It’s impossible! ” argued father Gianfranco Dini and son Leonardo, but once again, Gianfranco wished to show his over-enthusiastic offspring who possessed the mechanical know-how in the family.including the Murcielago AWD system can’t keep the four wheels under control
The young Dini’s mistake was to suggest to his father-a master founder and mechanic of the legendary Oemmedi Meccanica-that he should shoehorn a Porsche 911 flat-six motor in to the rear of the 1970s Fiat 500. The problem had been issued, and in true father/son rivalry, there was no backing down.
The exchange took place more than a decade ago, and the Porsche-engined Cinquecento has since been parked. But because the old saying “Madness is hereditary; you get it from your children” runs particularly deep in this particular family, not because it didn’t work.You see, after building the Frankenstein Fiat/Porsche 500 and thus upholding his honor as a red-blooded Italian male, Signore Dini succumbed to your madness of his own making: he began work on a second car. This time, he eschewed the “foreign” motor for your flat-plane-crank V8 from a Ferrari 308, installed transversely from thetell you it’s loud in there!
The Ferrari-engined Cinquecento had recently been eclipsed by an even madder creation, as soon as we found Oemmedi Meccanica’s workshop on the outskirts of Tuscany.
It was apparent that while the gray, Porsche-engined machine didn’t look too radical from the outside, the black, Ferrari-engined version definitely had the overtones of any pumped-up racer, as we walked the line within a corner of the workshop.Everything we weren’t ready for was the car at the far end in the line. The sheer scale of the changes that this poor, unsuspecting 40-year-old Fiat 500 endured in the creation of Signore Dini’s latest work left us speechless.
It was immediately obvious the physical size of a 580hp Lamborghini Murcielago motor stuffed into the rear of the car had required a radical rethink of its structure and external appearance. This is, without any exaggeration, an incrediblyIt was actually the result of a bet,” Dini Senior confirmed. “Some smartass in Northern Italy, who knew about my two previous cars, suggested I put a 6.2L Lamborghini V12 into a Cinquecento. Ten years ago, I’d have laughed them back, but after my knowledge of the other two cars, it had been a challenge I accepted with relish,” he explained.
It wasn’t easy, obviously, but 2 yrs and 3,000 man-hours later, the Lambocento was rolled into the Italian sunshine.
The rev counter was carved into the steering wheel, but the 400-km/h speedo is center-mounted.
Since the Fiat 500 was inherently too short and narrow to the Lamborghini drivetrain, the specification called for both the wheelbase and track being significantly extended. The result: an automobile nearly twice as wide as the original Fiat, with the hub centers in the huge Murcielago wheels now practically where front and rear bumpers would sit on a stock 500.
A tailored space frame chassis was fabricated. It incorporated a subframe cradle to mount the engine and transmission. Significant torsional reinforcement originated from the steel bulkheads front and reara relatively easy task compared to the V12…
The relevant parts of the ’71 Fiat 500 monocoque-in effect the sidepanels and roof, and its pillars-were welded towards the new chassis and all the newest body parts, for example the huge wheel arches, were fabricated from steel.
The entire dashboard and center console were also fabricated from steel plate and covered in leather, further reinforcing the scuttle, as Gianfranco is allergic to plastic. Even the door mirrors are handmade from steel.
There was absolutely no way the car couldcarries a flat bottom for aerodynamics, with cutouts to aid ventilation of the finned sump and gearbox, plus an air diffuser at the rear under the stainless Lamborghini exhaust silencer.
The double wishbone suspension uses modified coilovers all round and an anti-roll bar at either end. The rear units are inclined 45 degrees and mounted to pickup points on the rear subframe, as the fronts are inclined at about 10 degrees and theirwill be the Murcielago’s 355mm rotors all-around with four-piston calipers and in many cases the working ABS system. There’s also a giant Lamborghini master cylinder up front, trying out almost half the spaceIf several of it falls more on the practical side than the stylish, details like the electrically opening engine cover and retractable rear spoiler add to the car’s overall finesse, and you can’t help but admire the attention to detail, even.
Opening the entrance, you drop into the custom bucket seat and can immediately tell Gianfranco is a wheelman: Every instrument, including the frighteningly optimistic 250-mph speedometer, is located on the console, while the large, yellow rev counter is positioned in an opening carved in to the MOMO steering wheel.
The redline starts at 7,500 rpm, although with the Lambocento’s power-to-weight ratio of around 600 hp/ton, you’d have to be extremely brave or stupid to wind out of the motor in each of the six ratios, similar to the Murcielago.
A bog-stock Fiat 500 isn’t a spacious car, and being placed in the tiny cabin with the Lamborghini V12 in the plexiglass case behind your mind is like sharing the bomb bay of any B-17 by using adoors and roof, and pillars are about all that remains of the original 500.
The sound of the engine is deafening yet spine-tingling at the same time. The din is tremendous but sends waves of delight passing through every cell in your body. The Lambocento melds heaven and hell into an infernal machine.
Paddle shifters? That would be too easy. No, this is a driver’s car, so you have a heavy clutch along with a proper gearstick to row, the old-fashioned way, before you can scare yourself silly.
The massive wave of V12 torque throws the automobile down the road; you instinctively short-shift into Second, and then Third out of both wisdom and fear. Even at the mere 4,000 rpm, the car-which carries 1,544 pounds less dead weight than the Murcielago-gives the impression that its 335/30 ZR18 Pirelli tires are attempting to either rotate on their wheels or melt the asphalt. This is stark-naked insanity in itsThe problem is the driver not the car,” Gianfranco shrugged, though “The rate potential is there. I’ve never dared to open it up all the way, even though “It reaches 187 mph so easily!”
We burn rubber with the Oemmedi Meccanica compound, imagining what it would be like to drive the car at Imola or Mugello. On target, it would be open season on Ferraris. You could probably pass them on opposite lock with all four tires smoking.
Unfortunately, our courage faltered between the workshop sheds, where the road surface is as crumbly as an old Parmigiano.
At sane speeds, we have a chance to see the reaction of other drivers to this particular mutant Bambino Mostro, as being the locals have nicknamed it… At a stop sign, other cars visit a stop, their drivers staring in shock and awe. When we pull away, eyeballs follow, their brains still paralyzed. This may be his daily driver if Batman were Italian.a lot of good offers from Russia, America, Japan and China and the Middle East. He’s unclear he desires to be separated from the machine he created with blood, sweat, and tears. He considers the Bambino Mostro element of his family.
“A small production run of similar cars is a possibility,” he told us. The years of developing the Frankenstein Fiats have resulted in a formula for creating miniature monsters. “We have a special double-frame platform that’s stable enough to withstand insane power. It’s also dimensionally flexible so that we can fit any engine into the Cinquecento.
“Even a Bugatti Veyron W16? ” we asked in parting. “As soon as somebody brings me one, I’ll fit it! “” he said using a laugh. “You want to bet, we considered him in surprise before Gianfranco uttered the immortal words?