What is it about Alfa Romeo’s that allow you to forgive their little foibles? Could it be the styling, which rarely disappoints or perhaps it’s nostalgia for Alfa’s owned or raced.
What is it about Alfa Romeo’s that allow you to forgive their little foibles?
Could it be the styling, which rarely disappoints or perhaps it’s nostalgia for Alfa’s owned or raced. Whatever it is the Spider has it in spades.
The new Spider was first exposed to the world at large at the Geneva Motor Show in 2006. The ‘wow’ factor was so great that it immediately gained the title of Cabrio of the Year. The combined efforts of Alfa Romeo Centre Stile, Guigiaro and Pininfarina have come together to create a car that looks good from every angle but gains that little bit extra when the roof is down.
You are allowed to think of the new Spider as a soft-top version of the Brera, although there are differences apart from the obvious, missing roof. The Spider is built on the same platform as the Brera but is 17mm shorter in the body and sits some 23mm lower. The front end is much the same; featuring the large Villa d’Este-style badge and grille that divides the distinctive, triple, cylindrical headlamps before pointing down into the meshed air-dam. The number plate is positioned to the nearside of the car in a nod to past Alfa classics.
At the back, the 200-litre capacity luggage space (that’s 36 per cent more than the old Spider), is kept separate from the roof storage bay by a dividing wall, so you don’t have to lift the roof in order to get to the contents of the boot. Instead, there’s a separate section just behind the rear of the cabin, into which the roof folds itself leaving two black and aluminium, aerodynamic pods that abut the roll-over bars.
The roof comprises a double layer of fabric over steel and aluminium frames. On the outside is a durable, multiply cloth that is waterproof and fire resistant, while the inside layer is there for comfort and soundproofing, aided by the 5mm glazing. The roof system is fully automatic and is operated via a button on the dashboard, taking around 25 seconds to lower or raise the roof.
If you’ve ever wondered how the name ‘Spider came into being, here’s your answer, which may well be apocryphal but is nonetheless, credible. The story goes that when the early Alfas were making the headlines around the racing circuits in Italy, the English-speaking nations dubbed the open-topped performance cars ‘speeders’ - a name that quickly distorted into ‘spiders’.
The Spider is a two-seater, although the last vestiges of the so-called ‘crush-seats’ of old can be seen as lockers, behind the main seats and there is a certain amount of padding on the rear bulkhead, which suggests a backrest.
Alfa Romeo Spider Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Alfa Romeo Spider 3.2 JTS V6 Q4|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||7 Seconds|
|Top Speed||149 mph|
|Transmission||6-Speed Manual Gearbox|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||33.6 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3-Years / 60,000 Miles|
|Price (when tested on the 23/05/07)||£32,700|