Cinq - Seicento
sporting fiats club Thursday, June 13, 2024

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Buying Guide


Cinq Recalls


Types Of Ci/ento

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Small and perfectly formed…..
Cinq publicity shot - from Fiat SpA Ciinq Sporting - Italy

Introducing the Cinq
Hey just what do you expect to get out of a budget city car anyhow? Well Fiat have a tradition of getting an awful lot out.

The Cinq is amazing! Started life with a 45bhp version of the push rod Panda engine.
In '95 it got the larger FIRE engine option of 1108cc shared with the Punto 55. Then the icing on the cake arrived with the 54bhp Sporting. It almost makes traffic jams fun.

Yes for the purist it has to be the Cinq Sporting. It has the sparkle, and that cheeky nippy small car attitude. 'Just Bite Me' would be a good slogan for the attitude thing I think. Of course you'd have to catch it first!

But the story doesn't end there. Cinq has a more refined big sister. Looks like she does her shopping in the West End. From '98 we had more style and softer cushions, different decor. She doesn't do nippy quite so hard. Her name is Seicento.

Why do I always picture her as half Spanish rather than all Italian? Ever dated sisters? You know they're the same but different all at once. Try a drive in both - you'll see what I'm getting at. Don't spend too long out there, it might just change your life!

Cinquecento/Seicento History
Fiat put a lot of effort into designing their new 500 (Cinquecento is five hundred in Italian). The project started in the mid 80’s as one of Fiats famous ‘X’ code projects - X1/75 and then X1/79.
8 styling exercises were commissioned by Fiat - The Bertone off road spider, Boneschi a miniature cab, IDEA Institute 3 seater Grigua (lizard), Zogato a bike carrying city car, ITCA a mini cabrio, Coggliola a mini coupe. Ital design a people carrier.
It was introduced in Italy late in 1991, and launched in the UK at the design exhibition in London in 1993. Cinqs were difficult to find in the first few years and even held a price premium. By May 1995 there were 18,000 on Brit roads. Prices started at £5254 then.
In Italy it was powered by either a 704cc sohv two cylinder (31bhp) mounted horizontally, or a 903cc sohv four cylinder (41bhp) engine. Both versions were available with catalysts, the 704cc unit using an electronically controlled carburettor, the 903cc unit using fuel injection. But we've never seen these engines in the UK - they were destined for the eatern side of Europe in the main - where the cars were built.

In 1993 the 903cc unit was reduced in capacity to 899cc with 39bhp. The 899cc engine is a more sophisticated version of the 903cc, and used in several other models. Later versions had distributor-less ignition, to cut down on maintenance.
Cinqs came in only one body style, a three door hatch back. It was built at Tychy in Poland. Independent suspension all round, disc brakes at the front and unassisted rack and pinion steering were common to all models. If you avoid pedal-to-the-metal antics it has excellent fuel consumption (up to 60mpg), aided by a drag coefficient of 0.33... excellent for such a short car, and if combined with the very small frontal area you get a good hint why these cars can reach 100mph.
Central locking, electric front windows, glass sunroof, and even air conditioning were standard on some models, and optional on others. Cinqs were galvanised on all external panels to avoid corrosion problems. Crumple zones and side impact bars were included.
Later, in 1994, came the 'Sporting' with the 1108cc (54bhp) sohc FIRE engine and suspension modifications (lowered by 20mm plus anti-roll bar and stiffer shockers). Externally, it came in three colours – red black or yellow, with colour coded bumpers and rear view mirrors. Inside there was a rev-counter, drilled accelerator pedal, leather steering-wheel and new 'sporting' seats.
In 1995 the second series was launched. External changes were minor, mainly revised trim, options and colour coded plastic on some models. Production finished in 1998, when the Seicento was introduced.
A rally version, the Cinquecento Trofeo, was built for a single-make series, whilst later developments resulted in Group A and Kit versions. An electric version, the Elettra, powered by batteries was made in small numbers from 1992. This was a two-seater as the batteries occupy all the space behind the front seats. The motor was a 13hp DC series wound unit, and the total weight of the car went up to 1110kg. The Soleil was also built, featuring a full length canvas sunroof – a throw back to the days of the original Fiat 500 and 600.

