Home » Alfa’s Two-Seat Sports Car Can’t Handle The Weight Of Two Average Americans

Alfa’s Two-Seat Sports Car Can’t Handle The Weight Of Two Average Americans

Alfa Romeo 4c N4u Ts
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With featherweight construction and manual steering, the Alfa Romeo 4C looks like a fun machine to pack with a weekend’s worth of stuff and take to the Blue Ridge Mountains, Poconos, canyons, or whichever geographical area near you has good roads. However, you may have to be careful if you want to bring a passenger because this carbon fiber machine might not be ready for them despite having a passenger seat with a seat belt and everything. Let me explain.

Just like pickup trucks, each and every passenger car sold in America has a payload capacity for the total permissible weight of passengers and luggage. Usually, a combination of structural and tire loading factors are the reasons behind these limits, and they normally accept a sensible amount of occupants and cargo. A new Camry is rated to carry 1,131 pounds, and even my Porsche Boxster is rated to carry 529 pounds, according to the sticker under the frunk lid.

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In contrast, the Alfa Romeo 4C has a comically low payload capacity. For instance, this 2015 4C Launch Edition sold on Bring A Trailer displays a payload capacity of just 344 pounds and the later Spider models with the removable roof shave that absurdly low figure down further.

Alfa Sticker2

According to the CDC, the weight of an average American man aged 20 or older is 199.8 pounds, and the weight of an average American woman aged 20 or older is 170.8 pounds. Split the difference, and you end up with an average weight of 185.3 pounds. No big deal, right? Well, if you were to put two people of average weight in an Alfa Romeo 4C, they’d handily exceed the maximum payload capacity before we even split hairs about belt buckles and wallet construction adding ounces here and there.

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Alfa Romeo 4c Spider 2015 1600 04

Now, this seems somewhat important considering that the Alfa Romeo 4C has a carbon fiber tub, and unlike steel, carbon fiber doesn’t exactly have shape memory. You know how when you gently bend a piece of steel with your hands, it bounces back? This fancy plastic doesn’t exactly do that. Considering that replacing the carbon fiber tub — the structure that everything else bolts onto — would likely total the car, I certainly don’t feel like risking finding out the hard way what happens when you overload the vehicle for a prolonged amount of time.

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Alfa Romeo 4c Spider 2015 1600 0c

Granted, it’s unlikely that any structural issues will arise from fitting two average-weight occupants into an Alfa Romeo 4C and continuing normal operation, but a more pertinent matter is liability should things go wrong. If anyone is injured in the event of a crash, insurers might cock an eyebrow if the car’s payload capacity was exceeded.

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Alfa Romeo 4c Coupe Us Version 2015 1600 4d

In any case, should you wish to take an Alfa Romeo 4C out for a weekend getaway with a passenger, you might want to use a scale as part of the planning process. Oh, and even if you don’t have access to an Alfa Romeo 4C, it probably isn’t a bad idea to take a quick look at the sticker on your vehicle detailing exactly how many pounds it can carry.

(Photo credits: Alfa Romeo, Bring A Trailer)

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Juanmi82
Juanmi82
1 month ago

There’s clearly nothing wrong with the weight of the average American.

I went on a work trip to the USA for two weeks and gained 3kg (7lb). That’s 5% of my weight.

The way you eat there is fucking insane.

Defenestrator
Defenestrator
1 month ago
Reply to  Juanmi82

It’s half the food/portions, and half the complete lack of walking (except in a few cities like NYC and SF).

Banana Stand Money
Banana Stand Money
1 month ago

You buried the lede. The real headline should be “Holy Crap! The average American now weighs 199.8lbs(m) 170.8lbs(f)”

Scott McAfee
Scott McAfee
1 month ago

Comments read like revenge of the midgets.

That Guy with the Sunbird
That Guy with the Sunbird
1 month ago
Reply to  Scott McAfee

Truth. I was excited about my 65-pound weight loss recently until I read these comments and realized I’m still apparently a disgusting fat American whale blob.

Evan M
Evan M
1 month ago

Fun fact from the manual:
“The maximum load limit for the luggage compartment, in addition to the kits provided, is 33.1 lbs (15kg).”
So… be thin and pack light, I guess.

Ben
Ben
1 month ago

You know how when you gently bend a piece of steel with your hands, it bounces back? This fancy plastic doesn’t exactly do that.

Citation needed. One of the reasons they use carbon fiber in so much stuff for biking is precisely because it flexes well, and it does so while weighing much less than steel. In fact, I suspect carbon fiber is very similar to steel in this respect. Unless you bend it to the point where you compromise the structure it will snap back to shape just fine.

AlfaWhiz
AlfaWhiz
1 month ago

May I sugest that Italian engineers have precisely thought this through and no room for the spouse is no coincidence?

Last edited 1 month ago by AlfaWhiz
Eric Wondersmith
Eric Wondersmith
1 month ago

I’m 145 lbs and my wife is 100lbs. #winning 😉

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
1 month ago

Ya’ll looked at a ND Miata lately? Mine says 340lbs

Last edited 1 month ago by Mr. Asa
Trenton Abernathy
Trenton Abernathy
1 month ago

You’ve got this all wrong. 4C stands for 4 Children, because that’s the maximum amount of weight it can handle.

MGA
MGA
1 month ago

What’s the problem? You’re supposed to take your skinny mistress out in the sports car, not your fat wife. That’s what the Range Rover is for.

Cerberus
Cerberus
1 month ago

Damn, I could lose about 10 pounds and I’m closer to the weight of the average woman and WTH is that so high?! I don’t think I’ve ever dated a woman weighing more than 130 and she was tall. Anyway, those ratings are more for suspension. Go over it and you might bottom out on big undulations or something, the parts won’t respond as well as they should, and it might wear stuff out a little faster, but it’s certainly not going to damage the tub.

