FIAT 550 Italia Tests the Limits of Good Taste
On the list of things that make me happy, few items rank higher than high-powered cars that aren’t supposed to be high-powered.
Think along the lines of the Nissan Juke-R, which managed to stuff a GT-R drivetrain into a normal Juke (or placed a Juke body over a GT-R drivetrain, depending on how you look at it). Either way, the result is fantastically ridiculous.
There’s really no limit to the craziness that can come out of the combination of a small car with a high-power drivetrain. With the right resources, all a guy has to do is search through some used car listings, find an appropriate project car, purchase a supercar engine and then spend a few hours in the garage. Easy enough, right?
For those with the money, and not enough time to Frankenstein something on their own, there’s another option on the table. A mighty compelling one, too.
How does a FIAT 500 with Ferrari V8 power sound? Crazy enough to catch my attention, that’s for sure. It’s a project by Lazzarini Design, which takes a tiny 500 and fits it with the engine from a Ferrari 458 Italia. It’s being called the Fiat 550 Italia. The 550-hp engine, which obviously is much too big to fit under the hood, gets placed in the rear.
The engine is only part of the modification plan. The 500 is also transformed through a massive body kit with completely new bumpers, massively flared wheel arches to accommodate the big new tires, side sills and a laughably large rear wing to generate downforce and push the back of the car down. Without the wing, the car would surely lift off the road.
There’s only one problem with the 550 Italia. It doesn’t exist. For now the car is nothing more than a computer file sparked by an idea. That could all change, though, once the company finds a willing customer to drop $550,000 on this diminutive freak show of a car.
Rest assured, it’ll happen. Nissan found at least three people to spend about that much on the Juke-R, so a hot little Italian job is sure to catch some attention.
The 550 Italia would really be nothing more than an engine on wheels. Is that a good idea?