Fiat Cinquecento Sporting

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Fiat Cinquecento Sporting. An urban with a punch for rallying


In the early 60s John Cooper gave serious thought to the sporting possibilities of the Mini. Obviously, doubts and even laughter were guaranteed. How to get the grit out of a tiny urban compact with less powerful engines? Well, in 1964 a Mini Cooper S took over the Monte Carlo Rally. A feat that he repeated in 1965 and 1967. With this record, many had to swallow his words before the intuition shown by the British coach.

Even in the antipodes of the big GT, the truth is that the Mini had in its favor all the characteristics of its small size. Low weight, short wheelbase and center of gravity almost glued to the ground. Qualities that made it a devilishly fast and drivable car in twisty areas. In short, a most fun device. Exactly like the Fiat Cinquecento Sporting, which began its production in 1994 as a playful proposal to enjoy daily.

Belonging to the saga of 500, 126 and 133, the Fiat Cinquecento it remains one of the brand's most successful models. A large part of the renewal of the Italian fleet is due to him, which confirms his design by Giorgetto Giugaro as a success under which interesting mechanical solutions are hidden. Similar to the Mini in terms of roominess and engine layout, it also found in the version Fiat Cinquecento Sporting an unexpected sporty attitude.


The natural environment of Fiat Cinquecento it is the city. At just over three meters, this little guy is easy to park anywhere. In addition, its combined consumption of 6,2 liters brings economy and efficiency to a car of which, a priori, only practicality is sought for the daily chores of the urban middle class. However, its affordable price and good dynamic qualities made the Fiat Cinquecento a perfect candidate for a segment full of young people with pilot whims.

Thus, Fiat devised to empower the Five hundred as it did with the Uno Turbo in 1985, creating a sports car below the range of the popular GTIs of the time. Then the Fiat Cinquecento Sporting was born, away from the two engines already available in the range. The least powerful, with only two cylinders, produced only 28CV. A little-sold version, since the four-cylinder, 908cc and 40CV version became the majority within the Cinquecento range.

fiat cinquecento sporting

With a displacement high up to 1.100cc, the Fiat Cinquecento Sporting produced 54CV at 5.000 rpm with tips of 150 km / h. Figures not inconsiderable if we have a weight / power ratio of 15 CV / kilo. And even less if we think that, far from being on the motorways, Sporting's natural setting is the twisted roads where rallies open to small teams of militant fans are usually held.


Speaking in silver, the truth is that too many sports versions of popular compacts have not gone much beyond the basic model. And it is that, for many ailerons and spoilers that are put, the truth is that this does not significantly increase performance. Some of you will think that Fiat Cinquecento The same thing happened to him, but in reality it is not like that. Well it is true that many Cinquecento Sporting they wore Abarth kit couplings, as visual as they were not very effective. However, lowered the hood was hiding an evolved ingenuity.

fiat cinquecento sporting

And is that the 1'1 liter of the Fiat Cinquecento Sporting had nothing to do with the rest of the range. Belonging to the family of FIRE engines, this gasoline engine with overhead camshaft had great precision thanks to its meticulous robotized assembly. A heart that differentiated this version from the rest of the Fiat Cinquecento range. However, the curious thing is that the units dedicated to the most emblematic competition in the history of the Fiat Cinquecento They did not start from the Sporting version, but from the normal 908cc!

And it is that Fiat created the single model Copa Cinquecento. Held in several European countries, it resulted in a continental competition with the best classified in their respective countries. All of it with small private teams that, starting from the average version of the Fiat Cinquecento, They acquired a kit that converted the model into a Group A homologated rally car.

fiat cinquecento sporting

A small animal that raised the power to 70CV, with, among others, adjustable suspensions. What do you think of this little guy now?

P.S: Although the Cinquecento Cup is the competition for which the model is most remembered, the truth is that several units -including the official brand team- participated in the World Rally Championship from 1994 to 2005. With approval code A5529We have a record of two evolutions, this time starting from the Sporting version with its 1.1-liter FIRE engine. One reached 90CV, while the other rose to 114CV at 7750 rpm.

What do you think?

Miguel Sánchez

Written by Miguel Sánchez

Through the news from La Escudería, we will travel the winding roads of Maranello listening to the roar of the Italian V12; We will travel Route66 in search of the power of the great American engines; we will get lost in the narrow English lanes tracking the elegance of their sports cars; We will speed up the braking in the curves of the Monte Carlo Rally and we will even get dusty in a garage while rescuing lost jewels.


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