Surprisingly, this epic fusion of compact hatchback and rock crawler is not the work of some slightly deranged gearhead with too much time on his hands. It is actually the result of a collaboration between Fiat and Mercurio Cinematografica. Up top is a Fiat Panda 4×4, while below is some highly modified running gear from a Jeep CJ7.
Standing 3.9 metres (12.8 feet) tall, the vehicle took just two weeks to build. Fiat say the most difficult part of the build was in connecting the steering system, clutch, accelerator and brakes between the two cars.
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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.
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How much would you pay for a dinky little Fiat 500? Would you give up the chance to get the keys to a brand-new a BMW Z4, a well-equipped Nissan 370Z, a sublime little Lotus Elise, or even an entry-level SLK? Well that’s exactly what the sales people at Abarth are hoping; as they’ve just announced that the Abarth 695 Maserati Edition is going up for sale at a higher price than every one of those cars. In Europe anyway.
The Abarth 695 Maserati Edition is a limited edition vehicle. Just 499 will be produced, and each one of the
suckers customers who stumps up the cash will find themselves behind the wheel of a 180 horsepower hot hatch with a few Maserati-inspired badges and styling details.
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Romeo Ferraris is an Italian tuning company who offer a wide range of performance products for a variety of manufacturers. At the same time they compete in the Italian GT Championship with a Ferrari F430 GTS, and in the Italian Turismo Endurance Championship with an Abarth 500 24H Special. It’s this second car which has formed the basis for the company’s latest project.
Romeo Ferraris start off by taking a Fiat 500 Abarth, they then proceed by tuning the car’s 1.4 litre turbocharged engine to produce a staggering 300 horsepower. They then bolt on a suitably outrageous bodykit, add a couple of racing bucket seats and four-point harnesses. New lightweight wheels are added, as is a roof spoiler and a rear diffuser. A racing-spec roll cage is added as built-in health insurance against the inevitable impromptu visit to the countryside.
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The Fiat 500 Marcia Corta (Short Gear in Italian) is a highly modified Fiat 500 EsseEsse which was developed by Alessio Minchella and Alessandro Camorali. The pair met last year while working for Pininfarina. Alessandro founded Camal in 2008, and in 2010 Alessio joined him. The 500 Marcia Corta is the first vehicle to come from the fledgling outfit.
Between the two of them, they have worked on numerous projects, including the Ferrari 599XX, 599GTO, 458 Italia, Mclaren Competizione concept and the I.E.D. BeON concept. So they know what’s required to make a fantastic looking car.
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