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Published on Aug 13, 2015
The Fiat Barchetta (Italian pronunciation: [ˈfiat barˈketta]) (Type 183) is a roadster produced by the Italian manufacturer Fiat from 1995 to 2005 (though production was paused between May 2002 and 2004). "Barchetta" in Italian means 'little boat'.
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 Fiat Centro Stile, 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. 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 132 PS (97 kW; 130 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 2003, for 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.