When we last visited with Rob Tallini at Road Race Motorsports, he (or more accurately, his aggressively modified Fiat Abarth) was contesting the Silver State Classic at some super-illegal speed. Regrettably – at least for the Road Race developmental budget – that wasn’t enough; Rob and his team have recently unveiled the M1 Fiat Turbo. And given the menu of mods necessary to turn a cooking 500 into the M1 (we’re told ‘M’ is for ‘Machina’…or maybe ‘Money’), the whole deal is – we think – worth a few minutes of consideration.
Employing what Road Race describes as an impressively wide stance, the M1 Fiat in repose is as close to a standard 500 Abarth as your Dyson is to J. Edgar Hoover. Benefiting – we’ll assume – from Road Race’s Carbon Wide body kit, the wider fenders attempt to enclose (and only partially succeed) 16 X 9-inch wheels shod with Toyo Proxes and their 225/40 profile.
Under the hood, Fiat’s donor powerplant is completely revamped, with a substantial increase in boost producing an oh-so-symmetrical 250 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. Delivering the elevated power to the ground is a limited-slip diff and carbon-Kevlar clutch, along with a completely new suspension. Bilstein shocks, stiffer bushings and upgraded swaybars go a considerable distance in unwadding the panties when, given the Natural Law of Physics relative to panties, they will be wadded.
Of course, if you’re going faster a nod should be given to aero enhancements. To the barn door that is the stock 500 Road Race adds rear spoilers, front air dams, side skirts, hood vents and brake cooling ducts. Inside, the interior works to keep up with race buckets, 5-point harnesses, custom trim, shifter, pedals and special badging. Total curb weight drops by more than 120 pounds, allowing the girlfriend to stay in the car and not, happily, watch from the curb. Nothing, it would seem, is left to chance on the Tallini Competizione M1.
Built and numbered in a limited edition of just fifty examples, Tallini’s effort would seem to do a credible job of duplicating the work done by numerous tuning specialists in the ‘50s and ‘60s; Rob’s specials simply go faster. Carlo and Carroll may be gone, but Road Race Motorsports is doing its best to keep the tuning fires burning. And with the M1, the Fiat flame has rarely burned brighter. For more info, go to www.RoadRaceMotorsports.com.