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Alfa Romeo Spider 2.0 TS (916): The woman who understands

Alfa Romeo Spider 2.0 TS (916)
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A of all things the wedge spider over which I've been dug out angry tirades since it existed. I didn't think I heard when my wife said sometime three years ago: 'I like this one, I want this one.' She said this with a determination that cannot be escaped.

First steeply up then radically down

It was in Lindau when we circled an Alfa Spider Twin Spark. We were drawn to him - so yellow, open and strangely animalistic he stood there, more of an animal than a car. Admiring her, I stunned: “How can you put such a car on wheels at Alfa Romeo. Even a Subaru XT is nicer there. That's supposed to be Pininfarina, those dumb-looking four marbles as headlights, these proportions, as wide as they are long. This choppy profile, first steeply up, then radically down. The whole thing as a two-liter twin park is also just under 50,000 marks expensive. ”

Okay, you can overlook the front-wheel drive and transverse engine on the Alfa Spider 916, platform strategy, modern times. If all the stylistic elements of the classic Alfa Spider, which was built for 27 years, are radically overboard, then the inner values ​​no longer matter.

At first I fought, then I complied, looked for one Spider off, 916 the model is called internal, that rules out mix-ups. I quickly found a good, mild Alfa Romeo Spider 1.8 Twin Spark with 144 hp, the timing belt double cam with a cast iron Fiat block, but without balancer shafts. Silver with a black top, 85,000 km, 5,000 euros. Fabric seats, but an electric hood and no V6, that was definitely in my wife's specification sheet.

Alfa Spider 916 with a convincing sense of quality

On the transfer trip on a cold February day, we got closer Spider and me. At first he still felt my contempt, after a long period of idle time it ran out of round, who would buy such an ugly car? Of all things, the Alfa Spider 916's feeling for quality convinced me. Heavy doors that close tightly, no clatter over level crossings, the beefy car at just under 4.30 meters is not that short, it also weighs a whopping 1,350 kilos, and the entire front section is made of plastic.

Okay, the tropic is a catastrophe, but temperament, sound and a wonderfully precise gearshift for the strange engine positionremind of golden Alfa times - as if nothing had happened with Fiat, front-wheel drive and such. The cockpit of the Alfa Spider 916 is functional and yet tasteful, the seats offer firm lateral support, and their quilting is as beautifully shaped as only the Italians can.

The wide-gauge Alfa Spider 916 fits snugly the road, springs surprisingly comfortably just because of its weight, but we leave the border area alone, I still fear the vengeance of the tirades. At least the rust won't haunt us one day, the floor pan and many add-on parts are galvanized or made of plastic.

Coupé Fiat is a narrow one Relative of the Alfa Spider

The uncompromising shape, which polarizes so violently, doesn't look too bad. From now on I see it as a sculpture, less as an automobile. When the Alfa Spider 916 parks openly in front of the house, it gives off a nice plastic. Looking out of the window often helps, the banal word “takes some getting used to” suddenly becomes a key term that makes sense. My wife is overjoyed: “Finally no philistine car”. And I came to terms with the exalted Spider surprisingly quickly. In addition to Pininfarina, the Alfa Romeo Centro Style contributed to its timeless, avant-garde dress, and the bizarre coupé-Fiat is stylistically related to the Spider.

The Pininfarina study of a long-overdue Alfa Spider successor was already in 1986 at the Turin Salon, it was called Vivace and already takes on the formal features of the Alfa twins Spider and Coupé GTV of the completely new 916 series, which only appeared in Paris in 1994. The Coupé is a little more rugged than the Spider, the tin cap as a roof already looks very jagged and angular. Both are impractical: No door handles, you have to decide, either trunk or spare wheel, poor visibility to the side and to the rear. My wife says that stilettos already show that practical and beautiful is simply not possible. Sometimes the top twitches, after pressing the button on the center console, which is much too small, there is always an anxious moment of thought before the electrohydraulics perform their ballet.

Also as a three-liter V6 with a lot of power

At the moment, the Alfa Spider 916 is driving through the deep valley of tears as a threshold youngtimer, used, tinkered cars with maintenance jams populate the gravel spots. Like every Alfa, the Spider, especially as a three-liter V6, is a sophisticated car in terms of technology and construction. It is important to know that before you buy into the bargain frenzy. In addition to a good general condition, regular maintenance is particularly important. Only then is the timeless Spider sculpture fun.

At a glance: Alfa Spider 916

  • Four-cylinder DOHC engine, transverse
  • Displacement: 2.0 liters
  • Output:155 hp
  • front-wheel drive
  • subframe
  • front McPherson struts
  • rear multi-link axle
  • wheelbase 2,540 mm
  • Built from 1994 to 2005
  • Top model 3.2-liter V6-24V with 240 hp
  • Number of pieces 81,799
  • Good copies from 3,000 Euro.


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