2017 Fiat 124 Spider First Drive

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In recent years modern automotive enthusiasts have become a spoiled lot. It’s hard to blame them though – we live in an era of unprecedented access to hair-raising performance, one in which 600 horsepower hardly raises an eyebrow and the prospect of a sub-four second dash to sixty miles per hour almost seems quaint. But amongst this output arms race, a contingent of sports car fans still yearn for a wholly different approach to driving bliss.

Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus Cars, famously once summed up his company’s approach to design with the statement, “Simplify, then add lightness.” It’s a philosophy that’s often at odds with the mindset of automakers today, many of whom instead take an approach to performance that might be more accurately stated as, “Add complexity, and compensate for it with horsepower.” While most fans of high performance aren’t about to shun excess when it comes to engine output, those who subscribe to Lotus’s approach have found themselves relatively underserved amongst the recent onslaught of chest-beating heavyweights.

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