Ecco! Ferrari edition Fiat 500 prototype spotted in the wild. It’s preproduction, 180bhp, Ferrari authorized (with Ferrari shifter), for only 40,000€. It was supposed to be covered up, but being an American, I accidentally pulled the cover off trying to get a BMW CSL out. It was sighted at a racing company in Kelburg, next to the Nurburgring. The owner of the racing shop said it’s overpriced, but drives like a demon.
Last year, Fiat delivered 200 Fiat 500 Ferrari editions to Ferrari dealers for customers to use as courtesy cars while their F430 Scuderia (or whatever) was in for service. However, what was parked casually in the corner, is something completely different. Abarth, in conjunction with Ferrari (styling) tuned this little beast up from its original 100bhp to the screaming 180bhp claimed. A Renault Clio Cup, Megane R26.R, and similar creations all run low 8-minute Bridge-to-Gantry times with a good driver, so a sub-8 minute BTG time for the wickedest 500 yet should be possible… with slicks, and not the street tires fitted to this prototype.
The Ferrari/Fiat/Abarth 500 features quad exhausts, brake cooling ducts that lead to 4-piston brake calipers on front, slotted rotors, gigantic oil coolers, upgraded suspension, Abarth/Recaro racing seats, 5-point harnesses, and a partial body cage. Based on a cursory inspection, the interior looks lightened as well.
As Renault Sport has found tremendous success in the European market with its racecar for the road R26.R and Clio Cup, maybe Fiat thinks a properly sorted 500 with that special Corsa Red Ferrari paint, badge, and Abarth tuning will capture the market. At 40,000€, I highly, highly doubt it, unless the owner craves something completely different, and stylish. As an exercise in hot hatch theory, I absolutely love this little car. As something actually feasible in the real world, Renault gets to laugh at Ferrari for once.