In the early 1950s the Alfa Romeo plant at Portello had limited production space and a new factory at Arese north of Milan was under construction. Several prototypes of proposed new models such as the 2000 Sportiva were developed and put on display to gauge public acceptance. However, due to a complete lack of public interest and minimal interest in placing orders, the projects were all abandoned. Whilst the 2000 Sportiva was canned, the 2000 four-cylinder engine developed especially for it was not.
At the time Alfa’s main line was the 1900 which the company felt needed a boost to increase sales so a new model, the 2000 Berlina was launched in 1958 to sell alongside the 1900. Surprisingly, the 2000 Berlina did not sell as well as the aging 1900 which it was intended to replace and after only 2140 cars were produced by 1962 the 2000 Berlina was discontinued.
With the launch of the 2000 Berlina, Alfa Romeo also released a Spyder version of the 2000 sedan which achieved much better sales than the Berlina. The Alfa Romeo Spyder was a very pretty two-door drophead coupe bodied by Touring with a 2.5-metre wheelbase and weighing in at 1178 kg. It was powered by the water cooled 1975 cc four-cylinder double overhead camshaft engine fitted with dual carburettors. This engine developed 86 kW at 5700 rpm with maximum torque of 152 Nm at 3500rpm.
This engine gave the 2000 Spyder a top speed of 179 km/h and the car could accelerate from 0 to 96 km/h in 14.2 seconds. Its front-mounted engine drove the rear wheels and it had a turning circle of 9.6 metres. Its independent front suspension comprised wishbone and coil springs while at the rear a live axle with coil springs was used. Drum brakes were fitted to both front and rear wheels.
In its release year only 62 Spyders were produced but this increased to over 1000 in 1959. The Alfa Romeo Spyder 2000 had a similar appearance to the Ferrari 250 Spyder but with less expensive mechanics and it was certainly cheaper to buy and maintain. Almost 2000 Spyders were built in 1960 but in 1961 that dropped to 410, some with an optional hardtop. At this point the Spyder 2000 was discontinued, not because of poor sales but because the six-cylinder engined 2600 was then ready for immediate release.