Broza has a hell of a lot of love to give, I love new sports cars, Lambos, Beamers, Ferraris and all the rest of them. But I also have space in my heart for the golden oldies, or the classics, so from time to time I will do a ‘Broza’s Classics’ post where I take you back in time to before I was born and pay my respects to some of the classic cars that have cruised our city streets. Introducing the Alfa Romeo Spider! One of my favourites ever since I saw it on Alfa Racing World.
The Alfa Romeo Spider looks stunning and drives even better being smooth, quiet and refined in all areas.
Alfa Romeo Spider Car Review
Developed from the Brera coupe, the Spider nevertheless has a unique platform and chassis where it has been given additional strengthening to overcome the loss of the metal roof.
It is basically the same package mechanically as the coupe but the Spider two-seater is fitted with a fabric electric roof – which is fully automatic – and roll bars.
There is also a glass wind baffle behind the headrests of the big seats that offers great protection from buffeting.
The Spider is not frighteningly sporty and is definitely a car that will appeal to more than just the traditional Alfa buffs.
But if you are seeking a loud noise and firm ride then look elsewhere because the Spider is far too well mannered to indulge in boy-racer antics.
The Spider looks terrific at both ends and from all angles. Alfa has avoided the pitfall of copying the latest trendy fashion – rather the Spider seems destined to be a classic as it offers lasting beauty.
The fourth generation of the model in five decades, the Spider is the most eye-catching of the new roadster breed that has hit UK showrooms in the last few years.
The Spider’s cabin, with its cowled dials and metallic trim, give the car a sporty feel. The centre console is angled towards the driver so all the controls are easy to reach and use.
A decent driving position is relatively easy to find thanks to a steering wheel that adjusts for rake and reach, plus a seat base that can be altered for height and angle. But taller people may be a little short of headroom with the roof up.
The next to useless rear seats from the Brera have been ditched from the Spider – and the car is all the better for this.
In their place are sited a pair of small, lockable bins. Soft bags can be stored on top of these providing an extra 100 litres of load space to supplement the modest efforts of the 200-litre boot.
The Spider is competitively priced when compared to rivals, especially when the good level of standard equipment is taken into account.
Two petrol engines are available – a flexible 2.2-litre four cylinder transmitting 185bhp through a sweet six-speed gearbox to the front wheels, and a brawnier 3.2-litre V6 feeding a wholesome 260bhp to all four wheels. There’s also a 2.4-litre diesel.
Fuel economy is respectable by class standards.
The Spider is adequate for a long weekend for two as long as you’re not planning on taking the kitchen sink – or planning a raid on the hypermarket shelves at the port before catching the ferry home.
The Spider will bring a smile to your face thanks to quick steering and good body control – especially on a smooth winding road.
It is well balanced but doesn’t beg to be driven hard.
Taking off the roof has reduced the stiffness of the chassis, so the body flex blunts its responses somewhat, while bumps can be felt through the steering wheel.
However steering and brakes are nicely balanced and you can bring the Spider to a halt from speed with utter and precise control.
The cabin is made from appealing materials and is a nice place to spend time. The powered, five-layer cloth hood goes up and down at the touch of a button with no levers or catches involved.
These operations are completed at a leisurely pace – but unless you are in a hurry there’s something relaxing about watching the whole process.
As far as the environment goes the Spider is very good for a two-seater sports car – particularly with the 2.2-litre engine.
Security and Safety
Every Spider has stability control, twin front and side airbags, plus a driver’s knee airbag.
There are also twin roll hoops behind the headrests.
Deadlocks and an in-car boot release that doesn’t work when the engine is off are useful security features for a convertible.
The Finishing Touches
It has always been a dream of mine to one day buy classic cars so I can take them out when the summer comes and go on a nice drive through the countryside, imaging I’m Bond in the Sean Connery era, and I think the Alfa Romeo Spider would be a brilliant place to start.The Spider is very highly specified offering electric windows and mirrors, dual zone air conditioning, cruise control, fog lights and headlamp delay, parking sensors, on-board computer plus six speaker radio/CD player, while leather is standard on the V6.
Options include xenon lights, sat nav, powered seats, higher grade sound system and wireless phone adaptation, USB port for MP3 players as well as bigger alloys.