Fiat Barchetta

Fiat Barchetta (1995-2003)

The Fiat Barchetta is a roadster and a cabriolet, which was built by the beginning of 1995 until mid-2005. " Barchetta " is Italian and means something like "little boat " or " little boat ". This open, two-door two-seater with PVC top, which is based on the platform of the Fiat Punto the first generation may be referred to as a response to the success of Mazda's MX-5 roadster.


The design comes from Andreas Zapatinas, who also drew other convertibles ( including resources from the BMW Z8 ). The car was largely composed the coachbuilder Maggiora in Chivasso by hand. After the bankruptcy of Maggiora Fiat relocated production to its Mirafiori plant.

Characteristic of the body are frameless side windows, recessed into the door door handles and a fully retractable soft top under a cover. The latter is basically to operate mechanically and equipped with a plastic rear window. The luggage compartment can hold a volume of 165 liters three crates; when the top is closed, the soft top compartment can also be used as additional storage space. A hard top with heated rear window was available as optional equipment. The cockpit with the characteristic round instruments builds on the tradition of sports cars Fiat. The Fiat Barchetta was one of the first production vehicles with clear glass headlights.


The 1.8 - liter four- cylinder engine provides 96 kW (131 hp) and has a maximum torque of 164 Nm at 4300/min. The same engine was used from 1996 also in the Fiat Coupe. Factory information on performance: top speed 200 km / h, acceleration from 0-100 km / h in 8.9 seconds, consumption of 8.4 l/100 km (combined) according to 99/100/EC ( emission standard Euro 3). This engine comes from the designed Alfa Romeo, "modular" said family of Fiat engines and was used in a similar form in many Fiat models and the Lancia Lybra. The engine is structurally closely related to the Alfa Romeo "Twin Spark" engines of the new generation. During the production period of the Fiat Barchetta different versions of this engine were used, which differ in structural details and also meet different emission standards. From the start of production until 1998, a variant was used, which had an intake manifold made ​​of aluminum and the mass air flow sensor was mounted directly to the air filter. Starting with Mai 1998, this engine was replaced by a version with a variable length intake manifold made ​​of plastic and with the air mass meter directly on the intake manifold. These motors have the lettering VIS variable intake system on the valve cover.

Barchetta cockpit

Engine of the Barchetta

From the summer of 2000 a version of the engine was fitted with an electronically controlled butterfly valve to meet the Euro 3 emissions standards can. The nominal motor versions do not differ in their performance. Common to all engine versions of an adjustment for the intake camshaft ( at Fiat called A phase ), which combines a favorable torque curve at low rpm range ( due to low valve overlap ) with good performance at high speeds ( due to large valve overlap ). The operation of this adjustment is dependent on engine speed and load hydraulically by engine oil, the provision in the original position is done by a coil spring. This spring is the cause of numerous defects in this adjustment, on account of which the camshaft is retained in the position for high speeds. This defect manifests itself in a very hard, diesel -like running noise at idle and at low speeds, which has the A phase in barchetta circles the name " diesel part " introduced.


The Fiat Barchetta was built in different, some special limited editions (1998: Limited Edition, 1999: Limited Edition LE99; 2000: Lido, Riviera, Amalfi; 2001: Naxos, Milano, 2004: Adriatic Sea ), which by special color scheme ( body, interiors, roof ), leather seats and other trim levels distinguished from each other.

Every now and then there was the necessary adjustments, such as the introduction of a third brake light in May 2000, or modifications to the engine due to stricter requirements for exhaust emissions.

Mid-2003 were revised front and rear of the Barchetta. Changed depending on technology and engine during the entire production period, however, almost nothing.


The production of the Fiat Barchetta, who had been elected in 1995 to the Cabrio of the Year, ended in June 2005 after ten years of production. A total of 57 521 vehicles were produced, about half of which was approved in Germany.

Technical details


  • Werner Schruf in auto, motor und sport, Issue 9 /1995 ISSN 0005-0806.
  • Car Catalogue 2004 United Motor Publishers, Stuttgart, 2003.