2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider to start at $65,495

U.S. deliveries of topless Alfa to begin in August.

The new Alfa Romeo 4C Spider will start at $65,495 ($63,900 + $1,495 destination) with U.S. customer deliveries beginning in August, FCA said Friday.

The new topless Alfa will be available with a few suitably exotic options, including a carbon fiber roll bar (Alfa calls it a "halo"), a removable carbon fiber hardtop and a racing exhaust package. When added, these features will easily bump the 4C Spider's price tag above the $70k mark.

"Spiders have always been at the very core of the 'Great Alfa Romeos,' and our all-new 4C Spider builds on the brand's motorsport and technology heritage for an open-air experience that is pure driving exhilaration," said Reid Bigland, Head of Alfa Romeo North America, in the announcement. "From its track-proven 1750 turbocharged engine, to its hand-laid carbon fiber monocoque chassis, the 4C Spider takes the innovation and ingenuity of the 4C and delivers an open-air experience without sacrificing any of its supercar-level performance and capability."

Aside from the missing roof, the 4C Spider is essentially identical to the 4C coupe. The convertible tips the scale at 2,487 pounds - just 20 pounds more than the standard 4C - thanks in part to the use of 10-percent thinner glass and a windshield frame that is made out of carbon fiber.

While the 4C coupe was launched with oft-criticized headlights that give it a bug-like look, the Spider comes standard with more conventional-looking units that are similar to ones found on the concept (also now available to coupe buyers at no extra cost). New alloy wheel designs and a wide selection of exterior colors round out the updates.

Like the hardtop, the 4C Spider boasts a driver-focused cockpit with two bucket seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and a configurable thin-film transistor (TFT) screen that replaces the traditional instrument cluster. Manual steering comes standard and A/C is offered as a no-cost option.

Power for the 4C Spider comes from a turbocharged and direct-injected 1.7-liter four-cylinder engine borrowed from the 4C coupe. It sends 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque to the rear wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch transmission, enough to propel the 4C Spider from zero to 60 mph in roughly 4.1 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 160 mph. An Akrapovic exhaust system and Pirelli P Zero tires are available at an extra cost, and the Track Package (stiffer suspension, interior upgrades) which is available on the coupe carries over as well.

Live photos by Brian Williams.

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