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Alfa Romeo Spider (2007-2012)

The independent definitive Alfa Romeo Spider (2007-2012) video review

This is a sample, showing 30 seconds of each section.

    SPIDER SENSE? (some text hidden)


    Introductionword count: 88

    If they're honest, most people would quite like the idea of an Italian sportscar. Blasting through the Tuscan hills or cruising the Amalfi coast road with a significant other in the passenger's berth, what could be better than something stylish, charismatic and, most likely, red? The problem is that the reality of Italian sportscar ownership doesn't always tally with the dream. With its 2007 Spider, Alfa Romeo was intent on building a roadster that was captivating without an ownership experience that felt like a period of prolonged captivity.

    Modelsword count: 12

    Models Covered: 2dr Roadster (2.2 JTS, 3.2 JTS petrol. 2.4 JTDM diesel)

    Historyword count: 246

    The Alfa Spider has quite an illustrious history. It was built in four series between 1966 and 1993. Only the series four cars briefly made it to these shores between 1990 and 1993 but the Series 1 Spider might be just as familiar to UK residents as the dinky red sportscar that a fresh-faced Dustin Hoffman drove in The Graduate. From 1995 to 2005, the two-seater sportscar-shaped void in the Alfa Romeo range was filled by the GTV and Spider models, the Spider being the open-topped version of the GTV coupe. When sales of these ended, there was a two year leave of absence when Italian sportscar fans were forced to save somewhat harder for models bearing Maserati, Ferrari or Lamborghini badges but in early 2006, Alfa returned with the Brera coupe, a car that was soon followed by the inevitable Spider roadster in early 2007. The classic Alfa Romeo Spiders were rear-wheel-drive but this model, like the GTV-based car that preceded it, sends power to the front wheels. The only exceptions are the range-topping 3.2-litre V6 engined cars that were available with the Q4 four-wheel-drive system. The more prosaic engines are a 2.2-litre four-cylinder unit and a 2.4-litre diesel which seemed almost scandalous in an Italian sportscar but has a pleasing effect on running costs. Two new engines arrived in 2010. The 1750 TBi is a 1.7-litre turbocharged petrol and the 2.0-litre JTDm was a more economical option to supplement the 2.4 JTDm already offered.

    What You Getword count: 261

    People thought the Brera coupe looked good when it was launched but the Alfa Spider has to be even easier on the eye - especially with the fabric roof folded. That front end with the chrome bars across the raised triangular grille and those headlamps like jewels gleaming out of the dark void behind are particularly evocative. At the back, the Brera's rather bulbous rear disappears with the Spider's hood folded, thus illuminating the fixed roof car's only major aesthetic Achilles heel. Actually folding the roof takes some 25 seconds, not quick by modern standards but it means more passers by will be able to witness the spectacle. Alfa chose not to include the ludicrously-tiny rear seats that are so popular in modern convertibles and do feature on the Brera Coupe. Instead, you have a pair of lockable storage bins built into the area behind the front seats. These supplement the 200-litre capacity of the boot with a further 100-litres of oddment space and are a far more practical solution. The amount of usable storage as a whole is on a par with the likes of Audi's TT Roadster and the Nissan 350Z or 370Z Roadster but you'll still need to travel light. The interior can't quite live up to the standards set but the Audi, despite some high quality materials and attractive aluminium detailing. The centre console is actually angled towards the driver, making its controls and displays that bit easier to use, while the overall feel is suitably special for a car of this type in this price bracket.

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    Category: Convertibles

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