Fifth Gear: Alfa Romeo Spider Review
Alfa Romeo Spider is a luxury front-wheel-drive sports cabriolet of the "Gran Turismo" class, a joint development with Pininfarina.
For the first time this model was shown in 1994 in Paris. Double Spider with reclining soft top repeats the basic design elements of the Alfa Romeo GTV. The exterior design of the car is made in the traditionally dynamic style: the company triangular shield with chrome edging; body-colored bumpers and side spoilers; wedge-shaped body with smooth, deep lines; large doorway; semi-elliptic headlights; a slight rise in the rear wheel, turning into a slightly elevated rear end. The convertible top is electrically operated and is controlled by a button on the center console. Spider is equipped with a spare wheel of the usual size, which can be replaced with a recomplekt for wheel repair and an electric compressor, which allows to increase the trunk volume by 45 liters.
Standard equipment includes: leather trim, electric windows (automatic from the driver’s side), electric and heated exterior mirrors, central locking, a control system for checking doors and trunk locks, a smoker’s package. In addition, the special equipment includes the Momo leather trim in red or blue.
Safety is determined by the bodywork itself: under the hood lining there is an internal frame that provides the necessary rigidity and strength. The design is made of composite material CMS, the components of which are polystyrene resin and carbon fiber. The frame and lining are connected to each other with epoxy.
The folding top of the Spider model is attached with five clips to the aluminum frame; when lowering the top, the front brackets fit tightly on the upper part of the windshield, providing good aerodynamics. The material itself has a removable top has two layers: outer (made of refractory fabric), inner, with excellent sound insulation properties.
Cars are serially equipped with seat belts with pre-tensioners and driver's airbag, electronic speed limiter.
Alfa Romeo Spider cars are equipped with disc brakes with servo amplifier and four-channel ABS from Bosch. These are front-wheel-drive models with transverse gasoline and diesel engines (2 spark plugs on twin-spark cylinders) and only with manual transmissions. Motors with a working volume of 1.8-3.0 l with a capacity of 144-202 hp
Modernization in 2001 affected mainly power units, the number of which was reduced to 2. The basic versions are now equipped with a 2.0-liter “fours” with 150 hp, and more high-speed ones with 3.0-liter motors with 220 hp.
In 2002, the emergence of more powerful engines such as JTS 165 hp and the new 3.2-liter "six" in 250 hp The new custom equipment Spider includes the Blaupunkt satellite radio navigation system with a carrier of the map data on CDs. A high-end audio system is offered with a CD changer for 10 discs. Standard equipment includes two front airbags, as well as natural leather upholstery with the use of chrome-plated metal in the interior.
In 2003, the model was restyled. The car received an updated exterior design and an improved interior. Spider is a sample of a typical Italian approach to the design of sports cars: expressive punching on the body and oblique cut of the trunk. Immediately obvious - the car with style and character. It is noteworthy that in cars of this year of release, the soft top is devoid of electric drive. Being practically the twin brother of Alfa Romeo GTV, the Spider is naturally endowed with technical characteristics similar to it - excellent maneuverability, ease of operation, environmental friendliness, comfort and safety. Alfa Romeo Spider is equipped with the same engines as the Alfa Romeo GTV - 2.0 TS, 2.0 JTS and 3.2 V6.
The debut of the sixth generation of the sports convertible Alfa Romeo Spider was held in 2006 at the Geneva Motor Show. The model immediately received the prestigious "Cabriolet of the Year" award. Italian to the smallest detail, he is the result of the joint work of the Alfa Romeo design center with two designers, whose names serve as a symbol of Italian style throughout the world: Giugiaro and Pininfarina. The car received a stylish, but not fanciful appearance, which perfectly expressed elegance and power. A comfortable driver's seat and an abundance of avant-garde details in the interior mark the return of the legend. The car is not just beautiful, but also high-tech and sporty.
There are two motors, both petrol, and each is already familiar with the models 159 and Brera: four-cylinder (2.2 JTS, 185 hp) and a V-shaped six coming from Australia (3.2 l, 260 hp). Gearbox only six-speed manual. And in the modification with the V6 engine, the car is also equipped with an all-wheel drive system.
In 2008, Alfa Romeo subjected the Spider to a facelift. The changes are insignificant and mainly relate to weight - due to the alloy wheels and the use of aluminum in the suspension and brake calipers. Inside, the new versions have acquired more sporty seats, and the driver’s position has become more ergonomic. The dashboard has been updated to include the management of a new climate control system and also new navigation. Spider received a new color called "icy white", as well as 10-spoke 18-inch wheels.
A 2.4-liter diesel engine with a power of 200 hp appeared in the range of power units. (with a six-speed automatic transmission) and 210 hp (with Q-Tronic transmission).
Alfa Romeo Spider is a first-class car, indicating the status and social status of the person behind the wheel of this car. The worthy successor of Giulietta Spider and Duetto - these idols of the past, who became the classics of the automotive world.