The Fiat 500 isn’t short of performance editions – the esseesse being the top-of-the-range model offered by Abarth. However there are also numerous aftermarket tuners, like Camal and Romeo Ferraris, offering performance packages for the little 500. But none come close to the insanity that is the Fiat 550 Italia by Lazzarini Design.
Unlike all the others, which basically use tuned versions of the standard 1.4 litre 4-cylinder turbocharged Fiat engine, the Lazzarini Design Fiat 550 Italia is powered by the same V8 drivetrain used in the Ferrari 458 Italia. Although for the Fiat 550 Italia the power output has had to be capped at 550 hp because the chassis quite literally can’t handle any more. Like in the 458 Italia the 4.5 litre V8 in the Fiat 550 Italia sits in the middle of the vehicle – along with a modified limited-slip differential and the transmission.
In order to house the radically different drivetrain Lazzarini Design have had to stretch the 500′s wheelbase by roughly 30cm (12 inches), and widen the car by 60cm (24 inches) at the rear and 20cm (16 inches) at the front. It goes without saying that the rear seats have been repositioned into the nearest garbage bin to make space for the V8.
Rather alarmingly the fuel tank has had to be repositioned, and it now sits ahead of the passenger compartment. Hopefully well protected from any impact. But an integrated fire-supression system probably wouldn’t be a bad idea!
Lazzarini Design are currently looking for an investor with $550,000 (440,000 EUR / £350,000) spare in order to develop their little project.