• 2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

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The 2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider made its official debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show and quickly found itself atop our wish list. Based on the 2014 4C, the 4C Spider gets a host of upgrades as it moves closer to its North American arrival in the 2016 model year. 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 passenger 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, but the Italians claim it the extra weight won’t affect the car’s performance. New, more traditional headlights replace the bug-eyed ones from the coupe, while new center-mounted exhaust pipes give the rear end a sportier look. Power comes from the same 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.

Yes, it’s somewhat of a letdown that there’s no manual transmission, but at least the 4C Spider is coming to the U.S. as part of Alfa’s return to North America. That’s reason enough to keep us happy with only two pedals.

Updated 06/12/2015: Alfa Romeo announced prices for the new 4C Spider which will arrive at U.S. and Canadian dealerships this summer. Prices will start from $63,900 - excluding $1,595 destination.

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

  • 2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    Six-speed Dual Clutch
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    240 @ 6000
  • MPG(Cty):
    24 (Est.)
  • MPG(Hwy):
    47 (Est.)
  • Torque @ RPM:
    258 @ 2100
  • Energy:
    Direct Injection, Turbocharged
  • Displacement:
    1.75 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.7 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    130 mph
  • Price:
    63900
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Exterior
- image 610356
2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Exterior
- image 610361
2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider High Resolution Exterior
- image 610405
New for the Spider are updated conventional headlights, new wheel options, a new titanium exhaust system with carbon tips, and the new rear decklid and roof design

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. The Ferrari-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

2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Exclusive Renderings
- image 544209

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.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase in.(mm) 93.7 (2,380)
Track, Front in.(mm) 64.5 (1,639)
Track, Rear in.(mm) 63.1 (1,604)
Overall Length in.(mm) 157.5 (4,000)
Overall Width in.(mm) 73.5 (1,868)
Overall Height in.(mm) 46.7 (1,185)
Ground Clearance 4.4 (113)
Curb Weight, lb. (kg) 2,487 (1,128)
Dry Weight, lb. (kg) 2,337 (1,060)
Weight Distribution, percent F/R 41 / 59
Drag Coefficient, Cd 0.341

Interior

2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Interior
- image 610352
2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider High Resolution Interior
- image 610353
2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Interior
- image 610355
Not much has changed within the cockpit. The carbon-fiber tub is more visible with less materials covering it up and new leather upholstery separates the Spider from the Coupe

Not much has changed within the cockpit. The carbon-fiber tub is 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 handbrake turns possible.

The two composite-framed sport seats borrowed from the Coupe provide the utmost lateral support, while the fully wrapped, premium-leather interior with accent stitching is standard. The Alpine premium sound system is, however, new to the 4C Spider and it comes with hands-free Bluetooth phone connection and audio streaming, a USB port, an iPod interface, and CD/MP3 capabilities.

Customers can choose between five interior color combinations, including Black leather with Red accent stitching, red leather with red accent stitching, Black leather with Giallo accent stitching, Racing seats wrapped in black leather with microfiber inserts and red or yellow accent stitching. A sixth Tobacco leather with black accent options will be added later in the model year.

More features come via the Track Package, which adds a performance flat-bottom steering wheel with microfiber inserts, carbon-fiber exterior mirrors and carbon-fiber gauge cluster bezel.

Drivetrain

2014 Alfa Romeo 4C Drivetrain
- image 523958
The 4C Spider needs only 4.1 seconds to charge from 0 to 60 mph on its way to a top speed of 160 mph, making it as fast as the 4C coupe and quicker than any Boxster out there

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, a Alfa’s TCT automatic twin-dry-clutch with paddle shifters, is also shared with the coupe. The transmission offers automatic and sequential modes so you can chose to row your own or let the car do the work. Shifts come very quickly in manual mode as the transmission is one of the fastest in the segment. Speaking of quickness, the 4C Spider needs only 4.1 seconds to charge from 0 to 60 mph on its way to a top speed of 160 mph, making it as fast as the 4C coupe and quicker than any Boxster out there as of January 2015.

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.

