Alfa Romeo 4C Spider review - better than the coupe, but Alfa's sportster is still flawed - Engine and gearbox

Removeable roof and styling tweaks add a new layer to the 4C's appeal, but the Spider is still a flawed sports car

Evo rating
Price
from £59,500
  • Exotic styling, light weight, performance
  • Less than exotic engine, busy chassis, gearbox

The engine – Alfa’s familiar turbocharged, direct-injection 1742cc four-cylinder petrol motor – is some 22kg lighter than that found in the Giulietta, thanks to a new cast aluminium block in place of the regular cast iron item. Tuned to deliver a peak of 237bhp at 6000rpm and a fat 258lb ft of torque between 2200 and 4250rpm, it trades top-end effervescence for low- and mid-range accessibility.

For the Spider there’s now a choice of three exhaust systems – standard (loud), racing (very loud) and, at extra cost, Akrapovic, which has a switchable valve giving a choice between the two volume settings. With the Race Pack’s exhaust fitted, the 4C is very noisy, emitting a hollow, resonant fwaarp that’s two parts Fiat 500 Abarth Esseesse and one part Ferrari 458 Italia at less than stratospheric revs. It’s mated to Alfa’s six-speed TCT dual-clutch paddleshift transmission.

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