RE: Fiat Coupe 20v Turbo Plus(es) | Spotted

RE: Fiat Coupe 20v Turbo Plus(es) | Spotted

Tuesday 4th June

Fiat Coupe 20v Turbo Plus(es) | Spotted

It's a brace of Italian-built Coupes today - see if you can spot the difference...



How much does extra mileage affect a car's desirability? Sure, an additional five or ten thousand miles may not be a deal breaker when weighing up an otherwise spot-on find, but how much extra would you pay for a vehicle with, say, 135,000 fewer miles on its clock? That's the question posed by today's Spotted, which features not one but two examples of Fiat's 20V Turbo Plus Coupe.

The comparison is aided by just how similar both cars are. Both are from 2001, both finished in Electric Blue metallic paint, same wheels, same interiors, same six-speed manual transmissions, same 2.0-litre turbocharged in-line fives putting out the same 220hp and 229lb ft of torque. But that's where the similarities end because, while one of these cars is a recent Japanese import, a minter showing just 8,298 miles travelled, the other has seen over 143,000 miles since rolling off the production line.


To give the leggier of our two candidates its due, the difference seems far less pronounced than you might think. Sure, the garage queen has clearer headlights, taughter leather on its seats and a boot less accustomed to clutter, but aside from that it's certainly not the bedraggled rust bucket you might expect. Indeed, it's the higher mileage car which looks tidier under the bonnet; a side effect of more recent servicing, or a sign that perhaps a little more use can be a good thing?

Japanese cars certainly enjoy cushier lives, let alone ones with such low mileage - but even if the Brit has been used year-round it shouldn't have been much more susceptible to rust thanks to the Coupe's galvanised body. With the cam belt, water pump, aux belts and tensioner all changed at 105,000 miles, a new clutch fitted 20,000 miles ago and a long list of other maintenance tasks having recently been carried out - including new disks and pads, a new battery and new tyres - it seems that no expense has been spared in ensuring the well-travelled machine has been kept in good running order.


And why wouldn't you want to take good care of it? The PH Hero delivers strong in-gear acceleration, with exhilarating levels of boost when that turbo (eventually) kicks in. As a front driver, torque steer can make the Coupe somewhat anti-social - especially on wet roads - but, with responsive steering, minimal body roll and strong brakes, its agility in the corners and power on the straights make it a broadly enjoyable experience.

That's not to say you couldn't take the low-miler for a spirited drive, of course, but as a near-concours condition car, you're certain to want to be a little more cautious about its use. And that's before you know how much you'll have paid to get into it. Because while the 143,000-mile car is listed at a fiver under Β£8k, the pristine import will set you back a full Β£19,940, or around Β£4,000 more than double the price. Quite a lot of money however you cut it.


So, given Β£20,000 and told it must go on one of these two, which would you choose? The supposed peace of mind, satisfaction and investment value of a pristine low-mileage import, or Β£12,000 in spare change courtesy of what still looks to be a pretty sound car? It seems that one PHer has already made his mind up, with the ad claiming a deposit to have already been taken on the more expensive of our two candidates. Obviously, if it's the car you really want, you take the best example and hang the cost. But for anyone else, Β£12k seems like a lot of compensation for living with the well used candidate...


SPECIFICATION - FIAT COUPE 20V TURBO
Engine:
1,998cc turbocharged inline-five
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 220@ 5,750rpm
Torque (lb ft): 229@ 2,500rpm
0-60mph: 6.3sec
Top speed: 155mph
Price new: Β£24,224
Price now: Β£7,995/Β£19,940

See the full ad here

See the other full ad here

And if all this talk of Fiats has whetted your appetite for a Coupe, don't forget to check out our PH Buying Guide to get up to speed on everything you should be looking out for when buying.

Author
Discussion

up_shift

Original Poster:

180 posts

55 months

Tuesday 4th June
quotequote all
I have always had such a big soft spot for these but never had the pleasure other than an exes brother who had one. Between this and the barchetta, Fiat made some somewhat interesting cars

I always wondered how capable they really were with that era of turbo hot hatch being synonymous with torque steer

Mine would be in yellow please biggrin

Edited by up_shift on Tuesday 4th June 04:41

Nerdherder

1,646 posts

45 months

Tuesday 4th June
quotequote all
I chose an Alfa GTV over the Fiat, Fiat is a nice drive though.

a11y_m

1,759 posts

170 months

Tuesday 4th June
quotequote all
Still a fantastic looking car.

I had a poster of one (in yellow) on my bedroom wall when I was a kid smile

Augustus Windsock

1,849 posts

103 months

Tuesday 4th June
quotequote all
A friend of mine has had, over the years, 6 of these including 2 ‘LE’ versions and a ‘Plus’
Never understood his love for these although rising shotgun with him in one soon cast the scales from my eyes
Wind back the clock to then, around 4-5 years ago, and they were available for half these figures which might be a deciding factor in his purchases.
Indeed, most of his were bought for less than...£1k
Personally I’ve never found these attractive in the slightest, and the 4-spoke wheels just seem aesthetically wrong (and for some unknown reason my monkey brain thinks that they look as though they will never bear the weight of the car).

