Alfa Romeo has taken the top off the 4C coupe at the Geneva Motor Show, with the unveiling of the 4C Spider. Spiders have traditionally occupied a prime place in Alfa Romeo’s heritage and the same spirit is expressed in the preview of the 4C Spider.
The mid-engined 4C Spider is draped in an exclusive three-layer Glossy White livery and features specific carbon roll-bar cover and the striking carbon windscreen ring. Rolling stock is provided by distinctive differentiated diameter (18″ at the front and 19″ at the rear) alloy rims wrapped in Pirelli tyres.
The 4C Spider boasts category-leading power/weight ratio with thanks to a total dry weight of less than 1000 kg, just like its coupe sibling.
The glass rear window is replaced by a continuation of the bodywork in lightweight material called SMC (Sheet Moulding Compound) which houses the headrests and roll-bars.
Low-density SMC is significantly lighter than steel and even aluminium, as well as being more malleable. In addition, it does not deform in minor collisions and is extremely resistant to chemical and atmospheric agents. It also disperses sound efficiently, increasing acoustic comfort.
The 4C Spider adopts a dual-stage central exhaust system concept with titanium and carbon tailpipes supplied by Akrapovic, a company that produces competition exhaust systems for MotoGP, Superbike, Supersport, Motocross and Enduro machines.
The electrically operated valve with wireless technology allows the driver to adjust the volume of the exhaust note, further magnifying open air driving experience.
At the heart of the 4C Spider is a 1.75-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine. The use of aluminium block allows a 22kg weight saving for improved performance. It features direct fuel injection, dual continuous variable valve timing, and a revolutionary scavenging control system that eliminates turbo lag.
The turbo petrol engine is teamed with the Alfa TCT automatic twin clutch transmission, which boasts low weight and rapid fire changes. The gears can also be changed in sequential mode using the shift paddles located behind the steering wheel.
As with all performance Alfa road cars, the 4C Spider’s DNA selector allows the drive to choose from the standard three settings – Dynamic, Natural and All-Weather – plus a fourth mode exclusive to the 4C Spider: ‘Race’, which is designed to further enhance the driving experience on a track.
While the 4C Coupe will launch in Australia in the second quarter of this year with a starting price of just $75,000, the 4C Spider will enter production in early 2015.