The new Spider J6 3.2 C is Autodelta’s no-compromise interpretation of the stunning Alfa Spider, which collected the prestigious accolade of ‘Cabrio of the Year’ upon its launch at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show. It is Autodelta’s second bespoke model to be based on the exciting ‘new generation’ of Alfa Romeo models, and its market arrival follows the very successful launch of the Autodelta Brera J5 3.2 C just over a year ago.
The Autodelta Spider J6 3.2 C once again redefines the company’s pursuit of the maximum performance and driving pleasure to be drawn from Alfa Romeo’s production models, and is the culmination of more than a year’s intense research and development as well as engineering innovation. It evolves from the Brera J5 3.2 C programme, however, it offers new specification in areas pertaining to a convertible sports car as well as unique and individual styling cues.
In line with a new generation of model designations, introduced with the Brera J5, and created to classify bespoke Autodelta models in a logical and progressive manner, the new Spider project becomes the first bearer of the J6 code. The ‘C’ tag designates ‘Compressore’.
Glorious, powerful, responsive – the V6 engine is at the heart of Alfa Romeo’s sporting ambitions. But time simply doesn’t stand still, and after three decades one of the most beloved automotive masterpieces, the ‘Arese V6’, has given way to an all-new 3.2-litre V6 engine which brings with it fresh challenges for Autodelta’s engineering team.
Twenty years experience developing Alfa Romeos has enabled our engineers to take this new unit and utilise a carefully developed integral supercharging system. First seen on the Brera J5 3.2 C which debuted last autumn, this highly potent package now finds its way under the bonnet of the Spider J6 3.2 C. At the heart of the robust yet lightweight, no compromise integrated supercharging system is the C30-94 unit supplied by Technical Partner, Rotrex. This unit is considered to be the most responsive supercharger available today, noted for its durability, light weight and compact format. It is already performance-proven having been used in supercars such as the world record breaking Koenigsegg CCR.
From a standard power output of 260 bhp @ 6,300 rpm and maximum torque of 322 Nm @ 4,500 rpm, the Spider J6’s V6 engine to now turns out 348 bhp (an increase of 88 bhp) and 430 Nm of torque (an extra 108 Nm), all delivered in a useable, responsive and smooth manner. The Autodelta Spider J6 3.2 C races from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62.5 mph) in a highly impressive 5.4 seconds (standard model: 7.0 seconds), while it hits a top speed of 260 km/h (161 mph); compared to the standard model’s 239 km/h (149 mph).
An entirely new bespoke stainless steel exhaust has been developed in conjunction with Technical Partner Ragazzon to maximise exhaust gas flow.
The chassis dynamics have been re-worked to provide optimum handling and ability to use the additional power without compromise. Again the Spider J6 3.2 C draws from the experience gained during the realisation of the Brera J5 3.2 C. This has seen our development cars running this summer on tracks such as Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps and the Nürburgring,
The suspension advances of the Brera J5 3.2 C has been evolved suit to the different characteristics of the Spider, which is a soft top and offers less chassis rigidity than its coupé sister. This means that the Brera J5 derived coilovers have been re-valved to offer excellent ride comfort whilst improving handling.
An intensive tyre development programme has been carried out in recent by Autodelta in conjunction with Dunlop, both in the UK, and at Dunlop’s tyre research facility at Hanau, Germany, saw the evaluation of suitable compounds and the adaptation of the tyres to the very specific multi-surface requirements of the Brera J5 3.2 C. The outstanding properties of the SP Sport Maxx pattern which has led to numerous race track victories and very good rankings in car magazine tests as well as to its homologation on very demanding cars as the 420bhp Jaguar XK 8 supercharged were deemed a perfect fit to the Brera J5 3.2 C.
Contrary to some other Alfa Romeo tuners or wheel manufacturers, which tend to use very low section heights (235/35 R 19 or 245/30 R 20) the Dunlop engineers evaluated the requirements of the Brera J5 3.2 C and chose for the 245/35 ZR 19 (93Y) XL, which offers in relation to a 19” tyre still excellent comfort and damping properties and – even more important for the Brera 3.2’s weight properties – sufficient load carrying capacities. This tyre has a sophisticated construction featuring: 2 ply Rayon casing for perfect handling behaviour of the tyre in combination with high load carrying and safety properties; Jointless Nylon bandage in order to optimize tyre uniformity values and to reduce the growth of the tyre at high speeds, which leads to improved high speed handling behaviour and lower temperature levels; and ultra high performance silica tread compound with high structured carbon blacks for excellent grip level in order to achieve excellent acceleration and braking-derived from Dunlop’s long lasting racing compound development in the DTM.
The Dunlop SP Sport Maxx tyres on the Spider J6 3.2 C run on wheels supplied by OZ Wheels. OZ Wheels are a Technical Partner of Autodelta and all our bespoke models use wheels which are developed by OZ Wheels for the specific requirements.
For the Brera J5 3.2 C and the Spider J6 3.2 C we chose – in conjunction with OZ – the 19-in Ultraleggera which is manufactured using cutting-edge flow forming technology. The result is a ground-breaking wheel that is up to 40 percent lighter than alternatives. It offers a drastic improvement in power/weight ratio, a reduction in unsprung mass and in the braking performance window; and faster acceleration.
