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Discussion Starter #1
I grew up with Fiats all over the place - the pretty but gutless 850 spyders, the little coupe and Abarths, and the ubiquitous 124s with excellent engines but lamentably poor rust proofing (not sure the guys in the US got the convertible version like we did up here). Then they disappeared from the North American market, and for 25 years, at that.

Now they are back, with the small sports sedan, the 500 and in the Abarth version they are a pretty nice package. You might want to have a look at this Jay Leno video (especially around 8:30 where Jay pulls a U turn with it). He makes the point that this modern car has more poke than the Dino spider had back in the day.


I couldn't help wondering if Fiat might decide to produce a new sports car once they established themselves in the market again. They had one in Europe - the Barchetta, and we got the rear view mirrors from that car on our Kappas. It looks like this:



OK, but it doesn't exactly get the adrenalin pumping like a Ferrari. But it was developed from a sedan base - the Fiat Punto, so there is no reason they couldn't update it for this continent, and the brilliant little Abarth 500 engine, with 160 BHP from a turbo 1.4 and 400 lbs. less than a Solstice NA would make an interesting package (they have done hopped up engines of 200 BHP for prototypes, so more power is possible). It also has one of the nicest 4 cylinder exhaust notes I've heard in a long time (a friend recently bought one so I got a drive in it).

We have a shortage of real 2 seater sports cars these days - Mini/BMW doesn't seem inclined to do one, presumably because they don't want the duplication and possible competition with the existing Z4 sports models. The Japanese are dropping existing sports cars (S2000) or going up market in price and specification (370Z etc.).

I think it would be interesting to see a light weight small sports car come out of Fiat (please make it look like an old Dino or something a little less generic than the Barchetta!). I guess we'll have to wait and see. If they used the Barchetta base, it might at least mean that our Solstice mirrors would continue....

They announced earlier this year that Fiat and Mazda would co-produce a new sports car based on the next generation Miata, to be sold both as a Miata and an Alfa, but that is sure to be considerably up-market from what I am talking about. At least Fiat is thinking sports cars, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yup - that's why I said I wasn't very keen on that styling. The Italians are master stylists and could certainly come up with something stunning if they want to.
 

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A Abarth 200 HP 1.4 is ~Par HP/CC with our 2.0 with the GMPP. :thumbs:

That could be a fun ride!
 

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They say they're going to bring back the Alfa Romeo Spyder... Built on a Miata platform.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
A friend owns one of these (although he has the coupe version). an example of how Fiat has done an attractive small sports car before - a Fiat Dino (used the same sort of V6 engine as the Ferrari Dino, but totally different chassis.

 
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