Ariel E Jones
Ariel E Jones
1 month ago

My 2005 Chrysler Crossfire has a limit of 550lbs. I owned it for quite a while before I noticed that. I figure with me, a sub box in the back, some stuff and a passenger I’m likely going to be over a bit. And I thought that THAT was ridiculous.

Curtis Loew
Curtis Loew
1 month ago

Myself and my significant other can ride in this with 33 lbs of gear. We are reasonably healthy middle aged people. America has a serious weight problem.

Evan M
Evan M
1 month ago
Reply to  Curtis Loew

Fortuitous number as the trunk’s load limit is, in fact, 33.1 lbs

Jakob Johansen
Jakob Johansen
1 month ago

German police will stop you and weigh your car on site with occupants.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
1 month ago

“Usually, a combination of structural and tire loading factors are the reasons behind these limits…”

Where did you get this information? This is just not true.
Car structures, once they are built to meet stiffness and longevity(fatigue life) requirements, end up with a pretty large safety factor. This Alfa has a 2,800lb GVWR, and I expect that you could at least double that without jeopardizing the integrity of the carbon tub *in normal driving*. Or did you really think that being 200lb overloaded would realistically risk damaging a structure that is capable of surviving the considerable forces involved in driving?

The tire loading thing is equally wack. I can’t speak for the sports car tires used on the Alfa, but the tires on my Accord are rated for over double the GVWR of the car. Even the cheapo Linglongs I had on my f150 were capable of waaaaay more load than the pickup itself is rated for. That’s not remotely limiting for most vehicles.

No, the normal reason that the GVWR is what it is is because of spring rate/suspension travel/ride height. And then usually suspension components(wheel bearings, ball joints) are the next on the list, capable of not much more than the springs are(in all driving situations, anyways, you could likely overload them quite a bit if you drive slow and careful).

Anyways, 344lb is worthlessly low. Not so low that you couldn’t fit two of me(I’m skinny), but it is low enough that you couldn’t fit two of me, all my clothing, a water bottle or two, jumper cables, and milk and eggs on the way home.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
1 month ago

This really is absurd…that is all…

Fix It Again Tony
Fix It Again Tony
1 month ago
Reply to  Freelivin2713

Why are Americans so absurdly fat.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
1 month ago

Donuts! Donuts! Donuts! Donuts!
Also they need to actually get off all the screens, get out and exercise and enjoy nature (it’s always “go on a diet”…no, exercise goes w/ it too, even more so)

Captain Muppet
Captain Muppet
1 month ago
Reply to  Freelivin2713

I cycle 60 miles a week, my weight slowly going up every year. Then I stopped eating cake, chocolate and cheese, and fell from “obese” all the way through “overweight” to “normal” in six months.

It’s really, really hard trying to exercise away a bad diet.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
1 month ago
Reply to  Captain Muppet

100% true. I managed to gain weight last year while training for a half marathon. Weight gain (at least for me, everyone is admittedly different) is 80% diet, 20% activity level. Being active is always good and helps, but if you think you’re going to outrun (literally) a diet of Five Guys, well, it’s probably not going to work out.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
1 month ago

I want you to think about the fact that you just called 185lb “absurdly fat”.

Zed_Patrol
Zed_Patrol
1 month ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Exactly. Some real self righteous folks poking their heads out today.

ES
ES
1 month ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

the poster’s pov should also allow that our human range of height is almost as wide as our range of width (tiny flabby pun fully intended). I’m at the lower end of the “normal” range of height for males of my generation in the US, and for me, as a non-scatback in the NFL, 185 lbs. would be absurdly fat.

But norms and perspectives do change. i read somewhere (maybe on this site?), that the average British conscript in WWII was considered “weedy” at 5’10”, and 10 stone. i think this almost perfectly described most my HS track teammates in the 80’s. Referencing another poster here, who expressed shock at the average female weight today, i don’t think i’ve dated a woman under 130 lbs. since 2000, and only a few of them were more than 2-3″ taller than me. Women got too skinny in the 70’s (seriously, watch old reruns or look at old magazines & catalogs), and have bounced back to a somewhat healthier self-awareness since.

For both men and women there are unhealthy sets at both ends of the scale (again intentional), but in the middle of the range, get a little exercise, keep clean bloodwork, and you don’t need to worry about the weight.

Koloyz
Koloyz
1 month ago

Whoa. My motorcycle has a passenger/cargo weight limit of 500lbs. (2011 Kawasaki Concours 14)

Andrew Pappas
Andrew Pappas
1 month ago
Reply to  Koloyz

Came to say the same thing. I have a 2013

Last edited 1 month ago by Andrew Pappas
Totally not a robot
Totally not a robot
1 month ago

I keep my coat on when I step onto the doctor’s scale. Gives me an excuse when the number keeps creeping up every time.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
1 month ago

I am well under 200 lbs. And all the chicks I date are under 120 lbs.

No problem here.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
1 month ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

Until you want to carry more than 30lb of combined clothing, water bottle, and literally anything else like lunch

Robert Runyon
Robert Runyon
1 month ago

American toilet seats have a higher GVWR.

Jayson Elliot
Jayson Elliot
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Runyon

They have to.

George Millwood
George Millwood
1 month ago
Reply to  Jayson Elliot

ROFL

Evan M
Evan M
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Runyon

I was once at a customer site that had a LARGE sign on the men’s room that the (wall mounted) toilets were only rated to 300lbs, except for the one they’d reinforced with extra bracing, which were good for 500lbs.

I just… I don’t want to know what situation caused both the need for the sign and reinforcing the toilets…

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