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2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider


The 2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider has made its official debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show today and has quickly found itself atop our wish list. Based on the current 4C , the updated 4C Spider gets a host of upgrades as it moves into 2016.

The most obvious change to the car is its removable top and additional bodywork rising from the rear decklid. A naked carbon fiber roll bar hoops over the occupant compartment, as does a similar windshield brace. Beside the lack of a sloping rear window, the car keeps a similar profile to its coupe counterpart.

There are changes underneath the bodywork, however. Alfa had to add structural supports to the carbon fiber tub in order to retain the car’s rigidity. The new materials result in 132 additional pounds yet is said to not adversely affect the car’s performance. New, more traditional headlights replace the bug-eyed ones from the coupe while new centrally mounted exhaust pipes give the rear end a sportier look while leaving the lower diffuser untouched.

Power still comes from the 1.75-liter, turbocharged inline-four making 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. No changes are made to the only gearbox option, Alfa’s TCT twin-dry-clutch, six-speed automatic with paddle shifters.

Best of all, the car still gets 24 mpg city and 47 mpg highway on the EU cycle. Such practicality will surely make it easier to persuade your missis the $83,360 purchase is justifiable. Now if only Alfa would sell the 4C Spider inside the U.S…

Updated 03/12/2013: Alfa Romeo unveiled the first promotional video for its new 4C Spider in which it reveals the revolutionary design and technology of the car. Enjoy!

Click past the jump for all the details on the new 2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

Exterior

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider
Alfa Romeo 4C Spider
Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

Much of the 4C Coupe is still present. The front fascia, lower grilles, and center V-grille all make their return, as does the deeply-creased hood. The downward-sloping beltline still flows into the rear air inlets just behind the doors and the rear spoiler still sports the third brake light and Alfa Romeo emblem. TheFerrari -esque taillights remain unchanged as well.

However, new for the Spider are updated (finally) conventional headlights, new wheel options, a new titanium exhaust system with carbon tips, and of course the new rear decklid and roof design that incorporates the removable roof section.

The windshield brace is constructed from carbon fiber for added structural support and crashworthiness. A matching carbon fiber B-pillar protrudes from the painted bodywork and houses the tiny rear window. Together the windshield and B-pillar hold the removable soft top.

Rendering VS Reality

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

Out renderings were pretty close to the finalized product. We did miss the exposed carbon fiber roll bar, but otherwise nailed it. The headlights look spot-on as does the reshaped B-pillar.

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider - Exterior Dimensions

Length 157 Inches
Height 46.6 Inches
Width (W/ Mirrors)73.4 Inches (82.28 inches)
Wheelbase 93.7 Inches
Curb Weight1,973 Pounds

Interior

Alfa Romeo 4C

Alfa 4C Coupe pictured
Not much has changed within the cockpit. The carbon fiber tub is said to be more visible with less materials covering it up and new leather upholstery separates the Spider from the Coupe. Otherwise, the 4C Spider will have the same flat-bottomed steering wheel, driver-oriented center stack, and beautiful TFT screen inhabiting the instrument cluster. A proper mechanical handbrake is still employed within the center armrest making bootleg turns possible.

Drivetrain

Alfa Romeo 4C

The 4C Spider borrows the 4C Coupe’s 1.75-liter turbocharged inline-four-cylinder engine. Direct injection, dual continuous variable valve timing, and a turbo featuring a “scavenging control system” that eliminates turbo lag all work together to produce 240 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque between 2,100 and 4,000 rpm. The aluminum engine block helps reduce weight by 49 pounds.

The transmission is also shared. It’s Alfa’s TCT automatic twin dry clutch with paddle shifters. Both an automatic mode and sequential mode are available for shifting choices. Shifts come very quickly in manual mode as the transmission is one of the fastest in the segment.

The drivetrain does receive a nice upgrade by way of the dual exhaust system built by Akrapovic. Constructed from titanium, the exhaust features an electronically-operated valve system that varies the flow and noise exiting the carbon tipped pipes. The system works much like the Corvette’s active exhaust system.

The 4C Spider also gets an upgrade to its computer software. Alfa’s latest-generation of ‘DNA’ software lets the driver change the car’s attitude for varying conditions. The three modes – Dynamic, Natural, and All-Weather – work together in providing the proper computer inputs at the proper moment. Race, the new fourth mode, allows the car to perform unhindered on the track without the computer over correcting or limiting the driver.

