Thursday 18 November 2010

Fiat planning sports roadster for 2012

Fiat is working hard on bring a sports coupe to the market by 2012. The sports car, dubbed Primo is being co-developed with Fiat’s sporty sibling, Abarth and will compete against the Mazda MX-5/Miata.

While the sports car will be all-new, its size and transverse, mid-engined design will be similar to the Lotus Elise. The interior is also thought to use the same outline as the Elise; a fixed rear window with a simple, lift-out roof panel.

An internal source said speculation on the Internet is “wide of the mark”. It was suggest the forthcoming sports car will underpin the hugely expensive KTM X-Bow, which would contradict the fact the Fiat/Abarth sport car is predicted to start from under £25,000.

Abarth will be design the car in-house, guided by CEO Head of design, Rubén Wainberg. Abarth is also developing its own tubular space frame for the car, which means Abarth can make good use of Fiat/Alfa modular suspension components and lightweight engines like the turbocharged 1.4 litre MultiAir, with around 170bhp. Fiat/Alfa is also launching its own 6 speed dual-clutch gearbox, although, a 7 speed dual-clutch is a possibility for the future.

The car is yet to be sign-off by CEO Sergio Marchionne, despite being at an advanced stage of engineering and design. One good point might be the size of the investment needed for a car that will demand global sales of no more than 5,000 units.

We expect the Fiat Primo is be launched first, with the racier Abarth variant arriving a year later.

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