Seicento at Home  - Picture Courtesy of Fiat Group Publicity

The Seicento follows Fiat’s recent strategy of updating models every six years. The main difference to the Cinq is its body styling. It is also heavier with additional safety features available. The Seicento has front seatbelt pretensioners, energy absorbing steering wheel, collapsing steering column as well as airbag and ABS options.
It was available with either the 899cc ohv engine (in the S,SX and Citymatic versions) with 39bhp. The Sporting has a 1108cc sohc FIRE engine giving 54bhp. Electric power assistance for the steering was an option. Fiat were much more alive to the modification potential this time and the Sporting had a full range of 'Abarth' badged body styling accessories.
The Citymatic featured an automatic clutch coupled with a conventional 5 speed manual transmission (has two pedals and a gear stick!) while the Elettra version used an AC three phase motor powered by lead acid batteries.
The Seicento Sporting features modified suspension (again with a front anti-roll bar) and modified body trim. Internal trim changes included a rev counter. It was given a facelift in 2000 with a new front bumper and the adoption of the new round Fiat badge. At the same time the single point injection systems on the 900 and 1100 engines were replaced with multi-point injection.
To celebrate Schumacher winning the 2000 Formula 1 World Championship, Fiat also produced a Michael Shumacher Limited Edition Seicento.
Early in 2004, on the arrival of the New Panda, the Seicento range was cut back. Only the 1100cc engine with basic trim levels remained, other versions – including the Sporting were withdrawn.

Performance Figures
Bore x Stroke





Cinq engines
(80x70mm) 2-cyl
(65x68mm) 4-cyl
(65x67.7mm) ~
17.7 secs*
(70x72mm) ~
13.8 secs
(65x67.7mm) ~
17.2 secs*
(70x72mm) ~
13.4 secs
      (*) = 0-62 or 0--100kph time

Cinq Impressions
Driving controls are light and responsive. They're small but not claustrophobic inside. There’s plenty of visibility – the large glass area makes the interior feel a lot more spacious than it really is. It keeps you in touch with the outside world and the car’s corners too.
That’s why one should be issued to every first time driver. Off with the ‘L’ plates on with the Cinq. Of course Fiat are famous for making driver’s cars. Forget the BMW ultimate driving thing. The best Fiats have always been made for the driver first (rather than the ego) – it’s genetic, in-bred, a fact of Fiat life so obvious that long term owners tend to never mention it. You must be able to FEEL the road and what the car is doing about it. You’ll become aware of this through all your contact points with the car. Good Fiats talk back to you the driver… (and they should fit you like a glove - if they don’t you should do something about the seats until they do)… And make no mistake this is a very good Fiat.
Forget all else you’ve heard about the first best mods for the Cinq, either under the bonnet or around the car. I happen to be about the right sizes to be Italian – Italian off-the-peg suits actually fit me. And so do their cars. If you don’t fit well then change the seats until you do.
The gear lever comes to hand and the 5 speed box ratios are well chosen. It’s all efficient and highly maneuverable on the road. The Cinq is light and very responsive through corners, confidence inspiringly so. Inside the boot is small if the split folding back seat is up. You’ll find many uses for the deep door pockets as well. You’ll also find the insurance group a pleasant surprise too.

Sporting Shootout
How do the UK spec Cinq and Seicento Sportings make out against each other?











