Convertibles are the perfect type of car for the Australian climate, especially if you enjoy driving with the wind blowing in your hair and to hear engine noise first hand. They have been popular since the 1980s for all types of cars, but for sports cars and roadsters, they are a natural! It is not surprising that as soon as Alfa Romeo announced that it was developing the 4C sports coupe, people started asking about the convertible model. Before the first round of coupes were dispersed around the world, there was a Spider convertible on display at the Geneva Motor Show in October 2014. Fiat Chrysler has announced that there will be an Australian release of the Alfa Spider in 2015.
The new car has tweaked a few things from the coupe to make it work as an open air car. Instead of the fixed roof, the Spider will feature a removable, stowable cloth roof, or optional exposed carbon fibre hardtop. To assure its safety and stability, it will have a specially contoured aluminium rollbar (under the black or carbon fibre “halo”) and unilateral carbon-fibre windshield frame bolted to the chassis.
Some drivers feel strongly that cloth top is the only way to go, but the roofing choices will be helpful for those who park their car outside. Soft tops are susceptible to weather if left out frequently and are costly to replace. While some hardtops don't stay on at high speeds, the classy carbon-fibre one available for the Spider will withstand 160 mph.
Convertible tops typically add weight and affect handling of a sports car, but the Alfa Spider design continues the move toward weight reduction started with the 4C. The car weighs 22 kg more, but the window glass is 10% thinner, which cut 15% from the weight. The carbon-fibre structure of the car, reinforced with fibreglass, saves weight and maintains a lower centre of gravity and better handling as the seating position in the car is lower.
Within about six months, this sporty new convertible will be here, just in time for late-spring-early-summer down under. Check with your dealer for information about the release of the trendy new Alfa Spider 2015.