Official details of the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider have just been released along with the announcement of its $76,495 price tag in Canada. The all-new pint-sized psuedo-supercar will be arriving in showrooms this summer.

With the roof on, the 4C Spider, hand-crafted in Modena, Italy, looks almost identical to its hardtop coupe counterpart. If you’re the Rainman of “spot the differences”, you may notice the topless 4C only had 4.4 inches of ground clearance, as opposed to the 4.5 inches of clearance in the coupe variation.

With most topless, targa, convertible or t-topped models, you would often be dealing with a significant weight and rigidity penalty. When designing the 4C Spider, Alfa set out to minimize the penalty for the drivers craving top down cruising. Alfa have somehow managed to keep the weight penalty down to a paltry 10-kg (22 lb) difference. This results in a topless roadster that weighs in at respectable 1,129 kg or 2,487 lbs.

By nature, most topless cars based on hardtop models suffer more than just weight penalties. They’re often victims of extreme chassis flex due to the loss of the roof. In order to counteract chassis flex, automakers have long since reinforced frames, pillars, doors, and sometimes added braces. Fabio Migliavacca, senior product planner for the 4C says that none of the extra 10 kgs of weight comes from chassis reinforcement. He says the 4C was engineered from the ground up with a topless version in mind. The roof on the hardtop model is not a structural member and the carbon fibre tub is the same for both models. The extra weight mostly comes from the standard top on the Spider. If you want to even the weight score a little more, you can opt for a carbon-fibre roof panel.

One of the most important things to most roadster drivers is the sound a car makes. Alfa Romeo has long since been praised for understanding and executing aural excellence. With the 2015 4Cs, buyers can now opt for an upcoming titanium exhaust built by the highly respected Akrapovic. Anyone who’s heard an Akra exhaust on a bike or a car knows the hydroformed exhausts are some of the best sounding units in the world. The Akra system will be a dual-mode version with a valve that allows the driver to switch between a more stealthy sound, or a full-on race wail when called upon.

Also new for 2015 is the addition of a high-end Alpine sound system, which we’re told is a much needed improvement on the system from last year.

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