1108cc sohc
1108cc sohc
5 speed manual
5 speed manual





240mm disc

185mm drum

dual hydraulic & servo


240mm disc

185mm drum

dual hydraulic & servo

Bosch ABS

3.9 turns
rack & pinion
3.9 turns
rack & pinion
Rear Axle
Cross beam with semi trailing arms
Cross beam with semi trailing arms





Macpherson strut
Telescopic shocker & Coil Spring -


Macpherson strut
Telescopic shocker & Coil Spring -


13 or 14inch
Kerb Weight
Max Power
Max Torque
Top Speed
0-60 time
13.7 secs
13.4 secs

Cinq Trofeo Rally  97 Monte - Image courtesy of Fiat Publicity

Sei Trofeo Rally - Italian Alps 99 - Image courtesy of Fiat Publicity

Buying Guide

Town cars that take good mileage. There should be no reason why these cars can't reach 120,000 miles without too much fuss. But remember the ancillaries - starter, alternator, shockers and springs, wiper motors and other electric motors will be giving up around 80,000 to 90,000. Budget for replacements

Town or City life can mean a lot of knocks and scrapes for these cars. Check that there are no mismatching panels, large areas of discolouration or signs of fresh paint. Although all the main body panels were galvanised this may not apply to aftermarket replacements – best revealed by looking behind interior trim on suspect panels. Welding upsets the galvanic layer too.
Compare paint colour and finish on the inside the engine bay with the external body colour.
Inspect the small diameter wheel rims (inner and outer) for signs of kerbing and being pot-holed.
Check Cinq petrol tank – and documentation for replacement. It was prone to splitting along front seam and was the subject of a more recent recall notice.
Check for uneven tyre wear and driving straight (back wheels in line behind front when on the move) – bent chassis/ subframe shows quite easily.
Check for tracking in a straight line on a flat road on the test drive. Suspect damage if steering input is needed.

Run the engine up to temperature, check the exhaust tail pipe for even pressured ‘blow’, at tickover. While also listening for cam follower noise on the head, not too quiet (seized?) or too noisy.
Check condition of the breather, oil filler cap and visible cam - look for mayonnaise, or baked on heavy brown deposits (suspect too long between oil changes) or off-white deposits (suspect heavy short journey use).
Check the gear change for clean engagement and smooth selection.
Check clutch operation, noise from friction plate springs and any grabbing or slippage. Sprint starts can 'do for' the clutch springs on the friction plate and pressure plate.

Check the clutch cable for smooth operation and no signs of fatigue leads to heavy feeling on the pedal and bills if possible to see how often its has been replaced.
On tickover listen for excessive gearbox noise, (compare three cars at least).

Check the main electrical functions - wipers, windows, lights, etc... try putting the main beam and wipers on at the same time.

Check the headlights for cracks.
Check the brake master cylinders - (the pedal shouldn't go to the floor if pressed hard for a long time)
Check that the car tracks and brakes in a straight line under braking.
Check steering and cv/ ball joints with several lock to lock turns, listening for any noises.
When moving listen for ticking speedo cables.
Lambda sensor failure is quite common on injection models. Check it.
A cambelt change is required at 63,000 miles Do it at 50,000 miles and if in any doubt do it when you first get the car. Don't skimp on oil and cam belts!
Check handbrake operation, inspect for seized rear calipers. Cinq has always been 'blessed' with a dodgy handbrake - it needs regular cleaning and Coppa slipping at the calipers, and greasing on the cable/ pullies. A good test to see if enough effort has been put into maintenance.

Check alloys for signs that they have been curbed and also check tyres for excessive wear.

Other Notes
Listen for noisy wiper motor - some do this from new.

Check the car keys - Make sure the car comes with the original RED key (on P or later plates) as the Fiat dealer needs this (for its special master code) when servicing the car.

The every day ignition key is BLUE in colour (usually 2 with car). Replacements of either are pricey. One key should open everything....
All Cinq's have a locking filler cap beneath the flap on the drivers side. Check the Ignition key opens it.

FAQs - Questions from the SFC Forum

Q What options do I have for getting new keys?


