Alfa Romeo unveils 4C Spider
Alfa Romeo's return to the U.S. market continued Monday at the 2015 North American International Auto Show with the debut of a sexy roadster.
The Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV brand unveiled an open-air version of its 4C coupe called the 4C Spider, the brand's second of eight expected vehicles for the U.S. through 2018.
"This car has everything serious drivers need, and nothing that they don't," said Reid Bigland, Alfa Romeo head of North America, during the car's unveiling Monday morning at Cobo Center in Detroit.
The brand used the 4C Spider unveiling to formally introduce Alfa Romeo back to the U.S. market by unveiling the 4C coupe — on sale now — prior to the open-air car.
The 4C Spider features the same performance specs as its coupe sibling, as well as its carbon-fiber body, all-aluminum mid-engine layout, manual steering and exterior design.
It differs with a dual, center-stack exhaust; halo rear window; new wheel designs; additional exposed carbon fiber; and, of course, the option of removing its standard cloth or optional carbon-fiber top.
"A lot of unique elements to this vehicle that really sets it apart," said Richard Cox, Alfa Romeo director of North America, in a previous interview.
The Spider is scheduled to arrive at U.S. dealerships in limited numbers this summer. Between both 4C models, Bigland said global production is scheduled for only about 3,000 cars. The U.S. is expected to get about 1,000 in 2015.
Pricing was not announced for the Spider. Bigland said it is expected to be between $60,000-$85,000. The 4C coupe starts at $55,195, including destination.
The Spider boasts the same performance attributes as the 4C coupe, including a top speed of 160 miles per hour, peak torque of 258 foot-pounds and 0-to-60 mph in an estimated 4.1 seconds.
Bigland previously described the 4C as a unique piece of fine art: "The vehicle really needs to be understood to be fully appreciated for the kind of technology that has gone into making this machine."
At the heart of the vehicle is its all-aluminum 1750cc turbocharged and intercooled engine that delivers 237 horsepower, as well as the carbon-fiber chassis that weighs 236 pounds.
The Spider will be available in seven exterior colors and six interior combinations, which include two seat material choices. There also are four brake caliper color choices, including silver (standard) or red, yellow or black.
Like the 4C coupe, the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider includes different modes that change the driving dynamics of the car. They include all-weather, natural, dynamic and race.
For maximum handling performance, a track package featuring high-performance shock absorbers, forged-aluminum wheels with available Pirelli P-Zero "AR Racing" tires and other performance parts also is available.
It's a six-week process to build each 4C at Fiat Chrysler's Maserati workshop in Modena, Italy.
There are 88 certified Alfa Romeo dealers in North America — three in Canada and the rest in the U.S. They are primarily Fiat dealers that were awarded Alfa Romeo franchises, but a handful are Maserati dealers.
In November, Bigland said Alfa Romeo plans to increase its North American dealers to more than 100 during the first quarter of this year, and then to about 200 a year later.
"Our commitment to the Alfa Romeo brand is unprecedented," Bigland said during the unveiling of the Spider.