"Even in standard guise, it hunted muscle cars around race tracks like wasps harassing a nervous child - a testament to its handling prowess, low weight, and predictable handling. Clear from the rally and race track success was that it "
Z Cars Fiat 500
Another thoroughly modern mini
We recently featured Kent-based Z Cars as we considered how to ‘max’ the Mini. By adding modern powerplants to a quaint and classic shape, the team is satisfying a growing niche by combining desire and panache with reliability and, let’s face it, some grunt fit for modern roads.
The small, nimble Minis make sense in a crowded world – but they aren’t the only solution to the problem of course.
For the Italophiles out there, of which there are plenty, there’s only one mini motor – the classic Fiat 500.
Luckily for such people, Z-Cars is already one step ahead of the game and will be looking to offer these quirky cars with a similar mix of powerplants as the Minis we’ve previously featured.
Engines chosen for their prototypes and test mules include a Suzuki Hayabusa engine – a bike screamer worth around 140bhp, plus a Subaru 1800 currently rated at 80-90bhp but with scope to hit around the same numbers as the Suzuki.
The Z Cars team prides itself on making cars designed either for track-attacks or for daily use. Of those two personalities, we’d rather see these Fiats being a great inner-city motor. An Instagram magnet with modern pace and refinements. A 200bhp track screamer would be one heck of an experience, though, if that ever becomes an option, which we’re sure it would be if the demand was great enough.
The conversions aren’t completely straightforward of course, so we wouldn’t recommend having a go yourself, there are a few minor issues regarding cooling and oil usage which Z cars can deal with in a sympathetic manner so as to maintain the classic 500’s aesthetic appeal.
Will these Fiat 500s prove as popular as the Minis for these restomod conversions? Only time will tell, but we’ll be watching these razzi tascabili with plenty of interest.
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