Unless you have been living away from civilization for many years, you will know that the Fiat 500 is a familiar sight on our roads. It’s a small supermini that first went on sale back in 2007, and the “classic” shape was around since the late 1950s!
It’s no secret that the Fiat 500 is a car aimed at those where style and fashion are at the forefront of their car buying decisions. It’s one of those cars that’s set to stay on-trend for many years to come. Fiat released a plethora of trim levels and special editions to cater for particular niches.
Aside from the Abarth models, have you noticed that most 500s don’t offer any performance upgrades? The good news is that you can transform any Fiat 500 into a mini muscle car, thanks to the following aftermarket modifications:
FMIC (Front-Mounted Turbo Intercooler)
If you are the proud owner of a Fiat 500 with a TwinAir or Fire Turbo gas engine, your car will have a turbocharger as standard. One of the ways to improve your motor’s performance and gas mileage is to fit a larger intercooler.
The job of the intercooler is to act as a heat exchanger. It’s operation is similar to the radiator for the coolant system. Except that its job is to cool the air that enters your intake system. Cold air is denser than hot air. In layman’s terms, the colder air your motor has, the better its performance and gas mileage.
As standard, the turbocharged Fiat 500 engines have a small intercooler. You can upgrade it to a larger one fitted behind or underneath your front bumper (hence the term “FMIC”). Steve from the Pentagon Group owns a turbocharged Fiat 500 and says his FMIC was a good investment for his car!
Another way to increase power and lower CO2 emissions is to have your Fiat’s ECU remapped. Since the 1990s, all cars have electronic control units as standard. They are the “brains” of your car.
An ECU with a different map can improve throttle response and, in some cases, make the engine run cooler. We all know how beneficial a colder engine can be! When you fit other aftermarket engine parts, a remapped ECU will help you to take advantage of them.
Suspension Lowering Kit
Most Fiat 500s have a low center of gravity as standard. But if you want to improve your car’s handling, and want to make it look “meaner,” a suspension lowering kit is the way forward.
Some folks just fit lowered springs and matched shock absorbers. Others prefer to install adjustable suspension. The latter is useful if you show off your car at car shows and events. And for making sure you don’t kill the underside of your car on rough terrain!
Stainless Steel Exhaust System
Of particular importance to turbo 500s is an exhaust system upgrade. The stock system is OK for standard models.
But if you’ve fitted other aftermarket engine mods, you need to fit a stainless steel exhaust system.