1 Jun 1998
The GTV-based Spider two-door convertible dates back to 1995 in Europe, but is based on the circa-1988 front-wheel drive Fiat Tipo platform. Allegedly, the design is also from that time.
The GTV coupe and Spider convertibles were Alfa’s re-entry vehicles to the Australian market in 1998 after a six-year absence.
Appropriately so too, because they managed to embody traditional expectations of an Alfa, while not being unreliable rust buckets.
Even today the Spider looks concept-car great, is very charismatic to drive and fairly easy to live with – as long as you’re not too tall.
At least the fiddly roof mechanism is electric. Apart from minor quirks, like a mildly uncomfortable driving position and a tiny boot, it still rates OK, though today's crop of high-performance sports cars make it look and feel geriatric.
The somewhat nose-heavy Spider V6 from June 2001 pumped out 162kW/270Nm and was twinned to a six-speed manual gearbox.