Saturday, April 6, 2013

2015 Alfa Romeo Spider: Probably Better than a Chrysler TC by Maserati

The first U.S.-bound Alfa Romeo al fresco in decades looks to be the best shot yet at improving the reliability rep of Italian cars in the states, if only because the Japanese are building it.  Thanks to a partnership between parent company Fiat and Mazda, Alfa's long-anticipated new Spider enters the world with a frugal but sprightly 1.4 liter turbocharged engine motivating a mere 2,400 pounds of graceful Italian coachwork QCed by overachieving OCDs in Hiroshima instead of lounging Luigis in Lainate.

This is good news if you've always admired the driving dynamics of a Mazda Miata but not its bland soap bar body, for this is the athletic Miata turned on, wrung out, and corrupted by an Italian Stallion.

Artist renditions fall into two camps to-date: a concept-faithful stunner with beautiful and flowing bodywork punctuated by LED-lit gun-slit eyes and a (more likely) 4C-ish riff ruined by the corporate chrome Alfa goatee (see above).

We should know whether Alfa's 2015 revisition of 1967 will be beauty or beast in a few long months.