• Oct 13, 2011
We see lots of tuner cars cross our digital desks here at Autoblog, but of all the turbocharged and aero-kitted monstrosities we see on a regular basis, few impress like what Romeo Ferraris can manage. The Italian tuning house has taken on everything from Land Rovers to Corvettes, but their specialty is the Fiat 500.

RF first came to our attention when it unleashed a 360-horsepower Abarth 500 that boggled our minds and stretched what we thought was possible with the humble little Fiat. Unfortunately that was a pure racing machine and therefore precluded from street use, but now the tuner is preparing to unveil a street version bearing the Stradale name.

If that word rings any bells, it should: the Italian word for "street", it's been applied to some of the most extreme of Italian supercars – road cars that were transformed into race cars and then back into road cars – like the Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale, the Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale and most recently the Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo Stradale.

We don't have all the details yet on what Romeo Ferraris has done to this 500 to put it in the same league, but what we can tell you so far is that it packs 300 horsepower from a tiny 1.4-liter turbo four, a body kit that would make Darth Vader blush and a stripped out cabin fitted with roll cage, bucket seats, racing harnesses, leather, alcantara and carbon fiber. Yeah, Stradale is about right, because thing beast looks mad street. Check it out in the gallery for a closer look.


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  • 35 Comments
      Rick C.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is the car Abarth should have built in-house. They need to remember their history of building 'giant killers' and recreate chaos on the road racing circuits with the 'underdog' taking out the big marques. On another note, that STI is just a Japanese copy of the Lancia Delta Integrale. I'll take the real thing, battle tested with quite a few world rallying championships under its belt.
      Aaron Ryan
      • 3 Years Ago
      My heart is all aflutter.
      Krishan Mistry
      • 3 Years Ago
      300hp through the front wheels of an Abarth 500? Sounds like a recipe for supreme fun!
      Andre Neves
      • 3 Years Ago
      That looks sick.
      krzys4
      • 3 Years Ago
      It does look like Darth Vader. All you need is an couple of white Evo X behind it and you got yourself a Galactic Empire. T...but then you still need a car that looks like Yoda...
      Master Austin
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's Hilarious LOL Like what are they thinking when you take these little things, toy like looking things and try to butch them up...its looks like Hello Kitty in S&M clothing sans the whips...
        ToyotaSupraMan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Master Austin
        Except "this" Hello Kitty will still make you her bitch. Power-to-weight ratio and stuff.
          graphikzking
          • 3 Years Ago
          @ToyotaSupraMan
          I'm all about power to weight. What about power/weight to price ratio though? Isn't the Fiat 500 already rather expensive for a subcompact car? Wouldn't a Focus St or Mazda3 have much more bang for your buck? A mazda3 speed can be had for under $25k with quite a few options. What would this cost? That is the key question. If this 300hp kit runs over 30k for the car then it's just nuts. I understand power to weight - isn't it also fwd?
      --RAfiKi-
      • 3 Years Ago
      i want to see the dyno curve on a 1.4 making 300hp. I cant see how that size motor can pump that much air and have a flatish hp/torque curve. wheelbase is too short and torque steer will make this thing more work than play. Its also a fiat. My STI is not scared.
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @--RAfiKi-
        Wow, you like to lie a lot don't you? You first said you owned a Cobalt SS Supercharged, now you own an STI? I feel like you don't even own any of the 2.
        Krishan Mistry
        • 3 Years Ago
        @--RAfiKi-
        But even if this gets dusted by your AWD STI, this would be 1000lb lighter and a ball of terror and fun. I bet there will be turbo lag until like 5000rpm, then you get a massive spike of torque and the car torque steers and spins its front tires. Still awesome.
          gtv4rudy
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Krishan Mistry
          So what, this Abarth from the land of classic sports cars is much cooler.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      AcidTonic
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow, wish America had more high output turbo motors like this car. I would make something like this into a nice daily driver and keep my Evo as the weekend car. I can't imagine going much smaller than a 2.0 I4 before suffering from lag. The Evo is the smallest motor I'd take and it can make 360ft/lbs at a lowly 3300rpm. I don't see this 1.4 spooling until at least 4000rpm if not later. It probably gets way better fuel economy though which the Evo lacks. With some work you can eek out 30mpg highway but city will still be around 19-23 and if you drive it like it was meant to be driven you will get much less.
        RJC
        • 3 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        Lag has nothing to do with displacement. Any properly designed package will have a turbo matched to the size of the engine, I.e., you don't hang Titantic sized props on a 18 foot Bayliner.
          AcidTonic
          • 3 Years Ago
          @RJC
          It actually does, because you lose horsepower to have that properly sized turbo. (which is now smaller and flows less air) To keep the same 300hp number as the bigger motor you have to basically run a similar sized turbo. But now your motor is smaller than theirs and that turbo is a tad big for your motor. So spool suffers unless you optimize in other areas to regain spool. Such as twin-scroll manifolds, variable cam timing, shorter piping, better exhaust routing, etc. So the properly sized turbo would be smaller than this one and make less than 300hp. The 300hp number is from a bigger sized turbo and thus would be more laggy if other steps were not taken.
        lasertekk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        @acidtonic I think you're missing the point. I would expect a backyard money wrencher to make the mistake of slapping together mismatched components, but an organization like Romeo Ferraris is staffed with real engineers who actually studied engineering. They don't make those mistakes. They go for maximum optimization, with little or no compromises. Anything less than that is an affront to their education and professionalism.
          lasertekk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lasertekk
          that's 'backyard MONKEY wrencher'
        AcidTonic
        • 3 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        Almost forgot to mention.... No engine bay shots? LAME.
        Shelton Stevens
        • 3 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        Couldn't you also get around lag by using two turbos? A smaller one for lower in the rpm range and a larger one for the upper end?
      NightFlight
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Yeah, Stradale is about right, because thing beast looks mad street." Say whaaaaaaaaaat???
      DevonK
      • 3 Years Ago
      Now serving with a heaping side dish of torque steer....
        breakfastburrito
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DevonK
        Stupid comments by non-enthusiasts. There's almost nothing more enjoyable in this world, than wrestling a pissed-off car's steering wheel for control. Drive wheels don't matter. And the main reason to hate on small, fast, FWD cars, is because of a false pride over a different car, usually Mustang or BMW, that is torn away on any given trackday - with honda civics turning faster laps than corvettes.
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