Don’t mind the fact that it costs $180,000.
If you drive anything with a hair of grunt under its hood, there’s probably a smug smile that crosses your face every time a Fiat 500 cuts in front during heavy traffic. The spunky little Italian car takes pride in being the antithesis of everything a gearhead knows and loves which is why aftermarket tuners, even the in-house variety like Abarth, take pride in modifying the 500 to show the world that the love of automobiles has no boundaries. This, however, is on another level entirely.
Though the engine only grows from 1.4-liters to 1.7-liters after the Fiat gets its guts swapped with those of an Alfa Romeo 4C, the turbocharger feeding this four pot cranks up the power considerably. Try 350 horsepower on for size, a total of 113 horses more than the 4C and 190 ponies more than in the stock 500.
On such a small and light car, those numbers make for a huge difference, which we can see when the Fiat takes a crack at a hillclimb. Unlike in the stock 500, this Giannini 350 sends that to the rear wheels. Dynamics are further improved by the fact that the engine has been mounted in the middle of the car with power being delegated by a manual transmission. Completing the changeover is a custom suspension, a carbon fiber wide body kit, and eye-popping slits cut into the handiwork. Unfortunately this is no budget racer. Total cost for this build is $180,000. So no, it’s not a good alternative to an M4.