Q I have a 1998 cinq sporting .. it has done 41,000 should I be getting the cambelt changed this service, or wait for 50k ... thanks as always ... JV

A. suppose I should have just fired you the facts off the Cinq/ Sei model page
JV........ I've looked around the internet and I see why you are asking.....

Cambelt service change Fiat:
Cinq...........................72,000 mls
Cinq Sporting .............63,000 mls
using the 70% rule that's why people get confused
Cinq...........................50,000 mls
Cinq Sporting..............45,000 mls

if you don't rev it hard then by the guide above you can happily move these figures by 5000 miles with little added risk, but after that the odds increase.
The main reasons for increasing risk are over revving, too tight a tensioner and a partially seizing tensioner, with contamination and improper storage of the belt next (keep out of sunlight, don't hang up on nail by teeth).....

Guide prices (ex VAT):
Cambelt £15 - £18
Alternator Belt £5 - £7
Tensioner £16 - £20
Cam Cover Gasket £4 - £5

Parts pain on this car will come from the water pump, master cylinder, and gear box. As Richard pointed out to me recently, the head gasket should be tightened up using the Punto 55 figures - same engine different numbers - in particular the main head bolts are tightened to 45nm not 40nm and that's why the Cinq Sporting head gasket has a tendancy (unlike any other Fiat) to go at 45,000 miles.

Q Why does the Cinq Sporting have a reputation for blowing its head gasket at 40-50 thousand miles?

A The head gasket should be tightened up using the Punto 55 figures - same engine different numbers - in particular the main head bolts are tightened to 45nm not 40nm on the second torque down and that's why the Cinq Sporting head gasket has a tendancy (unlike any other Fiat) to go at 45,000 miles.

Sei Trofeo Rally in the Italian Alps - Image courtesy of Fiat Publicity

The build quality of the cars are very good. This is reflected in the low number of recall notices Fiat have sent out.
The ones we have found are listed below. Should your vehicle be one which falls into the small numbers affected then 1) Check through your service history to make sure the remedial action has not already been attended to. 2) If you are uncertain then take your car to the nearest dealer for advice.
The first two recalls here have almost certainly been completely dealt with already by postal contact with the owners. The more recent fuel tank recall is much less likely to have been dealt with and is not being administered by post. Once again call your dealer for more advice, and have your VIN: number to hand for reference.

Recall Notice 1
Model: Cinquecento S, SX and Soleil
Concern: Brake servo unit could become inoperative
Description of defect: After extended high speed running, brake servo assistance may be lost due to petrol contamination of the servo diaphragm.
Remedial action: The affected vehicles are being recalled for replacement of the servo brake vacuum pipe and checking of the brake servo efficiency, this will be adjusted to accord with the manufacturers' specification.
Vehicle identification numbers: ZFA17000000862082 to ZFA17000000957625
VI reference: R1997/080
Recall launch date: March 21, 1997
Affected Car Build dates: November 1996 to April 1997
Numbers involved: 35

Recall Notice 2
Model: Cinquecento (non air bag)
Concern: Fracture of steering column weld
Description of defect: As a result of a manufacturing fault the weld securing the steering column universal joint may fail.
Remedial action: Affected vehicles are being recalled for replacement of the steering column shafts with quality assured units.
Vehicle identification numbers: 1081337 to 1086344
VI reference: R1998/13
Recall launch date: February 23, 1998
Car Build dates: November 1997
Numbers involved: 75

Recall Notice 3
Model: Cinquecento (all models)
Concern: Fuel Tank leakage.
Description of defect: Corrosion around welded seam of fuel tank leading to fuel vapour leaks and ultimately fuel leakage.
Remedial action: Affected vehicles are being recalled for replacement of fuel tanks with quality assured units.
Vehicle identification numbers: unknown, but most cars affected.
VI reference: unknown.
Recall launch date: November 1999.
Car Build dates: Virtually all production of S, SX, Sporting and derivatives from start of production.


