Fiat and Ferrari are both Italian, and both start with an “F,” so they should get along together great, right? However, what the Italian design firm Lazzarini wants to do with them sounds a bit like putting a rocket engine into a Piper Cub.
Fiat 550 Italia – A mythic beast
The out-of-the-box thinking firm wants to put the 4.5-liter V8 engine and gearbox of a Ferrari 458 Italia into a Fiat 500 hatchback, making it into a mythic creature known as the Fiat 550 Italia. But it will have to downgrade the power from 570 horsepower to 550 horsepower in order to keep the chassis intact while shifting at high speeds.
The Fiat 550 Italia would allegedly retain the same suspension, differential and transmission from the 458 Italia.
Check under the hatchback
In order to stuff the huge engine in the little car, Lazzarini wants to remove the back seat and stick it under the hatchback. That will necessitate a massive air intake, sunk into the roof!
Keeping it grounded
Also, in order to keep it from becoming airborne, Lazzarini has lengthened the wheelbase by 11.8 inches. The rear end will also need to be widened by the same measurement, and the front end by 7.9 inches.
Additionally, Lazzarini wants to put an over-sized spoiler — typical of the firm’s designs — on the back of the 550 Italia.
At this point, the Fiat 550 Italia exists only as a computer-aided design concept. No prototype has yet been made. As Torque News said: “No actual 500s were harmed in the making of this monster.”
Lazzarini seeks investors
Lazzarini says it is looking for investors to pump $550,000 into this Frankenstein bastard child of Italian automakers. Good luck with that, but it would be fun to see this little hatchback that could tearing up some asphalt.
Potential monster-investors can check out Lazzarini’s site at http://www.lazzarinidesign.net/.
Other power-hungry mutants
Other oddball cars with more power than justified by their wheelbases include the Renault R5 TURBO, the Renault Clio V6, the Volkswagen Golf GTI W12 650 concept and the Ford Fiesta SHOgun.
If you can’t wait and want something equally nutty, Nissan is offering to build to order its new mutant, the Juke R, that stuffs the 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V-6 powertrain of a GT-R into a diminutive crossover body for a mere $590,000, according to Edmund’s Inside Line.