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.