Detroit Auto Show: Alfa Romeo 4C Convertible Debuts

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

The convertible is the second model in Alfa's return to the U.S. market.

Alfa Romeo unveiled the 4C Spider, a convertible version of its 4C coupe that marked Alfa's return to the U.S. after an absence of nearly two decades, at the Detroit auto show on Monday.

Inspired by Alfa's mid-engine Stradale racecar, the 4C convertible and coupe share a body comprised of sheet-molded compound composite panels and a carbon-fiber chassis. Used extensively in airliners, carbon fiber is increasingly utilized in high-performance cars for its light weight and strength.

The Spider's 1750 cc turbo-charged aluminum engine powers the car from zero to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds with a top speed of 160 mph.

Alfa, which is now a division of Fiat Chrysler, did not reveal pricing. The car will go on sale this summer at Fiat dealers.

A generation of Americans has tender memories of Alfa's classic Spider. Introduced in 1966, its svelte body was designed by the legendary Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina. An Alfa Duetto Spider co-starred in 1967's The Graduate as the car Dustin Hoffman drives during his summer of discontent.

In an homage, Alfa later produced a sub-variant of the Spider dubbed The Graduate.

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