What is it?
The latest generation of Alfa Romeo's long-lived open-top roadster has crept (if you'll excuse the pun) onto UK roads with very little of the frenzied interest you would expect for one of Alfa's key models.
We're testing the smallest engine available in the range, the 2.2-litre JTS petrol, which has a number of benefits over the two bigger models, including a 130kg weight advantage and a £3000 lower list price.
What's it like?
Not fast, if that's what you're hoping for. The 2.2-litre model may be lighter than its more powerful siblings, but 185bhp simply won't shift 1.5 tonnes at any dazzling speeds. Lethargic until it spins past 3000 revs, when you get an even pull right up to 7000rpm, the 2.2-litre engine is energetic rather than fast; something which emphasises the sense that Alfa's drop-top is closer to beautiful boulevardier than performance car.
But that's not to say the Spider isn't a car worth driving vigorously. The chassis setup compensates admirably for a structure laden down with added rigidity and a heavy electric roof. Double wishbones at the front and multi-link suspension at the rear absorb all but the most cavernous breaks in the road, and give the heavy, front-wheel driver plenty of purchase on the road.