• Apr 12, 2011
If you thought that Italian coachbuilt Corvettes like the Spada Codatronca Monza and the Soleil Anadi would be the only enticing debuts at the upcoming Top Marques Monaco show, think again. Tuning house and carrozzeria Aznom is reportedly preparing to unveil a radical mid-engined Abarth 500 called the Motore Centrale R230.

Teased in the image above, the project (as you might have garnered) moves the engine from in front of the passenger compartment to behind it, mounting the 1.4-liter turbo four – tuned to 230 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque – behind the front seats for a mid-engine, rear-drive configuration closer to the original 500's and better balanced for rip-roarin' performance dynamics.

A new suspension with Bilstein dampers and upgraded brakes are also part of the package, as are semi-slick Kumho tires. A Pista track version is also reportedly in the works, with an extra 50 horses, a full roll-cage, adjustable suspension and a curb weight trimmed down below the 2,000-pound mark. The conversion is undoubtedly a complex one, but if Aznom and partner Lucarelli-Monza can keep the price somewhere near reasonable it should have no trouble offloading the 30 examples targeted for production each year.

[Source: CarScoop]


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  • 13 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Fiat should put a special one in production, ala Renault Clio V6 Sport.
      • 3 Years Ago
      They'll easily sell the 30 they plan to build I'm sure. This is an awesome conversion, I can't even begin to imagine how much fun it would be to drive! I'd love to see a company with a small car like this actually release a mid engine option. I recently bought a car, and honestly if something like this was actually available I easily would've given up the rear seat for awesome factor, although I know that in the "really real" world I'm the exception rather than the rule.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Back in the mid 1980s, lots of OEM sold mid-engine hatches.

        Great cars, and true collector's cars today.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Shoot, I was gonna do this & use a Alfa Grand Cherokee front wheel drive unit. At least now I don't have to engineer that cage back there anymore, I hope they sell those to the public.....
      • 3 Years Ago
      THAT'S the level of insanity that an Abarth needs :P
        • 3 Years Ago
        Almost.

        Needs AWD.

        And a full cage & harness

        And a Turbo

        *Then* just get a few more mid-engined, AWD turbo hatches together and we might be rebuilding a legendary racing format.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I approve of what they are doing and would like to subscribe to their newsletter.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wasn't this car featured in Top gear?
        • 3 Years Ago
        A regular Abarth 500 was on Top Gear, was a good review!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ever wonder what it would be like to drive around in one of those stunt show cars like in Disney World? This is probably the closest thing there is.

      This thing seems like a truly epic toy.
      • 3 Years Ago
      230 hp, rear engine, rear drive, four foot wheel base, how fast can you say ' HOLY SNAP OVERSTEER BATMAN!!' Now I have to ponder, should I buy the spiritual successor to the R5 or the new Stratos? Oh wait, I'm dirt poor. Never mind.
        • 3 Years Ago
        It's a *mid* engine car. A rear-mid, but a mid engine none the less. That makes a huge difference. Providing the chassis is up to the task, short wheel base, rear drive, mid engine cars have proven to be quite the driver-oriented car (e.g. Lotus Elise/Exige, Toyota MR2, etc.).
      • 3 Years Ago
      A conversion all cars should get.
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