New Alfa Romeo Spider is Cabrio of the Year 2006
The new Alfa Spider, which has just made its international public debut at the Geneva International Motor Show, has already collected its first award - Cabrio of the Year 2006 - from a 23-strong panel of leading motoring writers from 12 countries across Europe.
To be eligible for the award, cars had to be presented for the first time at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, and could not cost more than 60,000 Swiss Francs. This is the second time that a Fiat Auto product has won the award: in 1995 the title went to the Fiat Barchetta.
The award was presented on Wednesday, 1 March, by Luc Argand, Chairman of the Geneva International Motor Show, on the Alfa Romeo stand. It was accepted by Alfa Romeo Brand Manager, Antonio Baravalle, who acknowledged its importance, "because it recognises our brand’s intention to remain a contender in the convertible sector. This type of car has always been important for Alfa Romeo, accounting for some of the most beautiful cars ever produced, from the Giulietta Spider in the 1950s, to the Duetto, and the Spider launched in the 1990s.
"And today it is the turn of the new Alfa Spider, which has the essentially simple character of a true sports car, combined with the technological superiority of the new Alfa breed."
Derived from the Alfa Brera coupé, which goes on sale here in April, the new Spider is an elegant two seater with generous dimensions. Inside, the passenger compartment is both welcoming and sophisticated, thanks to the use of quality materials and outstanding features, including dual-zone automatic climate control, steering-wheel-mounted radio controls, VDC and Cruise Control.
The Alfa Romeo Spider will become available with a choice of two JTS petrol engines, the 2.2 litre version delivering 185 bhp, and the 3.2 delivering 260 bhp. Both engines are mated to six speed manual units, and an automatic for the 260 bhp 3.2 is scheduled for later in the year. Excellent dynamic performance and a true Alfa ‘feel’ is guaranteed thanks to a high double wishbone suspension at the front and a Multilink system at the rear.
The Alfa Spider combines comfort with a sporty trim and a highly developed Alfa Q4 four-wheel drive system on the 260 bhp 3.2 version. As regards safety, the new Alfa Spider is fitted with the most sophisticated electronic systems to control the car’s dynamic behaviour, from braking to traction.