Recall Notice 1
Model: Seicento (all models)
Concern: Brake Pedal Fracture.
Description of defect: Wrong specification brake pedal could eventually fracture in normal use.
Remedial action: Recall affected vehicles and replace brake pedal with quality assured units.
Vehicle identification numbers: code offered 294228 to 302284. 292 vehicles affected.
VI reference: unknown.
Recall launch date: June 2000.
Car Build dates: Between July and August 1999.

Recall Notice 2
Model: Seicento (all models)
Concern: Possible chafing of brake pipes.
Description of defect: Possible chafing of rigid front brake pipes, at nearside front against the plastic wheel arch liner, or against the gearbox mounting. Also at the offside front against the engine timing belt cover.
Remedial action: Reposition any chafing brake pipe to comply with manufacturers prescribed clearance between adjacent parts. Renew any chafing brake pipe that has been chafed beyond serviceable condition.
Vehicle identification numbers: ZFA187000000001 to ZFA18700000192967 1084 vehicles affected.
VI reference: unknown.
Recall launch date: 7th December 2000.
Car Build dates: 1st January 1998 to 31st December 1999.

Manufacturer: Fiat Auto (UK) Ltd
Fiat House, 266 Bath Road, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 4HJ
(01753) 511431


(Please note any of these changes are notifiable to your insurers and may invalidate your insurance)

I’ve read a lot of guff about the Cinq and Seicento and ‘just leaving them as they are’. Like the Fiat 500 and 600 before them they are begging for modification. “Carefully and tastefully done” should be the watch words here.
First off make sure you are well seated and fit the driving seat well. Choose the right option seats for you. Before embarking on lots of options – lets look at a Fiat modification………
Trofeo parts kit available from Fiat for the Cinquecento - picture courtesy of Fiat Publicity                                                  

Seicento Sporting Kit
Fiat had been slow to respond to the demand for tuning kits with the Cinq. They made up for this with the Seicento. The factory offered a Trofeo rally car derived kit for the Sporting. The Seicento Sporting Tuning Kit was undoubtedly the most potent of Fiat’s several tuning packages. With the engine capacity increased marginally to 1146cc and the use of four 38mm throttle bodies, it produced 128bhp @ 7,800rpm. With Uno Turbo ventilated front discs and 227mm solid discs at the rear it also stopped better. The suspension was fully rose-jointed, with a limited slip diff, six-speed gearbox and all up weight of only 810kg. The kit cost 29000 Euro (in 2002). Perhaps the six speed box and lsd is a little excessive for a road car. The Punto derived 6 speed box has a good spread of ratios and if you can find a second hand one doesn’t take too much modification to fit - providing it has the right casing and mounts there are three variations out there, of which one is ideal for the Sei.
Mark Ensing's Seicento ready for battle Sei's Interior

Engine Mods.
On older engines regular oil replacement with a good semi synthetic oil is the recommended option. It offers better overall bearing protection in low pressure designs like Fiat’s engines – rather than the fully synthetics. Fully synthetic oils will offer better bhp from less resistance, but also do less to support bearings and journals with wear already present.

Larger injector with the new ECU/module and camshaft, significantly improve the power output.
Add a cold air intake, with a large diameter inlet pipe (minimum 5cm) to duct air to the filter at the same time.
Further modifications can include gas flowing the cylinder head and inlet manifold.
After completing all the above. Consider fitting an oil cooler for track and high revving applications.

Unless nitrous injection systems are being considered, larger valves tend to sacrifice too much of the engine's mid range flexibility. Changes to small capacity engines like these need to be kept in balance - and planned in unison.

Note that the clutch needs uprating too. Friction plates and heavier pressure plates will be required. Consider lightening the flywheel at the same time.

' Full House' Engine Modifications
For some of these options kits exist - in other cases they don't offer much commercial gain for tuning firms and therefore are not as popular. None are 'DIY' level mods. You will need professional level capability.

