We already told you that Alfa Romeo will unveil the 4C Spider Concept at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show so don’t act surprised! Set to go in production in early 2015, the 4C Spider Concept was designed by the Alfa Romeo Style Centre and features the ultra-rigid construction and distinctive design of the coupe version.
Still, the open top version promises to bring the driving experience into even sharper focus as the sounds and sensations of the performances will fill the cabin. Just like any other spider version, the 4C Spider concept needed structural reinforcement required by safety regulations for open-top vehicles.
As a result, the 4C Spider Concept weighs slightly more than the Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe but thanks to the use of carbon fibre for the rollover bars, spoilers and windscreen frame, as well as the adoption of a lightweight canvas soft top and the replacement of the glass rear screen with a continuation of the SMC bodywork, the mechanical purity and low weight philosophy are not compromised.
Thanks to the use of lightweight materials, the additional weight of the open-top transformation has been limited to approximately 60 kg. The carbon fiber also dominates the interior, but not in terms of design as the monocoque of the 4C Spider Design Preview is constructed entirely from this distinctive material. This is clearly visible in the centre console, door sills and rear bulkhead.
Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Concept also introduces a new dual-stage central exhaust system with titanium and carbon tailpipes by Akrapovic.
Under the hood, we find the same four-cylinder, all-aluminium, 1750 Turbo Petrol engine used by the coupe version that delivers 240 hp and 350 Nm of torque. Performance figures are identical to the coupe version: 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.5 seconds and a top speed in excess of 250 km/h or 155 mph.
In terms of dimensions, the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Concept measures around four meters in length with a wheelbase of less than 2.4 meters – both highlighting its compactness and its agile nature. The concept was designed to achieve optimal aerodynamic efficiency.
In fact, it still has the downforce of the Alfa Romeo 4C coupé, allowing it to offer higher levels of stability at higher speeds. Alfa Romeo also conducted an in-depth aerodynamic study of the concept, allowing the carmaker to reduce air turbulence in the passenger compartment when the soft top is open.
Being a sibling of the 4C coupe, the 4C also employs the same high-quality materials. It is a bit heavier than its coupe sibling, due to the fact that it has to accommodate the mechanism for the soft top. Featuring the same carbon chassis, the 4C Spider is set to lead its category in terms of power/weight ratio as it comes with a total dry weight of less than 1,000 kg.
Alfa Romeo replaced the glass rear window with a continuation of the bodywork -- in SMC (Sheet Moulding Compound) – that now accommodates both the headrests and roll-bars. At a density of 1.5 g/cm3, SMC is lighter and more malleable than steel (7.8 g/cm3) and aluminum (~2.7 g/cm3).
Unlike aluminum, SMC does not deform during minor collisions. It is also resistant to chemical and atmospheric agents. Since SMC allows for a more efficient dispersal of sound, acoustic comfort is now much better on the 4C Spider.
The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Concept is provided with a dual-stage central exhaust system concept featuring titanium and carbon tailpipes. These tailpipes -- courtesy of the Akrapovic company that makes competition exhaust systems for Enduro, Moto GP, Motocross, Superbike and Supersport – comes with electrically operated valve with wireless technology.