Those sexy curves……that beautifully sleek Italian body…….God, we love Alfa Romeo!
So, why on earth did they have to go and unveil the 4C Spider thousands of miles away in Detroit and make us wait to drool over it in the flesh?
And what flesh it is too. Like it’s coupe sister, the Spider is built on a lightweight carbon fibre monocoque chassis three times stronger and less than half the weight of steel. Because of it’s inherent rigidity the usual stiffening required of a convertible is less of an issue. The windscreen frame is also carbon fibre, bolted straight onto the chassis, and the “halo” behind the seats mirrors the shape of the windscreen whilst also concealing an aluminium roll bar. There are additional cross beams in the engine compartment to ensure the Alfa stays planted on the road. The body is sculpted from a sheet moulded compound, lighter and stronger than steel, and even the window glass has been on a diet to ensure that the weight difference between the Spider and the Coupe is a mere 10Kg.
Powered by the same aluminium block 240bhp engine as the coupe, that 10Kg weight difference means the important numbers will be roughly the same as the hardtop; 0-60mph in around 4 seconds and a top whack in the region of 160mph. In other words, it’s bloody quick and it looks fantastic.
The smooth curves of the front intakes with that iconic triangular grill nestled in their bosom. The elegantly sculpted wings that slide down the length of the car like the silken folds of a virginal bride’s wedding dress. The buttresses either side of the of the vented engine cover flow effortlessly down from the headrests – supermodel’s cheekbones is the image firmly planted in our collective brain – before rearing back up seductively into the aerodynamically tuned spoiler. Oh boy, this thing is enough to cause premature shortsightedness in many a petrol-blooded young chap.
The soundtrack to this scene? You have two options: you can listen to the bluetooth entertainment centre – the US version will be packaged with an Alpine premium system so expect similar – or you can enjoy some old fashioned Italian rock courtesy of the new titanium exhaust system with switchable modes to suit driving style and mood. Don’t be surprised if the modes are labelled “loud” and “louder”. We’re sure the stereo will be first-rate but who needs it when you can have a performance-tuned engine and exhaust howling away behind your head?
With whistles well and truly wetted, all we can do now is wait until this sexy little number hits the UK in the summer. Just one word of advice should you be as tempted as we are. Red, you have to get it in red…….
Words: David Young