The key to performance in a car like the new Alfa Romeo 4C is its low curb weight. That's why Alfa made its chassis out of carbon fiber, the subframes and engine from aluminum and the bodywork out of composites, helping to keep the whole package down below the 2,000-pound mark. But that magic number will only hold true overseas. In the US, it'll be a good 220 lbs heavier.
That's because US safety regulations, according to reports, will add an extra 100 kilograms to the car's curb weight, now expected to come in at 2,204 lbs. In order to comply with those regulations and earn its certification for use on the Great American Road, Alfa's engineers had to add some aluminum reinforcement to the carbon monocoque, modify the substructures for impact absorption and fit a new fuel system as well.
Those kinds of additions add up to the point that the US-spec 4C will likely be a bit slower to 62 than the 4.5 seconds quoted for the European model. Here's hoping that the lag won't be too significant.