Italy’s breathtaking Lake Como and surrounding geography provides a near perfect setting for a quick fling in the stunning Alfa Romeo 4C Spider.
It’s Alfa’s take on a roof-less version of its ultra-exotic 4C Coupe, which essentially marked the 2013 revival of the famous Italian marque best known for exiting rear-wheel drive cars.
Weighing all of 7kg, the Spider’s removable roof – if you can call it that – amounts to a simple flimsy canvas device that is easily removed and stored in the luggage compartment behind the engine.
Other key visual changes include a carbonfibre windscreen frame that’s bolted directly to the car’s carbonfibre tub, providing extra strength and rigidity to compensate for the loss of the hardtop and thinner glass used for the windscreen and side windows.
Those weight-saving measures mean that the 4C Spider only weighs 10kg more than the Coupe, and is just as fast – needing just 4.5 seconds to go from 0-100km/h.
Sadly, the Spider loses more than just a roof. Gone is the gorgeous glass engine cover from the Coupe, replaced by a solid buttressed panel with quad heat extractor vents.
The largely unloved spider-eyed headlights have been replaced with a more streamlined single unit assembly with plastic cover.
Inside, the Alfa gets a more premium look and feel, with a twin-stitched, full-leather dash. I’m still a fan of the exposed carbonfibre tub and the chunky flat-bottomed steering wheel.
There are no changes to the large digital instrument display or the leather door pills and aluminium pedal box that all point to the 4C’s performance credentials.
There is still manual option for the 4C model range – so a six-speed dual-clutch transmission is standard. It’s a quick-shifting thing that works best at speed.
Powered by a diminutive 1.75-litre turbo four with big boost, the 4C is stonking quick, with huge mid-range punch and plenty of drama best consumed sans roof.
It’s capable of big cornering speeds, and there’s absolutely no body roll whatsoever. With totally unassisted steering, Alfa’s newest halo also demands a fair degree of skill from the driver, if its inherent ability is to be properly exploited.
For all its foibles (and there are a few) driving the 4C Spider always feels special and offers plenty of thrills.
The Alfa 4C Spider is a serious bit of kit and one that is bound to please the Alfisti, as well as the enthusiast market.