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Alfa Romeo needed little encouragement to build a roadster version of its sensational 8C Competizione coupe, a car that presold its entire production run in a mere 14 days. A scant 84 of the flagship Alfa Romeo coupes made it to the US, whetting the appetite for the production Spider’s unveiling at the 2008 Geneva Auto Show.
Like the coupe, only 500 spiders would be produced, with an allotment of just 35 destined for the US. They too would sell out in short order. Engineered by Alfa Romeo, powered by Ferrari, and assembled by Maserati, the Spider shared the bespoke carbon fiber construction and mechanical traits of its 8C coupe predecessor.
The DOHC V-8 Ferrari-built engine, specially tuned by Alfa Romeo engineers, was good for 444 bhp at 7,000 rpm. When driven in the Sport mode, exhaust cutouts activate, which give a distinct, sonorous engine note unlike any other, made more glorious in the open-top spider. A truly visceral experience, the 8C Spider was honored as EVO magazine’s “best sounding car” in 2011.
Only slightly heavier than the coupe, weight gains were partially offset by a carbon fiber windshield surround, an electronically operated double-layer fabric soft top, and the fitting of Brembo carbon ceramic brake discs all around. These changes resulted in perfect 50–50 weight distribution with near identical performance figures to the 8C Competizione.