Setting a power target. For the Cinq/ Sei, we would suggest an upper target around 120bhp DIN. So parallel suspension and brake mods are essential. Refer back to the spec of the Seichento Trofeo Kit again to see how this was achieved by Fiat. This power output equates to around 170 bhp per ton in the Cinq. Its also a stern tuning test - to extract 120 plus bhp from a 1108cc engine. So it will not be cheep to achieve and it is important that any professional suport you obtain can show a successful track record in obtaining these power levels for sustained mileages from previous clients.

Main Engine options:
Modify original
Capacity increase, new profile cam, followers and head rebuild. Competition head gasket. 38mm throttle bodies and new injectors, ECU, fuel regulation, extractor manifold and straight through exhaust system. The single point injection design on Sei Sportings before 2001 provide a good starting point for tuning.

Turbo kit
Install a turbocharger. The problem with adding a turbo to such a small capacity and small port engine is the heat created inside the chambers. This translates into short engine life... or reduced boost. Early kits had the compression ratio dropped to around 8.2:1 (from the standard 9.6:1) and a boost of 0.8 bar. Later examples have used more like 7.8:1 and 0.6 bar from something like a medium sized Garrett turbo - for example a T2. And a Uno Turbo sized intercooler, turbo pistons and new ECU with matching injectors & injection module, can produce between 110bhp and 120bhp. The problem for this tuning route is the expense of going to turbo capable pistons and the rest of the kit to achieve power and torque outputs very similar to tuning a normally aspirated version.

Head preparations - the compression ratio should be reduced by machining the chamber shape for higher turbo air velocities around the valves. The head has enough material to convert the normally aspirated chamber shape into a 'heart' or 'mickey mouse head' shape. A larger inlet valve is not necessary but helps. It is more important, for increased torque, to increase the duration that the valves are open, and bring their static timing forward.... this then requires a different camshaft!

To give you an idea of the difference in cam lobe position, take the 1290cc X1/9 or 128 3P of the late seventies - this famously hard revving engine had cam timing of 12/52/52/12, (with 9.75mm valve lift) while the same capacity and similar design engine in the Uno Turbo 1301cc had 0/40/30/10 (with 8mm lift) and later Mk2 turbo cam of 14/44/36/6 with (8.8/9.5 i/e lift). Every turbo installation in the Fiat range follows a similar pattern increased lift and duration.

Pistons - your choice of piston will dictate the boost possible. Unfortunately, although higher quality pistons are available they cost more! If a turbo kit retains the stock pistons then it is probably not able to run more than 0.4 bar boost without reducing engine life. Leave the stock pistons alone, and pocketing for increased valve lift is not recommended..... so the higher lift is limited too. The stock pistons will suffer from heat damage and blow-by if higher boost is used, simply melting or causing little end failure.

Fiat's turbo solution was to provide better quality pistons and re-design of their piston rings. But an additional trick in the Uno T is to provide an oil jet/spray directed at the piston skirts at bottom dead centre. Pistons thus cooled increase the engine's life. Again its another difference between the after market kit and manufacturer designed solution.

Head Gaskets - thicker competition gaskets and Spesso competition gaskets are available.

ECU & Injection - options do not change with the Turbo kits. I've seen modified standard ignition packs and OMEX 2D maps used to successfully help drive a turbo installation.

Every thing in the engine bay also needs screening against the additional heat.

Fit other Fiat engines
Best candidate is the 1242cc 16-valve Punto Sporting FIRE engine. Its a light compact twin cam - and the block is not ridiculously taller in the Cinq engine bay. It comes with nearly 80bhp as standard and uses a similar design of diff and box. Tuning potential is better - I mean 120bhp is more easily achieved for less money.

Ease of fitment depends upon careful choice of components and does not drop straight in. There are three versions of Punto boxes availableSeveral projects have tried and unfortunately not used the same route. Cleanest should be using all the 1242cc components possible - including the box and diff, connecting/using the Cinq originals at the drive shafts. The lock will suffer a little doing this. Pay attention to limiting the front/rear block movement with a stabiliser bar as some key components/ pipes come close to moving metal edges in the engine bay (this is another reason to favour sticking with a normally aspirated tuning solution with these bigger engine blocks).

