Fiat Ritmo 130TC Abarth 1987 (with 31,500 miles)
It’s fair to say that the hot hatch revolution had gone through an impressive evolution since its inception during the 1970s. The formula was simple: take a small three door Hatchback, add a suitably souped-up engine and apply some eye-catching body-styling kit.
As the hot-hatch battle began to heat up, Fiat came up with an interesting and unique solution for adding the power required to their hot-hatch. Their version was unique to every other manufacturer out there, who all seemed to be moving to fuel injection or forced induction as their prefered way forward.
In 1984 Fiat released the final production model of the Fiat Ritmo / (Strada) as the 130 TC Abarth. Both cars were identical, just badged differently for different markets, both were based on the Ritmo 2 door body. Fiat used the expertise of their tuning company Abarth, to add some exciting modifications for a sporty feel.
Abarth changed the suspension and popped in a 2.0lt twin-cam engine, a much larger unit than everyone one else were using in their hot-hatches. Instead of using fuel-injection, Abarth mated it to a pair of juicy Weber carburetors, taken from the Strada’s stablemate, the Fiat 131 Mirifori Sport.
This engine combination gave this car lots of oomph with lots of low down torque for rapid acceleration.
The handling was really firm, too firm for everyday driving and it made the car un-drivable over long distances. The raw powerful twin-cam mated to a close ratio ZF gearbox made the 130TC a handful to drive, with the performance, 0-60mph in 8.2 seconds, enough to outpace many of its contemporary rivals such as the Vw Golf GTi, Ford Escort XR3i, and just enough to trouble the Opel Kadett GTE.
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