Autocar reports the Alfa Romeo Spider, which will share its underpinnings with the next-generation Mazda MX-5 and be built in Japan as part of a partnership finalised in January, will be powered by the Italian brand’s own hardware.
According to the report, the 125kW/250Nm turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder MultiAir unit found in the current front-wheel-drive Alfa Romeo Giulietta will also motivate the rear-wheel-drive Spider, albeit installed longitudinally.
The engine is to be mated exclusively to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission in a move that matches the sole paddle-shifted gearbox available for the 176kW turbocharged 1.8-litre-powered hardtop 4C sports car.
While the report says the Italian and Japanese soft-tops will share windscreens, windscreen structures, front bulkheads, engine compartments and front and rear axles, the Alfa Romeo is set to be slightly longer. Both are believed to be around four metres long and 1.7 metres wide, though, and weigh between 1000-1100kg.
Sources also revealed that the new Spider’s design, headed by Alfa Romeo and Maserati design director Marco Tencone – responsible for the 4C and new Quattroporte and Ghibli sedans – definitely won’t be “retro” in design.
“The Spider has to be contemporary and must fit into the range with the modern 4C,” the source said.
Iconic Italian styling house Pininfarina, which was behind the original 1960s Spider “Duetto”, is understood
not to have been involved in the latest iteration of the Alfa classic.
The Alfa Romeo Spider is expected to launch in late 2015, more than a year after the 4C’s expected local arrival in early 2014 and behind the next-gen Mazda MX-5’s early-2015 global launch.