Alfa Romeo 4C Spider launched in Detroit

Convertible version of Alfa Romeo 4C will go on sale in summer of 2015

The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider has been launched at the Detroit Motor Show. A concept version of the convertible two-seater sports car was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2012 but the car on Alfa’s stand in the US is a full production model.

The significant change compared to the existing 4C coupe is obviously the roof, which is made entirely from fabric in order to keep the car’s weight down. For the same reason there is no electric mechanism for putting the roof up and down, so owners will have to do this manually.

Alfa will hope that the minimal weight gain of just 10kg over the coupe, which should leave the car’s cornering ability intact, will be enough to persuade potential 4C Spider buyers that the inconvenience is worth tolerating.

Turning a coupe into a convertible is an age-old problem for engineers because the lack of a fixed roof usually entails stiffening and strengthening the body of the car, making it heavier and sometimes unbalanced. As a result, the focus is often on minimising the weight increase of the convertible version in order to maintain the original driving character of the coupe.

To this end, and in addition to design of the roof, engineers at Alfa Romeo have also used a thinner windscreen and side window glass on the Spider.

Other features that set the car apart from the 4C coupe are simple, single-piece headlights and a centrally mounted sports exhaust system. Options will include a carbon fibre removable hard top roof, an Alpine radio with Bluetooth streaming and six different interior options with new leather combinations.

On the outside, the 4C Spider will be available in seven different colours and there will be four new alloy wheel designs. The engine is the same 237bhp 1.75-litre petrol engine that features in the coupe and will get the Spider from 0-62mph in around 4.5 seconds.

The new Alfa Romeo 4C Spider will go on sale this summer. There has been no official confirmation of its price yet but we expect it to cost around £52,000.

For a review of the 4C, as well as the other cars in the current Alfa Romeo range, head over to the Carbuyer Alfa Romeo reviews page.

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