The Alfa Romeo 4C is Motor Authority’s Best Car To Buy 2015 not just because of its sexy style or carbon chassis, but because of the unique experience of driving the sporty Italian coupe. Soon, the 4C will be joined by the 4C Spider, which made its world debut this week at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.

The 4C Spider has been confirmed to go on sale this summer, as a 2015 model, and it should provide all the thrills of the coupe together with the sensation of the wind in your hair and an exhaust note unhindered by a roof. And when it arrives, it will be the first open-top Alfa Romeo on sale on these shores since the 8C Spider sold in 2009.

The car’s roof is a removable unit, and since the 4C’s carbon fiber monocoque chassis was originally conceived to be capable of underpinning an open-top car, it requires no extra reinforcements in the new 4C Spider. This has allowed the 4C Spider to weigh in at 2,487 pounds, which is just 22 lbs more than the 4C coupe’s curb mass. It means that there is no performance penalty for ticking the open-top option.

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2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

The engine is Alfa Romeo’s familiar turbocharged 1.75-liter four-cylinder, which rates in at 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The engine features an aluminum block and special intakes designed to deliver a sporty note and good throttle response. Also improving the sound are three available exhaust systems, including a dual-mode system from Akrapovic which is identifiable by its central-mount design for the tips.

The 4C Spider's mid-mounted engine is paired with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission and spins the rear wheels only, in this case a pair of 18 inch alloys shod with 235/35Z size tires. Smaller 17-inch wheels are fitted at the front and come with 205/40 size tires. The standard brakes are vented steel discs with Brembo calipers.

Quoted performance figures include 0-60 mph acceleration in just 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 160 mph. The tiny two-seater is also capable of 1.1 g of lateral acceleration and 1.25 g of maximum braking force.

The handling, meanwhile, is taken care of thanks to lightweight aluminum suspension frames that get mounted to the car’s carbon tub. These feature double-wishbone and MacPherson strut designs. The 4C also comes with a driving ‘DNA’ selector, which will allow the driver to select from Dynamic, Natural and All Weather modes, plus a special Race mode.

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

Inside, the familiar minimalist look from the 4C coupe remains. The design is driver focused and is accented by carbon fiber and aluminum. The center column, which is actually part of the carbon structure, is left in full view to enhance the sense of uniqueness, technology and light weight. Premium touches such as leather trim, a digital instrument cluster and aluminum pedals are all standard, and new for the complete 4C range is a premium audio system from Alpine.

Production of all Alfa Romeo 4Cs take place on a dedicated line at Maserati’s plant in Modena, Italy. Pricing for the latest 4C Spider is yet to be announced but expect a slight premium on the coupe’s $55k sticker.

One option we’d recommend for the new 4C Spider is a Track Package, which helps improve the car’s handling. This package includes high-performance shock absorbers with larger front- and rear-sway bars, larger and staggered fitting 18-inch front and 19-inch rear forged aluminum wheels, Pirelli P-Zero AR Racing tires, carbon fiber side mirror caps and a carbon fiber gauge cluster bezel.

For more Detroit Auto Show coverage, head to our dedicated hub.


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