First off, let me say that the Strada is not the car’s original name. As it often happens in this industry, it was renamed when exported to the UK and United States. Known as the Ritmo in Italy, and in production since 1982, it was designed to be as light and as cheap as possible, and was almost entirely built by robots, something quite rare at the time. One of the coolest thing about this little car is, ironically, how boring it looked. The Fiat Strada Abarth 130 TC was specially tuned by Abarth, Fiat’s racing division, but they had to work with what they had, and the performance version of the Strada was visually almost indistinguishable from the more … pedestrian version, which is also cool. It was light and blisteringly fast. It also came with standard Recaro seats, but only in the UK.
The Strada Aboarth 130 TC was fitted with a 2-liter, double-overhead camshaft four-cylinder engine that produced 128 horsepower. It used a pair of Weber or Solex carburattors, which was becoming rare at the time. Paired with a close-ratio ZF manual transmission, it was incredibly fast, with a top speed of 121 miles per hour and a 0-60 time of 7.8 seconds.
Of course, nothing’s perfect, and despite its impressive straight-line speed and acceleration, the Strada Abarth 130 TC was quite a handful in terms of handling. No amount of tuning could disguise the fact that this Fiat was a cheap little car, never meant to be raced. But it looked good and provided plenty of thrills!