Road Race Motorsports’ Fiat 500 was created to conquer the Lotus Exige on the track

The Fiat 500 is many things, but most of them involve the word “cute”. Even with numerous Abarth performance versions available, it’s hard to look at this retro fashion item and not giggle a bit.

However, this modified Cinquecento demands to be taken seriously. Built by Road Race Motorsports, the Fiat 500 M1 Turbo Tallini Competizione has as many go-fast mods as it does words in its name.

To give the 500 a new attitude, Road Race gave it a carbon-fiber wide-body kit with beefy bolt-on fender flares that cuts 120 pounds from the curb weight. Those widened fenders are filled by unique 16-inch alloy wheels.

Other exterior changes include a new front air dam, side skirts, serious-looking hood vents and brake ducts, and a big rear spoiler.

The showy exterior bits are matched by a host of mechanical modifications. Road Race boosted output of the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine to 250 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque, enough to cut a second off the stock car’s roughly 7.0-second 0 to 60 mph time.

To get that power to the pavement, Road Race also added a limited-slip differential and carbon-kevlar clutch. The suspension was upgraded with Bilstein shocks, stiffer bushings, and a new sway bar.

Finally, the interior gets racing bucket seats, five-point harnesses, and a roll cage.

Those items will be necessary, because Road Race claims its creation will be able keep up with “trackday specials like the Lotus Exige” on most tracks. That would be an interesting race to watch.

Road Race will only build 50 examples of this racy Fiat, all of which will be built to order. Because of the number of options available, the price could range from $15,000 to $100,000 over that of a stock 500.

You’d have to be a big Fiat fan to lavish that amount of money on one of these tiny hatchbacks, and not just buy a Corvette or a 911.