Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione Spider

    While most Alfa Romeo fans in America will have to wait for the Giulietta and MiTo models to find their way into U.S. dealerships in 2011, a select few have already been lucky enough to take delivery of the Italian brand’s flagship model: the 8C Competizione. But the ship has not completely sailed for those interested in the Alfa Romeo 8C, as deliveries for the convertible variant just began last year in the U.S. Mechanically, the Spider corresponds with the 8C coupe, with its Ferrari-built 444 hp 4.7-liter V-8 driving the rear wheels through a rear-mounted 6-speed paddle-shifted automated manual transmission. The seats feature stiff, lightweight carbon-fiber composite shells wrapped in Poltrona Frau leather. The Spider forgoes the bulk of a retractable hardtop, instead employing a two-layer folding canvas roof with one-button electrohydraulic operation. When the top is stowed, the sun warms a matte-finish carbon-fiber dashboard brightened by aluminum pieces, many of which are machined from solid billet. Thanks to a highly rigid steel chassis and carbon-fiber body panels, the open-topped 8C’s structural integrity remains exemplary. As with the 8C Competizione, Alfa Romeo plans to release only 500 8C Spiders. Of those, only a scant 35 will be sold and serviced by Maserati dealerships in the U.S., so act now while supplies last. Pros: Exclusivity ensures the value of this collector’s item. Cons: Exclusivity also makes buying one nearly impossible.

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