2010 Alfa Romeo 8C Spider
8-cyl. 4691/450hp FI DOHC
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For Alfa Romeo’s return to the North American market, the Italian automaker debuted its flagship 8C Competizione at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2003, though it didn’t get to the U.S. until 2008. In all, 500 examples of the 181-mph coupe were built in 2007-2009, with just 84 imported to the U.S. The Spyder launched in 2009, and only 35 of those came to the American market before production ceased in 2010.
Designed by Wolfgang Egger at Centro Stile in Rome, the Alfa Romeo 8C coupe evoked Alfa’s Typo 33 Stradale of 1967-69 (18 built), Giulia TZ of 1963-64 (120 built) and Bertone’s sole Canguro show car from 1964.
The 8C features a carbon fiber body by Italian company ATR Group and a chassis based on the Maserati Gran Turismo platform. The main chassis and engine/gearbox subframes are steel, but carbon fiber forms the passenger cell and body panels. The interior is comprised of carbon fiber, polished billet aluminum and lightweight leather seats, with comprehensive gauges and controls.
The 4.7-liter V8 engine was assembled by Ferrari and develops 450 bhp at 7,000 rpm. The engine sits behind the front axle and power goes to the rear wheels via a 6-speed paddle-shift and auto-clutch gearbox ahead of the rear axle, for 50/50 weight distribution. Final assembly for the Alfa 8C took place at Maserati’s Viale Ciro Menotti factory in Modena, and each example was road-tested by Alfa factory drivers.
Carbon-ceramic brakes pull the 8C to from 60 mph to zero in 101 feet and Pirelli developed P Zero tires especially for the 20-inch wheels. The suspension is electronically adjustable, with different performance modes. The 8C’s speed was impressive but not earth-shattering in 2008, with 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds and a standing quarter-mile of 12.4 seconds at 116.4 mph.
The collectability of the Alfa Romeo 8C was guaranteed by low production, good looks, and high price. Ultimately, the 8C’s appeal is an aesthetic one. The looks and the thrilling exhaust F1 note are breathtaking, and enough to make it one of the more memorable cars of the 2000s.