Alfa Romeo’s new 4C Spider roadster has made its official debut at this week’s Detroit Auto Show, just weeks ahead of the Coupe’s Australian launch.
The 4C Spider is expected to hit Australia in the second half of 2015, making up around one third of the 300-or-so 4C models allotted to our market.
Australian pricing for the 4C Coupe is still to be revealed, but buyers can most assuredly expect to hand over a bulkier wad of cash for the Spider.
Thankfully, those that go for the cloth-roofed 4C will lose little if nothing in the way of performance, thanks to the Spider weighing only a fraction more than the Coupe.
For the US market, that means a kerb weight of 1060kg for the Spider, or around 10kg more than the 4C Coupe.
(Australian specifications may result in different numbers, but the difference between the two bodystyles should be similar. The European model weighs in at 895kg.)
Importantly, this means that the 4C Spider maintains the same 41/59 front/rear weight distribution ratio.
Apart from the absence of a hardtop roof, the 4C Spider’s key differences from the Coupe are a slight drop in aerodynamic slipperiness (0.341 to 0.335Cd), a 1mm drop in ride height at 113mm, and a 2mm increase in overall height at 1185mm.
The roof is a folding cloth unit in standard form, although a removable carbon-fibre top will be offered as an option.
There’s also the Spider’s new and more conventional headlight build, replacing the spider-eye design of the Coupe - although the US market’s Coupe will get the same headlights and we may yet see the same change made for our market.
Power is of course provided by the same mid-mounted 177kW/350Nm 1.75 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, sending power to the rear wheels through a six-speed TCT twin-clutch auto.
All of this results in a 0-100km/h time of 4.5 seconds, again matching the already impressive sprint time of the 4C Coupe.
US-market models will get even stiffer springs than the European model, along with meatier anti-roll bars and a market-specific shock absorber tune. An Akrapovic exhaust package is also available in the US as an option.
All of this rides on a choice of 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero AR Racing rubber.
In the cabin, there’s a flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters, composite-framed sports seats, carbon-fibre vent surrounds and leather trim throughout.
Watch for Australian details on the 4C Coupe and 4C Spider to appear in the coming weeks.