But this FIRE engine is over-size and doesn't quite fit the standard subframe. The Punto boxes mostly come with hydraulic clutches as does the 6 speed Punto we would favour (if you can source one). The hydraulic clutch action can be converted to cable using a combination of early Punto and Cinq components. Then there's the exhaust system to slot in as well.

Finishing with a ported & re-shaped head plus injection/throttle bodies and a fully re-mappable managment system should reliably deliver about 120bhp.

Does the 1264cc (16-valve) head fit on the 1108cc block? Bore sizes are too different really. I'll need to check and think on this one. Any evidence should help.

The turbo options present nasty heat problems in such a small engine bay; the Punto GT is heavier larger taller and hotter - this means the 1264cc route problems times about 10. Uno turbo same design as Punto GT - 1264 problems times 5.

Nitrous Injection

Promising - but we haven't seen any in use for three years after installation without needing new pistons yet! Also they've yet to crack the 120bhp before melt down. Remember heat from more power and piston life are inversely related. Please inform us of any more promising candidates.

Clutch and Brakes.
Increasing the power output by apparently small numbers of bhp is actually making large percentage improvements in power and torque. Heavier duty friction plates and pressure plates for the clutch will be needed.

Brakes – look again at the Trofeo rally car spec. Ventilated Uno Turbo front discs and solid rear discs were used. With this thickness of disc, the Uno turbo calipers can be used, although brackets to mount the caliper are different. The Uno Turbo’s brake set up works well. Kits are available. Four pot systems tend to need more fluid to operate, and therefore pedal travel is much further. Steel braided brake hoses are also advisable – as they will retain a more consistent feel and pedal pressure during their life.

Brake bias valves (under other names) have been fitted to most of the small and medium sized Fiat road saloons for the last twenty years. Some are externally adjustable (like the later 128s). They are fitted as load/rear brake compensators if the boot or hatch area is heavily laden. Alternatively you may desire an after market brake bias valve.

Lowering the roll centre of these cars is probably a good idea. Sportings start 20mm lower to begin with. Problem with lowering by another 40mm and beyond on such a small light car is that you lose most of the available suspension travel. To compensate spring rates are increased to avoid bottoming out, or for that matter the bottom coming out when ‘slamming’ into multi story car park floors etc – thus you end up riding a go-cart. This doesn’t do you or the drive shaft and suspension arms any favours either. Bringing the chassis down another 20-30mm appears to be a happy medium. Its also a shame if all the notable investment by Fiat to make the standard sporting suspension feel like a larger car is completely lost.
If the right type of coil-over set up is used on the front, longer ‘rising rate’ springs can be fitted that give an increasing stiffness as they compress. This can give a better ride around town but stiffens over bumps or during high speed body roll. But its an expensive route. Suppliers like Jamex have specialised in providing rising rate springs for standard shock absorbers. These springs are lower and provide about 20% stiffer spring resistance, combined with 20mm height reduction, but in the first few millimetres of travel have near standard bump resistance. This means you can drive around town with near standard feel suspension, but when cornered faster the siffness of the spring increases with greater suspension travel. Try spring only changes like these first if you have doubts about losing ride comfort - its cheeper.

What's the maximum? Probably the limit/ best compromise is to stick with the standard shockers and drop the car no more than -50mm. Novitec and Eibach both do spring sets for this ride height which are stiff but not riduculous (Eibach are noticeably the stiffer of the two). Stiffer springs like this and heavy track day use may mean you eventually need to reinforce the suspension top mounts - especially on the rear. Don’t forget there are different thickness anti roll bars around too if you get serious about tuning the handling side.

Fitting replacement nylon bushes to provide more accurate suspension and wheel movement in place of the standard items is in our experience useful, at the expense of more noise and vibration. But we have detected little difference in chassis rigidity from front and rear strut braces when fitted.