Engine 1,742 CC, Turbocharged 4-Cylinder
Engine (Horsepower @ RPM)240 @ 6,000
Engine Torque (Pound-Feet @ RPM)258 @ 2,100 - 4,000
Transmission Dual Dry Clutch Six-Speed Automatic
Acceleration (0-62 MPH)4.7 Seconds
Top Speed 160 MPH

Prices

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

At the current exchange rates, the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider costs $83,360. Out biggest concern in whether Alfa will ever offer the 4C Spider (or the 4C Coupe for that matter) inside the United States. Check back for any further details or breaking news on the subject, as we’ll bring it to you when it happens.

Competition

Porsche Boxster GTS

Porsche Boxster GTS

Though the Boxster GTS has not been launched yet, our spy photographers have already caught it testing and we are expecting it to be launched sometime close to summer this year.

While the Porsche at 335 horsepower is certainly the more powerful option compared to the 240 horsepower from the 4C engine, the 4C has weight — rather the lack of it — on it’s side. Both the 4C Spyder and the Boxster GTS are expected to hit 60 in roughly 4.6 seconds however the Porsche can be expected to have a higher top speed by a margin of over 15 mph.

Mercedes-Benz SLK350

Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Although it has over 60 horsepower more than the 4C but with it’s relatively huge body and heavy weight, the SLK350 looks more of a tourer compared to the 4C, which is made for better cornering and track performance. That said both the cars are in the same price bracket and appeal to buyers looking for open top fun on four wheels.

While the Mercedes can go to 60 mph from a standstill in 5.4 seconds with its 3.5-liter, V-6 engine that churns out 302 horses, the Alfa uses a 1.75-liter engine that produces 240 horsepower and is expected to take the 4C Spyder from 0 to 60 in 4.7 seconds. That should tell you the difference weight can make.

BMW Z4

BMW Z4

The Z4 is a car that has been around for a while — a long while. Yes, it doesn’t look bad, but it really is time we see some major update to the Z4 or maybe even a replacement. Similar to the Mercedes Mercedes , the BMW with it’s long body and weight is more suited in long stretches cruising without it’s roof on instead of a track.

Powering the base version of the BMW the sDrive 28i is a 2-liter engine which puts out the same 240 horsepower as the Alfa. The higher weight though means that 0 to 60 in the BMW takes almost a second more.

Conclusion

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

The Alfa 4C Spider is so easy to love. A unique and sporty look combined in spider form makes it a really desirable machine to look at. Its light weight, powerful engine, and sweet gearbox make the 4C a competent track star as well as a fun mountain cruiser. At $83k, there are cheaper options out there (Corvette C7 , Porsche Cayman ), but the Alfa is an animal all its own.

LOVE IT
  • Beautiful design
  • Expanded 4C lineup gives Alfa more market reach
  • Still light weight and stiff
LEAVE IT
  • Not sold in the United States
  • More expensive than a Porsche Cayman
  • No manual trans option for the motoring purists

Press Release

The preview of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, the convertible evolution of the award-winning coupé launched last year, will be debuting at the 84th International Geneva Motor Show. Characterised by special details and distinctive finishes, the preview is an exercise in style aimed at selecting the contents to be implemented in standard production scheduled for the beginning of next year.

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

Spiders have always occupied a prime place in Alfa Romeo’s heritage because they are the freest and most emotion-driven expression of motoring. The same spirit is expressed in the preview of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, the natural evolution of Alfa Romeo’s long spider history focused on cars capable of delivering great excitement, outstanding driving satisfaction, striking design and powerful, flexible engines.

For this reason, the preview inherits all the distinctive winning characteristics of the Alfa Romeo 4C coupé, the brand’s modern icon which represents the essential sportiness embedded in the ’Alfa Romeo DNA’: performance, Italian style and technical excellence aimed at maximum driving pleasure in total safety.

Exterior style

Designed by the Alfa Romeo Style Centre, the mid-engined preview with 2 seats and rear-wheel drive confirms the brand’s excellence in this sector as demonstrated by some of its recognisable Spiders, among the most beautiful in the history of the motor world, such as the Giulietta Spider from the 1950s or the mythical Duetto made famous by the film, The Graduate (1967), up to the captivating Alfa Romeo 8C Spider. And now it is the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider’s turn to take to the stand by projecting the technological and emotional values that are part of Alfa Romeo’s heritage into the future.

A particular feature of the preview is the exclusive Three-layer Glossy White livery which, with its depth and iridescence, shapes the car, highlighting the sculpted, finely modelled surfaces.

