19 February 2008

Spider insider

All the information on Alfa's Geneva show stealer, the 8C drop-top

Alfa 8C Spider

It's turning into a good week for the Italians.

We thought it'd be difficult to top yesterday's dazzling little Abarth 500, but Alfa has gone and raised the 'Italian Cars We Really Really Want' game with this, the Alfa 8C Spider, due to be officially unveiled in Geneva next month.

Yes, the stunning coupe has lost its top - but none of its looks. Retaining the same proportions and caricatured curvaceousness as the hard-topped 8C, the Spider gets a folding soft top and even more jumper-slung-over-shoulders continental élan.

The basic mechanicals remain the same, which suits us just fine: a Maserati-derived 4.7-litre V8 putting 450bhp to the rear wheels through a six-speed 'Cambiocorsa' gearbox.

The coupe will hit 60mph in 4.2 seconds before topping out somewhere around 180mph, and while the Spider will lose a fraction of that pace thanks to the extra weight of reinforcements, it'll still be a lively ride.

Just as importantly, it effectively doubles your (admittedly still very slim) chances of owning an 8C. The hard top was limited to a sold-out-long-ago run of 500 units, and it's the same story with the Spider.

OK, they'll still be rarer than Northern Rock investors, and you'll need to write Alfa a cheque for about £120,000 to procure one, but if you're quick, persuasive or heavily armed and dangerous, there's still hope.

What are you still reading this for? Pick up the phone. And order one for us while you're at it. Ta.

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