When selecting wheels and tyres, it is recommended that the Seicento Sporting front track is established (slightly wider than the Cinq). Having a slightly wider front track yet keeping the rear track standard appears to improve the responsiveness through fast corners. Don't go 'over the top' though.

Other Mods
It is possible to fit the six speed gearbox from the Punto into the Cinq. giving closer ratios (sixth gear is almost the same as the standard Cinq fifth). Installation of a quicker steering rack is very desirable. 3.9 turns lock to lock is too much for track work. There are now several options available for Cinq 'quick' racks.


Seicento Sporting into 600M:

SFC Gallery

Roger Gill and Cinq Autograssing 04-styleRG Cinq - Duanne..

Raats Cinq power - BrooklandsRob and Matt at Combe


Clubs and Interest

Roger Gill and co have been having autograss fun in the Yorkshire Dales with their Cinq. He's switched from being a total Imp man, but I'm still looking for a pik of the new Cinq from 2004 on their site! Here's one for the Gallery.

Parts and Tuning

Why do you feature so many German tuners for Italian cars? They generally offer very high consistent quality products that have to pass the TUV requirements (MoT/safety & emissions tests in Germany) on the car specified. The Italian road tuning options have also suffered in the last twenty years since road cars have strictly limited changes allowed by Italian law. Basically if its new and modified in Italy it has to be used for motorsport only.

Wolf Direct Racing Beccles (nr Norwich) based Cinq and Seicento specialist tuners, builders of the 500M and 600M Centos 07738 641317. Very capable shame they do Jags as well!

G.S.R. Engineering based in the Essex side of London, have been expanding their tuning range in recent years, and stock a wide range of spares and tuning options. In depth knowledge of the FIRE engine.
Middle Barton Garage at Chipping Norton near Oxford. Abarth and 500/600 specialist with modifications and Abarth parts for the Sporting. Very much in the Abarth tradition very capable.
Van Aaken Developments Located at Crowthorne, Berkshire and offering many tuning options from simple ECU chip changes to a 120hp Turbo conversion for the Cinq/ Sei.

Body and Tuning Kits

Merkur in Bamberger Str. 61 96215 Lichtenfels. Deutschland. Tel: 09571/5007 (add German international code)
A German Tuner who has lots of goodies to add to your Cinquecento from body kits to engine conversions and everything in between Merkur have it in abundance.
Hörmann Motorsport Kempten (Germany) U.K. Dealer: Racing Brands of Pangbourne Berkshire. Located in Germany Hormann offer several types of body kit, tuning packages (including 100hp Turbo), tinted rear light clusters, coloured speedo dials, suspension etc. Get their catalogue too.
Novitec Automobile Hochstraße 8 87778 Stetten (English agent : Forza Tuning, St Leonards Rd, NW10 6ST Tel: 0208 8386320)
Innovative and stylish options - a reputation for very well thought through body and tuning options. Springs and Air Box come recommended for the Cinq.
Postert Design for styling and wheels - ESSEN (Germany)
Koester Motorsport one of the first to offer a 1.2 Punto engine transplant.
R.G.S. Motorsport Unit 72, Lawrence Road Ind Est, Wellingborough, Northants.Tel: 01933 441451 Abarth style body kits and on site rolling road.
Dalhems after market parts supplier
Sachs BOGE suspension site
HR Springs handling components
Power Alfa After market parts supplier
Body kits from Autotint Design

Forza Tuning body kit retailers including Cadamuro and Novitech
Power Fiat after market parts

Longlife offer tailored stainless steel exhausts

Alternative Component Suppliers

This is one I know we're going to regret - coz of the updating needed. So everyone help keep it updated.

Its a quick look directory of main aftermarket suppliers for the Cinqs.

Supplier Suspension Springs Strut Brace Air Filter/ Box Exhaust
Supersprint Ansa