Published on March 4th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Unveiled In The Flesh
Spiders have always occupied a prime place in Alfa Romeo’s heritage because they are the freest and most emotion-driven expression of motoring. The same spirit is expressed in the preview of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, the natural evolution of Alfa Romeo’s long spider history focused on cars capable of delivering great excitement, outstanding driving satisfaction, striking design and powerful, flexible engines.
For this reason, the preview inherits all the distinctive winning characteristics of the Alfa Romeo 4C coupé, the brand’s modern icon which represents the essential sportiness embedded in the ‘Alfa Romeo DNA’: performance, Italian style and technical excellence aimed at maximum driving pleasure in total safety.
Designed by the Alfa Romeo Style Centre, the mid-engined preview with 2 seats and rear-wheel drive confirms the brand’s excellence in this sector as demonstrated by some of its recognisable Spiders, among the most beautiful in the history of the motor world, such as the Giulietta Spider from the 1950s or the mythical Duetto made famous by the film, The Graduate (1967), up to the captivating Alfa Romeo 8C Spider. And now it is the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider’s turn to take to the stand by projecting the technological and emotional values that are part of Alfa Romeo’s heritage into the future.
A particular feature of the preview is the exclusive Three-layer Glossy White livery which, with its depth and iridescence, shapes the car, highlighting the sculpted, finely modelled surfaces.
Over this unmistakably elegant Italian ‘attire’ are the specific carbon roll-bar cover and the striking carbon windscreen ring, which combines the concepts of lightness and resistance, in line with Alfa Romeo’s exclusive synthesis of ‘functional beauty’.
The search for brand-new stylistic solutions can also be seen in the new clamshell headlights, the distinctive differentiated diameter (18″ at the front and 19″ at the rear) alloy rims and the large Pirelli tyres.
The elemental design and essential materials also distinguish the interior, which is all designed and built for maximum driving satisfaction. Specifically, the carbon fibre in the interior immediately stands out, used to make the central cell, which has been left in full view to enhance the sense of uniqueness, of technology and light weight. Additionally, to further enhance the unique quality of the spider version, Alfa Romeo’s designers have chosen a particular leather upholstery that results from the finest tradition of Italian craftsmanship.
Dimensions and aerodynamics
The preview of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider has a length of approximately 4 metres and a wheelbase of less than 2.4 metres: these dimensions on the one hand emphasise the car’s compact attributes while also accentuating its agility on the other. Owing to the designers’ excellent work, the car achieves maximum aerodynamic efficiency levels, maintaining the downforce of the coupé version, which contributes towards achieving increased stability at higher speeds. What’s more, thanks to in-depth aerodynamic study, it was possible to minimise the air turbulence in the passenger compartment with the soft top open, making for an equally pleasant drive even when maintaining high speeds.
A spider with limited extra weight thanks to the high-quality materials already used on the coupé
Thanks to the quality of the ‘4C coupé’ project and its carbon chassis, the 4C Spider too will guarantee a category-leading power/weight ratio with striking performance thanks to a total dry weight of less than 1,000 kg. This is demonstrated by the glass rear window too, which was replaced with a continuation of the bodywork in SMC (Sheet Moulding Compound) which houses the headrests and roll-bars. It must be stressed that low-density SMC, at just 1.5 g/cm3, is significantly lighter than steel (~7.8 g/cm3) and aluminium (~2.7 g/cm3), as well as being more malleable. Also, in contrast to aluminium, it does not deform in minor collisions, and is extremely resistant to chemical and atmospheric agents. It also disperses sound efficiently, increasing acoustic comfort.
Study into a titanium and carbon exhaust system
The preview of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider adopts a dual-stage central exhaust system concept with titanium and carbon tailpipes by Akrapovic, a company which produces competition exhaust systems for Moto GP, Superbike, Supersport, Motocross and Enduro. Among its most distinctive features is the electrically operated valve with wireless technology. The study into a ‘dual mode’ exhaust is in full Spider spirit, where the pleasure of driving in the open air can be magnified according to the choice of the driver through a dual exhaust set-up: one more restrained, for more relaxing driving, and one more aggressive, for sports driving.
Excellent performance with the new ‘4-cylinder’ 1750 Turbo Petrol Alfa TCT
The power unit of the coupé version is confirmed: the new ‘4-cylinder’ 1750 Turbo Petrol which implements an innovative aluminium block permitting a saving of 22 kg and specific intake and exhaust systems which have been optimised to enhance the sports appeal of the car even further. In addition, it boasts cutting-edge technical solutions including direct fuel injection, dual continuous variable valve timing, a turbocharger and a revolutionary scavenging control system that gets rid of any turbo lag.
The 1750 Turbo Petrol engine is teamed with the innovative Alfa TCT automatic twin dry clutch transmission, which is a genuine benchmark in its segment due to its limited weight and extreme speed of activation. The gears can also be changed in sequential mode using the “shift paddles” located behind the steering wheel.
With this equipment, the preview of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider ensures even the most expert driver extraordinary performance and sensations which, on a par with the coupé version, remain at the top of the category both in terms of absolute performance and in terms of handling and driving pleasure.
Finally, like all the latest-generation Alfa Romeos, the preview of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider as well is equipped with the DNA selector. This device lets the driver change the car’s temperament to adapt it to the conditions it is subjected to at the moment. In addition to the three settings available up until today – Dynamic, Natural and All-Weather – the device built for the Alfa Romeo Supercar has a fourth mode: ‘Race’, designed to enhance the driving experience on a track even further.
In addition to its absolute performance, the handling of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider preview makes it one of a kind. You can fully enjoy the car in all situations, and not only during extreme use on the track, thanks to its feel and ease of driving at top levels. A specific suspension set-up was developed for the convertible Alfa Romeo, such as to ensure the same feeling and driving pleasure as the 4C Coupé.