The 4C Spider can be further enhanced by means of a Track Package. The bundle includes special shock absorbers with larger front and rear sway bars, and larger forged-aluminum alloys shod in Pirelli P-Zero "AR Racing" tires.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type and Description Inline 4-cylinder, liquid-cooled with turbocharger, intercooler and wet sump
Displacement, cc (cu.in.) 1,742 (106.3)
Bore x Stroke 3.27 x 3.17 (83 x 80.5)
Valve System Dual overhead cam with dual (intake and exhaust) continuous variablevalve timing (VVT), 16 valves, roller-type hydraulic lifters
Fuel Injection Direct-injection, sequential, multiport, electronic
Construction Aluminum-alloy block with cast-iron liners, forged-aluminum pistons, forged-steel crankshaft, aluminum-alloy heads and aluminum bedplate
Compression Ratio 9.25:1
Maximum Turbo Boost (psi / bar) 21.75 psi / 1.45 bar
Power (SAE net) 237 HP @ 6,000 RPM (136 bhp/liter)
Torque (SAE net) 258 LB-FT @ 2,200 - 4,250 RPM
Max. Engine Speed 6,500 rpm (fuel cutoff)
Fuel Requirement Unleaded premium — 91 Octane (R+M)/2
Oil Capacity (with Filters) 6.1 qt. (5.8 liter)
Coolant Capacity 11.2 qt. (10.6 liter)

Prices

2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider High Resolution Exterior
- image 544408

The new Alfa Romeo 4C Spider will be priced from $63,900 - excluding $1,595 destination.

Competition

Porsche Boxster GTS

2015 Porsche Boxster GTS High Resolution Exterior
- image 546392

Currently the quickest of the Boxster lineup, the GTS employs a 3.4-liter, flat-six that generates 330 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Don’t let the horsepower output fool you though, the Boxster GTS is slower than the Alfa 4C, needing 4.7 seconds to reach 60 mph from a standing start. The German machine wins the top speed battle though, being capable of 173 mph.

Just like the 4C, the Boxster GTS can only be had with an automatic transmission (or PDK in Porsche speak). Despite being slower, the GTS is way more expensive than the 4C, fetching $73,500 before any options. Should you settle with a base, 265-pony Boxster, the sticker drops to $51,400.

Read our review here.

Mercedes-Benz SLK350

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class High Resolution Exterior
- image 527253

Although it has over 60 horsepower more than the 4C, with its 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.

The SLK350 can go to 60 mph from a standstill in 5.4 seconds with its 3.5-liter, V-6 engine that churns 302 horses, which is rather slow when compared to the 4C. However, if you’re set on getting a Merc there’s the more powerful SLK55 AMG with 416 ponies coming from a 5.5-liter V-8. 60 mph comes in just 4.5, white top speed sits at 155 mph, but the AMG will set you back $70,900. The SLK350 comes in cheaper at $57,650.

Read our review here.

BMW Z4

2014 BMW Z4 High Resolution Exterior
- image 486953

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, the BMW, with it’s long body and weight, is more suited in long stretches cruising without its roof on instead of a track.

Powering the base version of the BMW the sDrive28i is a 2.0-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. Then there’s the sDrive35i, which uses a 3.0-liter, inline-six to send 335 horsepower to the rear wheels. Although this mill churns 95 more horses then the 4C’s, the 0-to-60 sprint still takes longer at 4.8 seconds. The range-topping Z4 isn’t more affordable either, as it begins from $65,800. The base, sDrive28i model, on the other hand, retails from $48,950.

Read our review here.

Conclusion

2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 610334

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 $60,000, there are cheaper options out there (Corvette C7, Porsche Cayman), but the Alfa is an animal all its own.

  • Leave it
    • Likely more expensive than a Porsche Cayman
    • No manual trans option for the motoring purists

Update History

Updated 01/12/2015: The new 2016 4C Spider made its North American debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show and will be put on sale later this summer. Prices will be announced at a later date.

Updated 01/23/2015: We’ve added a series of new images from the car’s official debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Check the new images in the "Pictures" tab.

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!

Updated 12/31/2014: In a post on FCA’s blog about the arrival of the 4C Launch Edition arriving in the U.S., there was one small sentence that has gotten the industry (myself included) all worked up. At the end of the post it reads: "Of course, if you like what you see, there will be more over the next few years. Alfa Romeo plans to introduce eight new models by 2018. You’ll get your next Alfa fix at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January." This almost certainly means that the official production version of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spyder will make its much-anticipated debut in Detroit. Remember, earlier in 2014 we saw this stunning white beauty pictured here, which was a "preview" of the upcoming 4C Spyder. Stay tuned for more.

Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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