Fiat Barchetta

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Drive-it Day Special The 50 Greatest Drives - Giles chap­man

This gor­geous lit­tle MX-5/MGF ri­val from Italy may have used the Punto’s front-wheel drive floor­pan, but it was ex­cep­tion­ally en­joy­able, ef­fec­tively giv­ing hot-hatch lev­els of grip and pre­dictabli­ilty with all the ex­hil­a­ra­tion of a proper small road­ster.

Ba­sic in some ways but slick in oth­ers (del­i­cate, pop-out al­loy door han­dles), it re­mains the only car I’ve ever bought brand new, and the one I most re­gret sell­ing. The Nis­san Blue­bird es­tate that re­placed it was a real sta­tus nose­dive, but I needed some­thing to carry rub­ble, some­thing you can’t get much of into the Barchetta’s dainty boot. Like all of these cars, my Barchetta was left-hand drive, so join­ing mo­tor­ways and over­tak­ing trac­tors needed par­tic­u­lar care, but it was never less than won­der­fully re­spon­sive. SPEC­I­FI­CA­TIONS en­gine 1747cc/4-cyl/ DOHC Power 130bhp@6300rpm torque 121lb ft@4300rpm toP sPeed 118mph 0-60mPh 8.7sec Fuel con­sumP­tion 32-34mpg trans FWD, five-speed man­ual

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