Fiat Coupe Buying Guide: Rolling Chassis


The Coupe's suspension is simple in design, with McPherson front struts, rear trailing arms and anti-roll bars at both ends. Lower front wishbone bushes are a weak spot, along with the anti-roll bar drop bushes, but both are cheap and easy to replace. Track rod ends also get a workout from the nose-heavy Coupe, so plan on replacing them every five years. Later Turbo models received a front strut brace to help with handling. Rear bump stops also fail and become loose, so beware of any clonks as the car goes over bumps.

Simple underpinnings, done well
Simple underpinnings, done well
Rear wheel bearings should be an obvious problem if they are worn by a grumbling sound. Again, they are a simple fix that won't cost a lot to sort thanks the Coupe sharing much of its running gear with the Fiat Tipo and Alfa Romeo 155.

The brakes are OK on the Coupe, but the rear discs can rust and the calipers seize. Another popular MoT fail is an inefficient handbrake, which is often down to a seized load proportioning valve. The 20v Turbo comes with Brembo four-piston front calipers as standard, which offer more feel and stopping power than the so-so version on non-turbo models. Whichever brakes are fitted to the car, feel for any pulsing or shuddering when you press the pedal that might point to warped discs. Replacement front rotors and pads come in at around £175 for a set of quality parts.

Nose-heavy Coupe is sensitive to tyre choice
Nose-heavy Coupe is sensitive to tyre choice
There's nothing to worry about with the steering on this car. It shares the same rack and pinion set-up as the Alfa Romeo GTV, so parts are easy to come by and there are only 2.2 turns from lock to lock. However, like the Alfa, the turning circle is not the best.

The Fiat Coupe responds well to being fitted with good quality tyres, especially as 65 per cent of its weight is over the nose. Owners reckon Toyo Proxes and Goodyear Eagle GSD3 rubber are good alternatives to the original equipment Pirelli P Zeros. They also advise sticking with the original size of wheels is the best bet to preserve the ride and handling of the car.


PHer's view:
"Handling was pretty decent, if nose heavy. The engine weight over the nose helped keep traction when I found myself on a snow-covered road once. I think the five-cylinder was not particularly heavy but it is mounted quite far forward."
Guy Mathew


Introduction
Powertrain
Rolling Chassis
Body
Interior
At a glance