Galsia

1,963 posts

138 months

Tuesday 4th June
quotequote all
I just can't get on with the looks. Wasn't it designed by Chris Bangle?

ruprechtmonkeyboy

578 posts

35 months

Tuesday 4th June
quotequote all
Haven't aged well. Awkward looking cars. Especially when compared to the Alfa GTV.

up_shift

Original Poster:

180 posts

55 months

Tuesday 4th June
quotequote all
Nerdherder said:
I chose an Alfa GTV over the Fiat, Fiat is a nice drive though.
If it was between the two? The Alfa Would take my money too.. especially in 3.5 guise with quad tail pipes...

SpunkyM

246 posts

192 months

Tuesday 4th June
quotequote all
Galsia said:
I just can't get on with the looks. Wasn't it designed by Chris Bangle?
Pininfarina actually. I had a 20VT in steel grey for 5 years and loved every second of it. Was perfectly reliable too - was brought to life by a Bailey vent to atmos dump valve and a passive bleed valve to maintain 1.2bar of boost in the lower gears. A poor mans Ferrari that always got admiring glances from everyone that recognised as well as those that didn't.

Greg the Fish

891 posts

14 months

Tuesday 4th June
quotequote all
up_shift said:
If it was between the two? The Alfa Would take my money too.. especially in 3.5 guise with quad tail pipes...
3.2

GregorFuk

515 posts

148 months

Tuesday 4th June
quotequote all
SpunkyM said:
Galsia said:
I just can't get on with the looks. Wasn't it designed by Chris Bangle?
Pininfarina actually. I had a 20VT in steel grey for 5 years and loved every second of it. Was perfectly reliable too - was brought to life by a Bailey vent to atmos dump valve and a passive bleed valve to maintain 1.2bar of boost in the lower gears. A poor mans Ferrari that always got admiring glances from everyone that recognised as well as those that didn't.
I think you are both right. I'm positive both Bangle and Pininfarina were involved in the design. I think one did the interior and one did the exterior, I can't be 100% sure which did which though I think the exterior was Bangle's.

I owned a 20V Turbo for a few years. I loved it's pace but it was the most unreliable car I've ever owned (And I've owned Lotus'). To date it's still the only car I've suffered complete, foot straight to the floor, brake failure. Scary stuff!

Robmarriott

1,882 posts

106 months

Tuesday 4th June
quotequote all
Wrong side repeaters on the top on, what do I win?

Tayto.king

3 posts

136 months

Tuesday 4th June
quotequote all
I've been lucky enough to own 3 w reg 20v coupes, 2 turbo'd six speed and a n/a 20v.
Build quality is way above Fiat standards and 5 pot engine sounds amazing.
Buy one before prices jump again!

Q Car

93 posts

138 months

Tuesday 4th June
quotequote all
Pininfarina did the inside bit and Bangle did the outside bit. Can't imagine how on earth the two parties managed to get on at design team meetings, with Bangle on one side of the table and Pinin's finest on the other?...

Q Car

93 posts

138 months

Tuesday 4th June
quotequote all
Oh, and I'd go for the cheap one. Can imagine everything on the expensive one will be bordering on seized up if it's only been doing a couple of hundred miles a year. Although, as others have said, when a decent Busso engined Alfa GT is cheaper than both, I would be looking at one of those.

viggyp

1,735 posts

83 months

Tuesday 4th June
quotequote all
Designed by Bangle, hand built (apparently) by Pininfarina. The one who built my (previous) one definitely didn't do as good a job as the person who built my mates one.

These look so much better in the metal. My mate now has three, one being my old one so one is a keeper and the others two having work done and then he'll get rid of them. They do like to be modded and mine had 270bhp which admittedly felt like it had more. Quite a few 2.4 conversions running anything between 450-650 bhp.

OnTheEdge

94 posts

10 months

Tuesday 4th June
quotequote all
up_shift said:
Nerdherder said:
I chose an Alfa GTV over the Fiat, Fiat is a nice drive though.
If it was between the two? The Alfa Would take my money too.. especially in 3.5 guise with quad tail pipes...
The Fiat is lighter, quicker, better on fuel and doesn't use chocolate bushes in the rear suspension. The Alfa does have the looks though.

trevkx125

9 posts

180 months

Tuesday 4th June
quotequote all
Brilliant cars, I had the slightly earlier 16 Valve Turbo which had the Lancia Delta Integrale engine, went well with a big front mount intercooler and a ton of boost through it! Perfectly reliable as well, but to be fair it wasn't that old at the time.

AlastairW10

1 posts

6 months

Tuesday 4th June
quotequote all
I had 20v turbo back in the late 2000’s and sold it as I moved abroad. It was the fondest memories of a car I ever had.
Yes, it had turbo lag, but that only added to the experience when it came on boost. It had a lovely torquey engine, and was able to put the power down surprisingly well.......in the dry at least.
For me, it had great reliability, and surprisingly good fuel economy on a run, easy mid 30’s.
I only used it at the weekend as a second car and it just made feel good every time I took it out, kind of like a mini exotic.
I sold it for only £2 600. It’s probably worth more than 4 times that now considering the original condition that it was in.
Interestingly, I’m now living in Malaysia now and there is a real market over here for the Fiat Coupe.......very tempting!
https://www.mudah.my/Very+Rare+Fiat+Coupe+2+0+Turb...

Itsallicanafford

2,028 posts

107 months

Tuesday 4th June
quotequote all
The low miler in half the price of an escort RS turbo and twice as good.

AFourCab

48 posts

7 months

Tuesday 4th June
quotequote all
I always felt the regular Turbo looked nicer, without the body colour lower valances. Now someone has mentioned the GTV, I've imagined a yellow Coupe with the 3.2 Busso in it...