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BBC Autos

Alfa Romeo teases with the topless 4C Spider study

About the author

Editor of BBC Autos, Matthew is a former editor at Automobile Magazine and the creator of the digital-only Roadtrip Magazine. His automotive and travel writing has appeared in such magazines as Wired, Popular Science, The Robb Report and Caribbean Travel + Life. He lives in Los Angeles with his wonderful wife and four-year-old daughter.

 

HIDE CAPTION

Sometimes, automotive beauty has less to do with what is added than with what is taken away. Such is the case with Alfa Romeo’s lovely 4C Spider, the roadster version of the Italian carmaker’s lauded new coupe.

Technically a design study, but undeniably production-ready, the 4C Spider unveiled in Geneva is intended to preview the 2015 production roadster. It loses its roof in favour of feather-light canvas top, and wears an exposed-weave carbon fibre roll-bar cover and windscreen ring, and a reshaped rear deck made of low-density sheet-moulded compound. Despite the revised bodywork and structural enhancements, Alfa claims the Spider weighs only about 130lbs more than its fixed-roof kin.

The roadster study features more conventional headlamps than the coupe (a change that few are likely to bemoan), along with unique 10-spoke alloy weels, 18in up front and 19in at the rear. The car also gets a dual-stage central exhaust system with very fetching tailpipes fashioned from titanium and carbon fibre.

No surprise, the Spider still makes use of a mid-mounted turbocharged 1.75-litre four-cylinder engine, matched to a quick-witted six-speed dual clutch transmission. The trip from zero to 60mph takes 4.5 seconds, identical to the coupe, and the roadster will press on to a top speed just north of 155mph.

Although Alfa has confirmed its intention to produce the 4C Spider next year, pricing has not been mentioned. It is reasonable to expect the topless 4C to command slightly more than the coupe, which starts at 53,000 euros (about $74,000) in its homeland.