Over this unmistakably elegant Italian ’attire’ are the specific carbon roll-bar cover and the striking carbon windscreen ring, which combines the concepts of lightness and resistance, in line with Alfa Romeo’s exclusive synthesis of ’functional beauty’.

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

The search for brand-new stylistic solutions can also be seen in the new clamshell headlights, the distinctive differentiated diameter (18" at the front and 19" at the rear) alloy rims and the large Pirelli tyres.

Interior design

The elemental design and essential materials also distinguish the interior, which is all designed and built for maximum driving satisfaction. Specifically, the carbon fibre in the interior immediately stands out, used to make the central cell, which has been left in full view to enhance the sense of uniqueness, of technology and light weight. Additionally, to further enhance the unique quality of the spider version, Alfa Romeo’s designers have chosen a particular leather upholstery that results from the finest tradition of Italian craftsmanship.

Dimensions and aerodynamics

The preview of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider has a length of approximately 4 metres and a wheelbase of less than 2.4 metres: these dimensions on the one hand emphasise the car’s compact attributes while also accentuating its agility on the other. Owing to the designers’ excellent work, the car achieves maximum aerodynamic efficiency levels, maintaining the downforce of the coupé version, which contributes towards achieving increased stability at higher speeds. What’s more, thanks to in-depth aerodynamic study, it was possible to minimise the air turbulence in the passenger compartment with the soft top open, making for an equally pleasant drive even when maintaining high speeds.

A spider with limited extra weight thanks to the high-quality materials already used on the coupé

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

Thanks to the quality of the ’4C coupé’ project and its carbon chassis, the 4C Spider too will guarantee a category-leading power/weight ratio with striking performance thanks to a total dry weight of less than 1,000 kg. This is demonstrated by the glass rear window too, which was replaced with a continuation of the bodywork in SMC (Sheet Moulding Compound) which houses the headrests and roll-bars. It must be stressed that low-density SMC, at just 1.5 g/cm³, is significantly lighter than steel ( 7.8 g/cm³) and aluminium ( 2.7 g/cm³), as well as being more malleable. Also, in contrast to aluminium, it does not deform in minor collisions, and is extremely resistant to chemical and atmospheric agents. It also disperses sound efficiently, increasing acoustic comfort.

Study into a titanium and carbon exhaust system

The preview of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider adopts a dual-stage central exhaust system concept with titanium and carbon tailpipes by Akrapovic, a company which produces competition exhaust systems for Moto GP, Superbike, Supersport, Motocross and Enduro. Among its most distinctive features is the electrically operated valve with wireless technology. The study into a ’dual mode’ exhaust is in full Spider spirit, where the pleasure of driving in the open air can be magnified according to the choice of the driver through a dual exhaust set-up: one more restrained, for more relaxing driving, and one more aggressive, for sports driving.

Excellent performance with the new ’4-cylinder’ 1750 Turbo Petrol Alfa TCT

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

The power unit of the coupé version is confirmed: the new ’4-cylinder’ 1750 Turbo Petrol which implements an innovative aluminium block permitting a saving of 22 kg and specific intake and exhaust systems which have been optimised to enhance the sports appeal of the car even further. In addition, it boasts cutting-edge technical solutions including direct fuel injection, dual continuous variable valve timing, a turbocharger and a revolutionary scavenging control system that gets rid of any turbo lag.

The 1750 Turbo Petrol engine is teamed with the innovative Alfa TCT automatic twin dry clutch transmission, which is a genuine benchmark in its segment due to its limited weight and extreme speed of activation. The gears can also be changed in sequential mode using the "shift paddles" located behind the steering wheel.

With this equipment, the preview of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider ensures even the most expert driver extraordinary performance and sensations which, on a par with the coupé version, remain at the top of the category both in terms of absolute performance and in terms of handling and driving pleasure.

Finally, like all the latest-generation Alfa Romeos, the preview of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider as well is equipped with the DNA selector. This device lets the driver change the car’s temperament to adapt it to the conditions it is subjected to at the moment. In addition to the three settings available up until today - Dynamic, Natural and All-Weather - the device built for the Alfa Romeo Supercar has a fourth mode: ’Race’, designed to enhance the driving experience on a track even further.

Handling

In addition to its absolute performance, the handling of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider preview makes it one of a kind. You can fully enjoy the car in all situations, and not only during extreme use on the track, thanks to its feel and ease of driving at top levels. A specific suspension set-up was developed for the convertible Alfa Romeo, such as to ensure the same feeling and driving pleasure as the 4C Coupé.



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