Alfa Romeo Spider

30 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Alfa Romeo Spider
Alfa Romeo Spider

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With design input from Pininfarina and Giugiaro, the Spider’s striking looks and 18-inch alloy wheels are unmistakeably Alfa-gorgeous.

The Spider is the cheapest of this group by $10,000. There is, however, the V6 version with all-wheel-drive at $94,990, as tested in Drive’s Car of the Year awards last year.

Because of time constraints, an example was not available for this test.

So it’s the 2.2-litre, four-cylinder in this mix. Around town, it gets along with the job nicely but performance enthusiasts will likely prefer the power and aural pleasure of the V6. The 2.2-litre engine’s power deficit is most noticeable on our hilly test loop.

That said, we recorded an 11.9-second time for our uphill 0-100kmh test in the six-speed manual version (an automated manual, which Alfa calls Selespeed, will be available later this year), which is respectable in this company.

But acceleration is only one part of performance. The Alfa conquers corners with finesse and the steering feels superb, if a little too touchy at times. The shift action of the six-speed manual has a precision feel and, overall, you feel connected to the road.

The Alfa’s cabin is a work of (functional) art. The rich smell of Italian leather overwhelms the senses (a good incentive to drive with the roof down) and exudes a quality feel.

The Spider is also well equipped. There are stereo controls on the steering wheel, which has excellent height- and reach-adjustment, and there are large, sturdy wiper, headlight and cruise control stalks. Manual-electric tilt seats are standard, as is a starter button.

The brushed-metal dash fascia looks great – until the roof is lowered. Then sunlight reveals a stunning glitch: the dash acts like a large mirror, reflecting into the driver’s face. The sun-visors don’t pivot outwards as they do on some other convertibles.

There is marginal storage in the tiny door pockets and centre console but large storage bins behind the seats. A wind deflector and space-saver spare wheel are both standard, as are five airbags (the fifth is a knee airbag for the driver).

The sensitive steering takes some getting used to but the suspension absorbs bumps at highway speeds surprisingly well. However, the suspension tends to jiggle over low-speed bumps.

Alfa Romeo Spider

Engine: 2.2 litre four-cylinder

Power: 136kW at 6500rpm

Torque: 230Nm at 4500rpm

Transmission: six-speed manual

Fuel economy: 9.4 litres/100km

Turning circle: 10.7m

Safety: Five airbags, stability control

Alfa Romeo Spider
Alfa Romeo Spider
Alfa Romeo Spider
Alfa Romeo Spider
Alfa Romeo Spider
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