Original test: Alfa Romeo Spider 2.0

In the 24th year of production, the Alfa Spider was technically and visually revised. The pink metallic color now suits its modified body better than the classic Alfa red. The original driving report was published in issue 01/1990 on December 29, 1989.

When last summer was so hot that the tin roofs of the soldered cars melted away and cabriolets, roadsters, speedsters and spiders looked like sunflowers in the tanning studio, good news snaked its way across the Alps from Italy: Alfa Romeo will renovate the Spider. No more black hard rubber growth in the form of a spoiler on the rear edge, the two-liter twin-camshaft engine no longer gagged and suffering from asthma, a new interior and old-fashioned ornate, chrome-plated lettering – that was the promise of confidential information that ignited the most beautiful nostalgic fireworks in our imagination. ,

Of all automobiles built forever, i.e. Rolls-Royce Corniche, Morgan, Porsche 911 and Spider, the Alfa is the most reliable time machine into the past. Rolls-Royce and Morgan have their own time plane: forever tea time with the aroma of damp mist. The 911 is always at the level of the bank accounts of the climbers. Only the Alfa Spider remained a step backwards in time to the 1960s and 1970s, regardless of its year of manufacture, regardless of the age, marital status and average household income of the driver. Since its debut in 1966, the Alfa Spider has always remained a teenager among the open two-seater sports cars, which even the regular makeovers for the young professional could not harm. The constellation for a great Spider renaissance has seldom been more favorable than now, since the big Fiat money makes a magnificent ascendant to Alfa's star. The first Erlkönig pictures exceeded all hopes. Behind a well-done prototype camouflage with a rear section à la Alfa 164 and a swollen lower spoiler lip at the front, every fan could imagine their ideal Spider. Now, at the official presentation in Detroit in early January, it will be revealed that this camouflaged prototype is the uncamouflaged production model, that the Spider '90 is identical to its own Erlkönig. Behind this most sophisticated of all camouflage, the openness and truth, the technical innovations of a Bosch Motronic for the two-liter twin camshaft classic and a ZF servo support for the steering are hidden.

128 hp at 5,400 rpm

The best news about the revised Spider is the number 128 for the power measured in horsepower, i.e. modern 94 kilowatts. 128 hp was already a reasonable Spider performance in the late 1970s and early 1980s with a displacement of 1,962 cc and twin Solex horizontal carburettors.At that time, the world-class Spider pilot drove the Vienna-Wolkersdorf route or to the island of Elba in 17 hours with 128 hp, so the performance was always sufficient in the best Rolls-Royce sense. ,

Subsequent experiments with Spica and Bosch L-Jetronic injections, even with Weber twin carburettors, never again resulted in that armpit-fresh 128 hp deodorant of top performance, torque, fuel consumption, well-burned exhaust gases and the rutting roar of the Canadian wapiti stag from the Alfa -Exhaust. The new 128 hp or 94 kW at 5,400 rpm correspond to the spirit of the clean nineties, i.e. including a regulated three-way catalytic converter and exclusive Wapiti deer. This newer performance level of the two-litre engine fits the Spider better than last year's 115 hp catalytic converter version, but it doesn't save Alfa Romeo from asking for the most modern two-litre engine with dual ignition. So why not Twin Spark? This engine, with two spark plugs per cylinder and catalytic converter 143 hp, does not fit the Spider original gearbox, while conversely the Twin Spark original gearbox does not fit in the narrow engine compartment of the Spider. The power steering is also not a new development. ZF hydraulics only help the snail and roller additionally, so it hasn't changed anything about the sluggish and indirect steering characteristics.

The rear spoiler has been deleted without replacement

In addition to this technical facelift, Alfa has mainly modernized the Spider body, i.e. adapted it to the current design and production fashions. These require integration from practical bodies today. So on the Spider '90, the proud Alfa crest was integrated into the front cooling air duct, which in turn is integrated into the bumper, which in turn integrates indicators, side protection and a front spoiler. ,

This integral equation also applies to the side sills between the wheel arches and to the rear bumper. The old, still classic body is anchored in a kind of plastic tub from halfway up the wheel arches, albeit in the same color as the car. The rear spoiler was deleted without replacement. In line with the facelift, the stern was also lifted in the literal sense, whereby the previously sloping stern of the boat has now become a strictly straight rear part. Since Alfa Romeo attributes the success of the 164 to the beautiful stylistic accent of the narrow rear light strip, the new Spider is also allowed to share in this achievement. On the low rear, however, this dark red banderole looks like an oversized light organ. The new power of the rear even includes the tailpipe, which now protrudes proudly and powerfully from the rear apron.

With leather interior, it touches the 40,000 mark mark

The interior remains largely unchanged and was only adapted accordingly for the America version shown in Detroit.The Americans are additionally secured by a chunky steering wheel impact plate and padded knee protection below the dashboard. For Europe, this four-spoke steering wheel is replaced by a smaller, sportier leather valance. The other materials inside remain plastic and synthetic leather on the ergonomically well-contoured seats. The engine happily plays off its 128 hp and maximum torque of 181 Nm at 4,000 rpm in the Spider, which weighs 1,040 kilograms according to the factory specification. The new temperament kisses lost virtues from the Sleeping Beauty slumber. The Spider has enough power again to react to load changes with the rear. When turning sharply into tight corners, the gas pedal is a greater steering aid than the new power steering pump. Otherwise, all Spider rules and knowledge collected since 1966 apply, which essentially state that this unique pure pleasure arises reliably when driving - despite all weaknesses, years of construction, engines, facelifts and power steering. ,

In Germany, the Alfa Romeo Spider for the nineties will be launched in April. The award will then herald a new decade. The Spider should graze the 40,000 mark limit elegantly and tightly with leather interior. As always, the Germany contingent will be sold out at the end of the summer. ,


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