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Alfa Romeo proves topless is always best with its 2015 4C Spider

Fiat’s Alfa Romeo division will introduce the 2015 4C Spider at the Detroit Motor Show, proving once and for all that it is serious about returning to North America after a long hiatus.

Previewed by a thinly-veiled concept that bowed last year in Geneva, the 4C Spider is essentially identical to the existing 4C Coupe but it gains more conventional-looking headlights, a carbon fiber windshield frame and a removable hard top that is also crafted out of carbon fiber. Alfa has previously confirmed that the Spider’s headlights will be available on the coupe as a no-cost option.

Inside, the 4C Spider boasts a race-inspired cockpit with a two-spoke flat-bottomed steering wheel, a driver-oriented center console and a digital instrument cluster. Bare carbon fiber adds a finishing touch to the track-ready look while hinting at the Spider’s ultra-lightweight construction.

Alfa Romeo has not made any mechanical changes to the 4C Spider, meaning that power comes from a mid-mounted 1.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that generates 237 horsepower at 6,000 rpms and 258 foot-pounds of torque between 2,200 and 4,250 rpms. Linked to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission controlled by shift paddles, the turbo four sends the 2,487-pound Spider from zero to 62 mph in 4.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 160 mph.

Alfa has partially offset the weight added by the convertible conversion by making the windshield and the side windows out of 10-percent thinner glass. Like the coupe, the 4C Spider is so light that it does not come with power steering.

Those looking to take their 4C racing can order the optional Track Package which adds larger sway bars on both ends, high-performance shock absorbers and additional carbon fiber trim inside out. The list of standalone options includes an Akrapovic exhaust system and Pirelli P Zero tires.

After greeting the show-going public in Detroit, the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C will begin to arrive in dealerships next summer.