Alfa Romeo 4C Spider debuts at 2015 NAIAS_7 After much hype about the Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe in the past year, the production version of the 4C Spider is set to thrill the crowd at the upcoming NAIAS (North American International Auto Show). Like its Coupé sibling, the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider is built around an exotic, ultra-lightweight monocoque chassis, comprised entirely of unilateral, “pre-preg”, carbon fiber layers.

The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider is the latest in a rich bloodline that includes some of the most desirable performance cars in automotive history: the aluminium-bodied 8C 2900 B Touring (’38); the 225 km/h (140 mph) 1900 C52 “Flying Saucer” (’52) and the car that inspired the 4C, the legendary 33 Stradale (’67) with its revolutionary magnesium-alloy and steel tubular chassis and ground-breaking styling.

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider goes open-top or convertible styling

The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider shares much of its exterior design with the Coupé sibling version, with a transition from fixed to open top. The Coupé’s glazed engine cover and flowing coupé shape gives way to a more traditional spider form, with pronounced buttresses and a body-colored engine deck-lid with three functional heat extractors and an aerodynamically tuned spoiler. The rollover structure is housed in a black (or optional carbon fiber) “halo”, creating visual harmony with the carbon fiber windscreen frame that houses attachment points for the removable, stowable cloth roof (or optional carbon fiber hardtop). Four all-new wheel designs also debut, either in 17-inch (front)/18-inch (rear) or 18-inch (front)/19-inch (rear) sizes in Silver or Dark finishes.

In U.S. version, a new Alpine premium audio system is offered, with multiple connectivity and media options, including hands-free Bluetooth calling, Bluetooth streaming, USB/iPod/CD/MP3 capabilities, HD radio and SiriusXM satellite radio. In addition to the existing colors available on the Alfa Romeo 4C, a new Giallo (yellow) paint scheme is also offered (with matching accent stitching for the seating, steering wheel and doors available), while a new Tobacco leather interior option is also planned for later in the year.

Powered by the same, all-aluminium, 240hp, 350 Nm (258 lb.-ft.), 1750 TBi engine as the Coupé, performance for the U.S. Spider version is on a par with the hardtop version, with a top speed of 257 km/h (160 mph) and a 0 – 100km/h in an estimated 4.2 seconds (0-to-60 mph, 4.1-secs). For the North American market, the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider incorporates stiffer springs, larger front- and rear-anti-roll, and re-tuned shock absorbers. The technical specification of European 4Cs will be announced closer to its launch later in the year.

Alfa Romeo takes the meaning of lightweight monocoque to a whole level, as the monocoque on the 4C Spider is 3x stronger and 7x lighther than steel. With minimized structural differences between the Coupe and Spider versions, the Spider takes on a unilateral carbon fiber windscreen frame that’s bolted to the monocoque chassis. Additionally, there’s a specially-contoured aluminium rollover bar (underneath the “halo”) which provides mounting points for the new rear deck-lid; unique upper body brackets and a high-strength steel engine compartment cross beam to maximize torsional rigidity.

Sheet moulded compound with low density and high-strength composite material is utilized for the 4C Spider bodywork. The Sheet moulded compound (SMC) is 20 percent lighter and more rigid than steel. The compact speedster’s windscreen and side windows feature 10 percent thinner glass, which is intended to reduce overall weight by 15 percent. Overall weight difference between the 4C Coupe and Spider (U.S. Spec) are just 10 kilograms.

Other new features to debut on the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Concept include an all-new, titanium exhaust system, mounted centrally with switchable modes which can be altered depending on the driving environment and driver’s mood. Developed by world-renowned exhaust specialists Akrapovic this beautifully crafted system consists of two centrally-mounted tailpipes and computer-optimized asymmetrical mufflers with a dual-mode exhaust valve system and link pipe with resonator to eliminate in-cabin droning. This optional system is finished with carbon fiber bezels on the exhaust tips. Like the 4C Coupe, the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider will also be available with the standard or Racing exhaust system.

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Edited: Alfa Romeo