Fiat Barchetta

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Fiat Barchetta
Fiat Barchetta – Frontansicht, 3. Juni 2011, Wülfrath.jpg
AssemblyChivasso, Italy (Maggiora)[1]
Mirafiori plant, Turin, Italy
DesignerAndreas Zapatinas and Alessandro Cavazza (1992)[2]
Tom Tjaarda (facelift)[3]
Body and chassis
ClassSports car (S)
Body styleRoadster
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive
RelatedFiat Punto (176)
Engine1.8 L Fiat Family B I4 (petrol)
Transmission5-speed manual[1]
Wheelbase2,443 mm (96.2 in)[4]
Length3,916 mm (154.2 in)
Width1,640 mm (64.6 in)
Height1,265 mm (49.8 in)
Kerb weight1,056 kg (2,328 lb)
PredecessorFiat 124 Sport Spider
Fiat X1/9
SuccessorFiat 124 Spider (2016)

The Fiat Barchetta (Italian pronunciation: [ˈfiat barˈketta]) (Type 183) is a roadster produced by the Italian manufacturer Fiat from 1995 to 2005. "Barchetta" in Italian means "little boat", and also denotes a type of open-top sports car body style.


Fiat Barchetta rear view (with third Brake-Light on the boot-lid)
Fiat Barchetta rear view (without third Brake-Light on boot-lid)

The Barchetta was developed between 1990 and 1994, under the project name Tipo B Spider 176. It was designed by Andreas Zapatinas and Alessandro Cavazza, under the supervision of Peter Barrett Davis and other car designers at the Centro Stile Fiat, and prototyping was carried out by Stola.

Production began in February 1995 and lasted until June 2005, with a brief pause, due to the bankruptcy of coachbuilder Maggiora.[1] The Barchetta was based on the chassis of the Mark 1 Fiat Punto. The Barchetta has 1,747 cc DOHC petrol engine fitted with variable camshaft timing, used for the first time in a Fiat production car, after being patented in 1970.

The engine has 131 PS (96 kW; 129 hp) and 164 N⋅m (121 lb⋅ft) of torque. The Barchetta weighs 1056 kg (2328 lb) without air conditioning and can accelerate to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.9 seconds and has a top speed of 200 km/h (124 mph).

It came in various trim levels which offered different features, for example, diamond cross stitch, patterned red leather instead of the standard black leather or fabric seats, alloy wheels instead of steel wheels, or fog-lights as an option. Arguably one of the biggest external cosmetic changes was made by the addition of the third brake light, first introduced by Fiat on the Lido and Riviera in 2000, and on sub models thereafter.

The Barchetta was revised in August 2003 ahead of its relaunch the following year, with some alterations inside and out. The most notable changes were the revised front spoiler and rear bumper. Production of the car eventually stopped in June 2005.

Interiors of a 1995 Fiat barchetta (95-96 cars are recognisable for the engraved Fiat logo on the steering wheel)


Car bodies were welded at ILCAS in Sparone Canavese, and final assembly was done in Chivasso by the coachbuilder Maggiora. After Maggiora's bankruptcy in May 2002, Fiat relocated production of the Barchetta to its Mirafiori plant and resumed production two years later. Around 57,700 cars were built up to 2005.

Production of the Barchetta was limited to LHD cars only, even though the car was marketed and sold in two RHD markets, the United Kingdom and Japan.[5]

Bertone concept car[edit]

Fiat Barchetta by Bertone, 2007

The Italian styling house of Bertone created a one off roadster show car for Fiat called the Barchetta in March 2007, at the Geneva Motor Show.[6][7]

Notable examples[edit]

A Barchetta featured in the Top Gear: Middle East Special television episode, which aired in December 2010.

In the episode, the three presenters (Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May) attempted to follow the path of the Three Wise Men to Bethlehem. Hammond drove the Fiat Barchetta (specifically a Riviera Special Edition featuring a black paint job and red quilted leather), compared to Clarkson's Mazda MX-5 and May's BMW Z3.

At the end of the episode, the Barchetta was declared the most desirable, and most reliable of the three cars.


  1. ^ a b c "Fiat Barchetta". Retrieved 24 June 2009.
  2. ^ "Fiat Barchetta (Fantastic Barchetta book)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 November 2015. Fiat Barchetta (Fantastic Barchetta book).
  3. ^ "Cars by Tom Tjaarda". Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  4. ^ "1995 Fiat Barchetta". Retrieved 28 October 2007.
  5. ^ "Fiat BARCHETTA (1995 TO DATE)". Archived from the original on 5 November 2005. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
  6. ^ "2007 Bertone Barchetta". Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  7. ^ "2007 Fiat Barchetta by Bertone". Retrieved 13 October 2012.

External links[edit]