Luxury amenities and safety enhancements have bloated our once-lightweight, easy-to-handle sports cars. Alfa Romeo has trimmed the fat without losing any of the luxury or safety that we want in a sports car.
At 2,487 pounds, the new 4C Spider is the first modern car with vintage weight. Instead of employing a typical steel frame, its tub-like chassis is made entirely of carbon fiber. The lightweight material allows engineers to use a smaller engine, smaller brakes to rein it in, and lighter components throughout, and its stiffness enhances handling.
The result: a high feedback car that accelerates to 60 mph in a brisk 4.1 seconds and can stop on a dime. That’s supercar-level performance. Yet the 4C does not come with a supercar price tag. Alfa’s greatest breakthrough might be in offering the 4C for $63,900. Cars that use comparable amounts of carbon fiber typically top $200,000. That kind of savings will make anyone feel lighter.