Now, Italy’s Lazzarini Design wants to carry on the tradition by transplanting the 4.5-liter V-8 from the Ferrari 458 Italia into a Fiat 500 hatchback, with the resulting creation titled the 550 Italia.
To make such an unholy hybrid work, Lazarrini Design would de-tune the Ferrari’s engine from 570 to 550 horsepower, which is the most its simulations show the Fiat 500 chassis could handle.
To aid handling, the car’s wheelbase is also stretched by some 300 mm (11.8 inches), as well as widened by the same 300 mm (11.8 inches) in back and 200 mm (7.9 inches) up front. As with the old Renault R5 Turbo, the engine is mounted where the rear seats used to be.
That intake on the roof is functional, gulping in air to keep the high-strung V-8 breathing properly. We hope it’s screened, because otherwise you could suck all manner of wildlife into the intake tract.
Sadly, the Fiat 550 Italia exists only as a design exercise today, but Lazzarini Design would be happy to continue development if any investors are willing to fork over the estimated $550,000 it will take to bring the Fiat 550 Italia to market.