‘Alfa Romeo Spider’ has to be one of the most evocative collections of words in the automotive lexicon, and now there’s a new one. At the Detroit show, Alfa lifted the lid (pun intended) on the production version of the open-top 4C, and it remains true to the concept that appeared at the Geneva show last year.
Thanks to the 4C’s carbon fibre construction, the open-top car’s weight penalty is just 10kg (now 1128kg) with what Alfa Romeo describes as ‘similar’ rigidity to the coupé. Lopping off the roof has necessitated a new windscreen frame (in unpainted carbon fibre), roll-over bar (aluminium, hidden) and new rear buttresses. The controversial headlights have gone, too (having been omitted from US-spec 4Cs from day one).
For the hood arrangement, don’t think powered, push-of-a-button convenience. It’s much more likely to be similar to a Lotus Elise’s top, with the option of a manually-removed carbon fibre hard top. Mechanically, it’s business as usual with the turbocharged 1.75-litre four-pot and 6-speed dual-clutch transmission.
When the 4C Spider goes on sale, expect a slight premium over the coupé’s £45,000.