A 200 bhp, 20-valve, 2.4-litre diesel engine that meets proposed new European emissions laws has just become available for Alfa Romeo’s new Spider convertible.

Right-hand-drive versions of the new roadster were launched – with a choice of petrol engines – in the UK a week ago.

The new diesel models – with a choice of trim level but sold only with a six-speed manual gearbox – goes on sale in Italy and Germany in mid-February, and the UK in March.

Alfa Romeo claims the new diesel version – called the ‘2.4 JTDM 20v’ – has a top speed of more than 228km/h and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.4 seconds. On the official EU urban test cycle it uses 9.2 litres every 100 km. Out of town this reduces to 5.4 litres and, on the combined cycle, it is about 6.8 litres.

The ‘Multijet’ diesel meets current Euro 4 emissions limits and has a particulate filter in the exhaust system which, Alfa said, already meets the limits currently envisaged for future Euro 5 legislation. It is a ‘for life’ system that does not need to be regenerated with additives, and will be eligible for tax incentives in some markets.

Prices start at EUR39,800 ($US52,500) in Italy.