The Ultraleggera 19-inch wheel from OZ has been highly successful and is officially approved by the Renault F1 team. A ground breaking new process in wheel development, it offers excellent technical features, that result a lower weight than for wheels cast in forged aluminium. The reduction is evenly distributed on each wheel, improving unsprung weight. It thus emphasizes the effect of a design directly derived from the experience in competitions in which the weight plays an important role in both performances and safety. Constructed according to Flow forming technology, the Ultraleggera 19” has very similar mechanical characteristics to those of a forged wheel, confirming the attainment of two very important goals: weight reduction and firmness.
The Spider J6 3.2 C features uprated brake discs, which are additionally cross-drilled and new special compounds brake pads. These combine to improve all-round braking performance, allowing the discs/pads to operate during very demanding driving scenarios, at much higher temperatures, and to offer a greatly improved braking window.
Any Autodelta product must of course be truly distinctive, building carefully on Alfa Romeo’s tradition of sensuous styling, complimenting the Italian designers’ masterpiece in a unique yet discreet manner, to evoke a fashionable product that is embedded with Autodelta’s own vibrant DNA. More so than most automotive stylists’, Autodelta demands styling upgrades that incorporate both genuine aerodynamic improvements and the demand for improved airflow to its more powerful engines. Uncompromised engineering is our cornerstone philosophy.
Concept & styling direction
When developing a styling kit for a car as cultured as the Alfa Romeo Spider, it is very important to understand where the appeal for the model has evolved from. The design process for the J6 Spider was a careful filtration and study of Alfa Romeo’s glorious heritage, developing a design which approved the styling ideas of the past whilst looking forward into the future.
As with a beautiful family, a strong identity is a key element. However, taking too many ideas from the past can result in an ‘inbred’ design with no future direction. At the Autodelta Styling Centre this is something we value and understand, carrying it throughout the design process from conception to production.
The complete styling package was developed around ‘performance’, ‘individuality’ and ‘passion’.
Front bumper: The face of the J6 Spider is historically inspired by that of the classic Giulietta Spider. The air intakes flanking the ‘scudetto’ grille are a pure DNA feature of Alfa Romeo cars produced between the 1930s and 1970s, a period which is looked back on by enthusiasts for the manufacturer’s wealth and diversity of open-top sports models. Rather than taking over the shape literally from the classic Giulietta model, the intakes on the J6 Spider have a modern and dynamic form which also enhance the visual impact of the Alfa Romeo grille. The intakes also break up the face of the car, giving a more technical appeal – in turn providing a more powerful visual effect.
Aerodynamic diffuser: The rear aerodynamic diffuser is fitting with Alfa Romeo’s intense history of aerodynamics – from the 1900 Disco Volante (Flying Saucer), to the victorious 155 DTM racer. The new rear diffuser also provides a stronger visual framework for the stainless quad exhaust system. Providing more than a subtle hint of the car’s power imbued spirit, the exhaust tail pipes sit ever so slightly proud of the diffuser section. The use of fins in the rear diffuser is typical in Alfa Romeo’s aerodynamic history, with glorious models such as the Tipo B Aerodinamica and Pininfarina Super Flow being prime historical examples.
Aerodynamic side skirts: As the front and rear of the J6 Spider have such strong visual identities, aerodynamic side skirts were needed to bridge the two areas successfully. The J6 Spider is a special car which really combines two characteristics in one – open-top elegance and brutal performance. It is at the side of the car where this character is most apparent. As a result we had to translate this message into the styling of the side skirts. The top of the Alfa Spider remains refined and athletic, whereas the side skirts communicate the advancements made in the performance area. Due to this we wanted to produce a confident, clean and brutal design, very similar in effect to the side skirts used on the fondly remembered Alfa 75 Turbo Evoluzione – which took the fight on the race tracks to BMW during the 1980s. Muscular, wantonly aggressive and highly purposeful, they were still in keeping with the car’ shape and to draw on this uncompromised lines was a treat for our team.
Autodelta’s strength lies in having a close working relationship with its official partners, who assist in the Research & Development programme of each bespoke model, thus guaranteeing maximum leverage in the pursuit of optimum performance in each technical area.
Two key partners already covered are Dunlop Tyres, OZ Wheels and Rotrex (superchargers). Meanwhile, Italian high performance exhaust manufacturer Ragazzon is a long term partner and has worked in conjunction with us to develop an exhaust for the Spider that maximises the car’s gas flow requirements.
Mangoletsi, the UK’s largest and longest–established authorised Alfa Romeo dealership, is our Official Supplier of new cars for the Research & Development programme. Mangoletsi, in keeping with their long tradition of passion for the Alfa Romeo brand, have always been enthusiastic proponents of our bespoke performance car programme, and it is wholly fitting that the first Spider J6 3.2 C (the car premièred at MPH07 during this last week) will be destined for display in their newly refurbished showrooms near Knutsford (Cheshire).
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