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The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider has been forthcoming for a while now – the droptop version of the little Italian sports car was previewed as a concept in Geneva last March. Almost a year on, it’s finally arrived in production guise at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.

Little appears to have changed in the Spider’s journey from show stand to showroom – unsurprising, given that the concept was very similar to the coupé. The few changes they did make originally appear to have gone through unscathed, including the more elegant glassed-in headlights (which have since appeared on the US-market coupé) as well as the central-exit dual-stage Akrapovic exhaust as an optional extra.

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Inside, the coupé’s lightweight, pared-back interior has been retained, but the air-con vents are now made from carbon fibre, and a full leather interior with accent stitching is standard on the Spider. A new single-DIN Alpine radio has also been added, promising better sound quality, CD and MP3 playback, Bluetooth, USB and iPod connectivity as well as HD radio and SiriusXM Radio.

New colour choices have been introduced to the 4C range with the advent of the Spider – the exterior palette receives new yellow paint, while the interior gets new black leather upholstery with yellow stitching as well as two-tone Tobacco and black. The wheel catalogue has also been expanded with four new options, while a carbon fibre roof will be made available further down the line as an alternative to the standard soft top.

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The 4C’s carbon fibre tub has enable the engineers to keep structural strengthening for the Spider low. There’s now a unilateral carbon fibre windscreen frame bonded and bolted to the monocoque, an aluminium roll bar, unique body brackets and a rear crossbar made from high-strength steel. Added to that, the glass is 10% thinner than before to cut weight even further.

All this means that the performance from the mid-mounted 237 hp/350 Nm 1.75 litre turbo four and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission remains undiminished – 0-100 km/h takes just 4.1 seconds, while top whack stays put at 258 km/h.