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Tuner Stuffs Ferrari 458 V-8 Into Fiat 500

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On: Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 12:49PM | By: Chris Weiss


Tuner Stuffs Ferrari 458 V-8 Into Fiat 500

Small cars, big engines: It's a combination that inspires curiosity among car fans, even if the cars are ridiculously impractical and kind of counterintuitive (if you're going to have a supercar engine, you might as well have the supercar to go with it). Past examples have included the potential world's fastest Hennessey Venom GT and the Nissan Juke R. Now we have the Fiat 500 Italia from Roman design studio Lazzarini Design.

The idea is simple enough: reach across Fiat AG for one of the group's largest engines and fit it to one of its smallest cars. Lazzarini envisions the 4.5-liter V-8 engine from the Ferrari 458 Italia mounted in the rear of the 500, where it appears to take up a good portion of the hatch. In order to optimize traction, the firm plans to modify the engine output to a slightly lower 542 horses. That may be light for the 563-hp 458, but it's an arsenal of horsepower for the tiny minicar.

In addition to the dramatic engine upgrade, Lazzarini also adds a body kit to the 500. Upgraded bumpers, modified side skirts and a big, 'ol rear wing help the engine overcome the air ahead. Other alterations include a reinforced chassis, roof-mounted air intake and dual exhaust.

Unfortunately there's no mention of just how fast this 500 will go. It appears that only renderings exist, with further development awaiting investment from a buyer. The design studio reportedly needs a commitment of around $500,000 to move from renderings to wheels on the road. Given that that's about double the price of an actual Ferrari 458 Italia, we're reminded of where we began this thread - the completely impractical, counterintuitive nature of big engines, small cars. The 500 Italia is interesting to look at and ponder, but we're glad we're not buying one.


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