupants can have miles of open sky above their heads, courtesy of the removable canvas roof - so chosen to keep the Spider's weight gain at the lowest level possible.


The stance of the Spider is not just so it can look good (which it emphatically does, of course), but it ensures aerodynamic efficiency and high downforce, which results in high-speed stability but minimises hairstyle-destroying turbulence in the cabin. It uses the same running gear as the coupé, so it's a 1.75-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder unit making 240hp at 6,000rpm and 350Nm from 2,100- to 4,000rpm. A six-speed, automated dual dry-clutch Alfa TCT transmission feeds the rear wheels and Alfa claims that, despite the slight gain in weight (see below), the Spider still knocks off 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds, before going on to a speed in excess of 155mph - the 4C coupé can do 160mph, so maybe the extra drag of the roof limits the Spider's outright pace slightly. That engine is paired with a new Akrapovic dual-stage central exhaust system with titanium and carbon tailpipes. It features an electrically-operated valve system to improve both performance and enhance the exhaust note at the push of a wirelessly-linked button in the car. We like.

Anything else?

Structural reinforcement required by safety regulations for open-top vehicles means 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 carbon bodywork, the 4C Spider is claimed to be only 60kg or so heavier than the coupé. That weight is still split 40:60 front-to-rear, as in the existing 4C.

Matt Robinson - 5 Mar 2014

Earlier articles featuring 2014 Alfa Romeo 4C

2014-02-28: Alfa 4C Spider, is that you?

2014 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider. Image by Alfa Romeo.2014 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider. Image by Alfa Romeo.2014 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider. Image by Alfa Romeo.2014 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider. Image by Alfa Romeo.2014 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider. Image by Alfa Romeo.

2014 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider. Image by Newspress.2014 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider. Image by Newspress.2014 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider. Image by Alfa Romeo.       - Alfa Romeo road tests
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