Today’s unveiling will lead to the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider heading to production early next year, and it's expected to head to Australia soon after.
From the outside it very much resembles the Alfa Romeo 4C coupé, also sporting 2 seats and rear-wheel drive.
Alfa Romeo has a rich history in producing convertibles, such as the Giulietta Spider from the 1950s or the Ferrari-based Alfa Romeo 8C Spider.
The 4C Spider sits on a 2.4m wheelbase and is host to 18-inch wheels at the front and 19in at the rear wrapped in Pirelli tyres.
Use of extensive carbon fibre in the interior is a highlight and is purposed with making the central cell as light weight and safe as possible. In total the production form of the 4C Spider is expected to weigh less than ,000 kg.
Light weight construction is emphasised by the glass rear window that was replaced with a continuation of the bodywork in SMC (Sheet Moulding Compound) which houses the headrests and roll-bars.
Alfa says the low-density SMC is significantly lighter than steel and aluminium, while also being more malleable.
Another reason to use SMC is it’s resistance to deformations in minor collisions while also being extremely resistant to chemical and atmospheric agents.
Other highlights include a dual-stage central exhaust system with titanium and carbon tailpipes that uses electrically operated valve with wireless technology.
With a dual mode exhaust setup, one is more restrained, and one more aggressive.
Power comes from the same 1.75-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit as the coupe, with 176kW and 350Nm.
Couple the engine with Alfa’s new TCT automatic dual-dry-clutch transmission, and the 4C Spider is set to be a thrilling drive.
Alf Romeo says it has modified the 4C Spider’s suspension setup to offer similar levels of handling as the Coupe.
Fiat Chrysler group boss Sergio Marchionne has previously stated before that so long as he is in charge, no Alfa Romeo will be built outside of Italy, which puts in doubt the joint collaboration that Mazda and Alfa Romeo had for the twin-Roadster project - which is evidently not the 4C Spider.
Perhaps then, the Fiat brand may be the chosen brand to take on a Mazda-manufactured Roadster based on the MX-5.