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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fiat Coupe 20VT+

I've changed my ride again, and this time is less than 3 years since my ownership of Alfa Romeo. It's not that the Alfa Romeo is not performing up to my expectaction, it's a fantastic car and I totally agree with Jeremy Clarkson that you are not a true petrolhead until you've owned an Alfa Romeo. However, life needs to move on, so with my eager thirst for more power, I took the plunge to jump into the power of turbo despite warning from my family and friends.

My next choice of upgrade, the Fiat Coupe 20VT+. My choice of car seems to be always circle around the brand that's not liked by Malaysian, but there is a good reason for it. My old ride Alfa Romeo 147 2.0 Selespeed Twinspark is churning out 150bhp and 181Nm and I need something better than it. For a mere mortal like me with a limited budget, going turbo seems to be the only way. Further with continuous poison from the Italia Auto Club that I frequented, it's easy to be converted to love the big brother of Alfa Romeo brand, the Fiat.

Fiat Coupe is introduced in 1993 and Fiat decided to stop the production for this car in 2000. It's a hit when the car is launched way back in 1993 with its distinctive body design by Chris Bangle and interior design by Pininfarina design house. The design is so futuristic that even till today, it still stands tall by the side of million dollar machine without feeling out of place. If you look hard enough, the new BMW designed by Chris Bangle still resemble some of the signature curve design from the Fiat Coupe. It's from the same father afterall.

My Fiat Coupe is the 20VT+ version meaning the heart of the car is a 1,998cc Inline 5-cylinder Turbo engine churning out an incredible 220bhp @ 5750rpm and peak torque of 310Nm @ 2500rpm. Due to the 5-cylinder design of the engine, there are 20 valves (4 valves on each cylinder), which explained the name given to the model. With the set-up, the Fiat Coupe 20VT+ is capable of reaching the 100km/h mark in 6.5seconds and has a top speed of 250km/h. The figure might not be so impressive but imagine this car is produced more than 10 years ago. A quick comparison to favourite of all people, the Golf GTI do 6.9seconds, of course only if I can shick as quick as the racer =) The turbo boost to 1.2bar in peak and tapered down to 0.5bar in higher rpm to protect the engine. Still got lots of potential to explore =P

In it's glory time, it's one of the fastest front wheel drive car in the world, and Michael Schumacher is rumoured to be the 1st owner of the Fiat Coupe 20VT Limited Edition. One of the highlight and feature of this car is the special Viscodrive Limited Slip Differential for the front wheel to solve the understeer issue with powerful FWD car, and it's very effective even till today. The Fiat Coupe is highly addictive for someone like me who has never tasted the power of turbo and when the kick start in 3,000rpm, it's really damn fun! Throw it into a corner and pedal to floor when exiting, you will feel the strong pull with its Viscodrive working hard. Fun of turbo, nothing come close to the adrenaline rush as the turbo gauge needle swing.

The turboed engine is coupled to a 6 speed manual gearbox (yes, real man drive stick, hehe) and the sixth speed is merely for better fuel consumption in high speed cruising as 250km/h is achieved in fifth gear anyway. The clutch is surprisingly soft enough for daily drive and that's the main point why I dare to buy a manual box in the middle of KL. Yes, I'm very desperate. For this kind of power, Fiat Coupe comes complete equipped with Brembo brake sets with 4 pot caliper and 2 pot caliper for front and rear respectively. The braking power is good but more is always welcome. For a car this heavy, engine braking is a must to stop effectively.

On handling wise, this stock Fiat Coupe rolls like a boat. It's really bad, I meant the comment might not be fair as I'm comparing it to my Alfa Romeo, which the suspension is also upgraded. Fiat Coupe is not built to attack corner and looking at the shape also will know that's it's designed for hard acceleration and high speed run only. However, nothing cannot solved by modification, and with help from the IA forum, I've already know what to do with it for big improvements in handling department. The ride is comfortable for current time, better than my Alfa Romeo but I suppose that will soon change.

My Fiat Coupe is 20VT+ version which is the highest specification (I love highest specification cars, hehe) and it come complete with Recaro leather seat, sun roof, push start button (yes, Fiat do have this in 1993!!) and a complete set of bodykit. Those kits given in 1993 can still put those modern Japanese cars to shame. All italian cars put japanese to shame, and now korean join the wagon to shoo the japanese.

20VT+ badge that's only available for 20VT+ model. This is how you identify one.

Overall View

For people to actually own a 2-door coupe, it takes a very deep commitment as it's not a practical choice, further it emits a negative thoughts to surrounding family and friends that you are not a practical and a selfish person. Deep in everyone's heart, there is a desire, which is to be able to break the rules and enjoy life. If you are willing to confront your deepest desire, then you should really consider a Coupe. People will judge you but also will also envy you that you are living your dream while they can only see you from far away.

