Essaouira in Morocco is an amazing place and so it made perfect sense in the cold month of February for Alfa Romeo to fly a plane full of motoring hacks off there to test the all new Alfa Spider, I gratefully was one of the aforementioned journalists to be invited on the launch.
Describing the Spider is very easy, think roofless Brera and you wouldn't be a gay mile away from being able to imagine the pure beauty elegance and style of the new drop top from the Italian master of sexy motoring. Now I love the Brera so would its open air brother inspire me as much? Yes completely the spider is gorgeous to look at and inside its pretty much the Brera with a button you flick to make the sun pour in from everywhere above and around you.
One of the massive problems with the last spider was it wasn't the greatest car to drive, with the roof down everything rattled and it had more body roll than a fat queen in a crop top, sharing a very similar waistline. The new Spider though is a very different car, with the roof stowed away and the hot breeze blowing in your hair its sleek feeling solid, stable, well put together and safe at speed.
It also inspires confidence when cornering and handles beautifully as throwing the Spider around at high speeds and into tight bends just continues to prove how responsive the topless Brera is, you constantly feel in control with excellent driver feedback from the steering wheel and road.
I tested the top of the range 3.2 Q4 (four wheel drive) derivative of the Spider which doesn't cost a queens pay packet at just over 30k. I really put it through its paces on the pin straight speed limit free dessert roads. The 3.2 V6 has the same raspy roar from its quad exhaust pipes when you put your foot down as its brother the Brera and sounds wonderfully sporty.
0-60mph happens in 6.7 seconds and the 260bhp V6 tops out at 149mph, although I never managed to get my test car pass 129mph, I have to say go past 120mph and the spider becomes very light and you lose some of the feeling of stability. With roof up the Spider still looks great and handling is much the same as with the roof down, it is surprisingly quiet and road noise for a soft top convertible minimal.
Overall it's a great stylish package and it's reasonably priced whilst being very well equipped as standard, I'd definitely get your order in now as the waiting list is going to be a long one.