Fiat Coupe being in the same league of above, will be the same. It's not a daily A to B drive anymore, but commitment in yourself to enjoy your life and embrace the changes. It's not a comfortable car, and it's a manual shift stick, which most people don't like nowadays. I dynoed a stock coupe and it give out a good 202 hp on wheels, and glad that finally I become a man. (remember a quote somewhere saying a real man must drive a car that's 200hp and above) The power is just nice and once you are in this range, it's a different game altogether. There are no more street running as not many people can come near, leaving only choice to play with car clubs / track.

Power for turbo car is unlimited and you will fall into abyss if you are not careful with the spending on modification. Good thing is every little thing that you did give a big change to the car as power is easily produce with the help from turbo. However, problem is power on turbo is unlimited and modification to the car for more power is always there, at a good price. Journey finally begin with this car ownership and I'm not looking back! Wish luck ...

Pininfarina design house badge everywhere, lovely =)

Fiat Coupe 20VT+
Standard Specifications

Layout: Front Engine Front Drive (FF)
Engine: In-Line 5, Transverse, Turbocharged
Valve Train: 20-Valves DOHC Variable Intake Valve Timing
Engine Block / Cylinder Head: Aluminium
Supercharging: Turbocharger Garrett TB28 @ 1.2bar
Timing Belt: Belt Driven
Displacement: 1,998cc
- Bore: 82.00mm
- Stroke: 75.65mm
Power: 161.8kW (220bhp) @ 5,750rpm
Torque: 310Nm (31.61kgm) @ 2,500rpm
Compression Ratio: 8.5:1
Redline: 6,800rpm
Power to displacement: 80.98kW (110.11bhp) per liter
Power to weight: 123.51kW (167.94bhp) per tonne
Torque to weight: 236.64Nm (24.13kgm) per tonne
Clutch Type: Torque Converter
Fuel System: Indirect Injection

Steering: Rack & Pinion, Power Assisted
Front Suspension: Independent MacPherson Struts, Lower Wishbones anchored to Auxiliary Crossbeam, Offset Coil Springs, Anti Roll Bar
Rear Suspension: Independent Trailling Arms mounted on Auxiliary Subframe, Coil Springs, Anti Roll Bar
Front Disc: Brembo Cross Drilled 305mm Discs (12")
Rear Disc: Brembo Cross Drilled 251mm Discs (10")
Front Rim & Tire: 16x7J 205/50R16 Offset+40mm
Rear Rim & Tire: 16x7J 205/50R16 Offset+40mm
Spare Rim & Tire: 16x4J 125x80R16
Weight Distribution (front/rear): 65 / 35

Wheelbase: 2,540mm
Front Track: 1,491mm
Rear Track: 1,468mm
Length: 4,250mm
Width: 1,768mm
Height: 1,340mm
Steering Turns Lock to Lock: 2.9
Min. Turning Radius: 11.4m
Ground Clearance: 160mm
Weight: 1,310kg (2,888lbs)

Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
Gear Ratios: 1st-3.8:1, 2nd-2.235:1, 3rd-1.52:1, 4th-1.156:1, 5th-0.914:1, 6th-0.816:1
Top Speed: 250km/h (155mph)
Acceleration (0-62mph): 6.5seconds
Drag Coefficient: 0.33
Fuel Consumption (city/highway): 8km /L / 14km/L (19mpg / 33mpg)
CO2 Emissions: 241g/km
Fuel Tank: 63 Liters

ABS, Viscodrive Limited Slip Differential, Sunroof, Recaro Leather Seat, Push Start Button, 4 Airbags (including side airbags), Immobiliser

More photographs for your enjoyment =)

Front view, love the head lights.

Rear view, that's what you will see on the road =P

Side view, front heavy, need a spoiler and bigger rims ...

Curve and shapes with bodykit.

Usable boot space, who say coupe cannot carry stuff?

5-pot turbo in red engine cover, lovely.

View from driver seat, all nicely in place, love the white stripe within the dashboard.

Capable in top speed of 250km/h, some can go higher I heard.

Usable rear seat with safety belts, nice =)

Stock 4-pot Brembo with slotted disc, not enough stopping power, it's never enough.

A little mod that I did upon ownership, something essential for a turbo car =)

Being 20VT+ edition, red stiches is everywhere ...

More red stiches ...


Anonymous said...

Beatifull car!

I have 20VT+ as well, regards from Poland

amankim said...

bro, i'm drooling here.. wish i can join ia tt in central with u .. hehe,..

Anonymous said...

nice new ride dude!

gtfan said...

Great post there dude. Now you know why i still have this beauty even after 12 years. It's like your first love which you will never forget and it still give you a smile each time you meet.

Love your article and pictures.

Kelv27 said...

Nice write-up and Pics Kvin!
Glad you're enjoying coupe ownership!

All the best.

KVINLIM said...

thanks mate, because of u guys i dare to get this ride, great help. enjoying every moments with her =)

Anonymous said... u still have the original rims??


zacklim said...

Where do u service yr car?

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