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#1625692 - 03/10/2018 19:57 20v n/a
respace Offline
Making a profit

Registered: 23/06/2007
Posts: 273
There seem to be quite a few nice low mileage 20v N/A for sale for very little money at present. I know they are not as exciting or tuneable as the turbos but is there anything you should be concerned about them specifically?
i'm aware there is a chip mod that would give an increase in performance but i'm assuming nothing spectacular without a turbo, anyone had experience of this?
Thanks

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#1625700 - 03/10/2018 22:53 Re: 20v n/a [Re: respace]
rowl Offline
Club member 1201
Discoverer

Registered: 26/08/2012
Posts: 32
Loc: Scotland
They are great cars in and of themselves. Very characterful looking, but also genuinely fun to drive with a great engine sound -- the 5 cylinder warble is hard to beat. While it doesn't feel underpowered, you're right in that it's not a "fast car" by modern day standards -- if you crave being pinned to your seat by G-force, you should probably hold out for a turbo!

That said, I think it's fair to say the chip (or, in the case of the later VIS model -- ECU remap) from FC Performance makes a very positive difference to the NA driving experience, see e.g. the following posts:

https://www.fiatcoupeclub.org/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1607348

https://www.fiatcoupeclub.org/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1609012

Obviously the NA has somewhat fewer sources of potential worry than the turbo model. I guess probably the worst potential source of angst would be if it were rusting away underneath. Also in practical terms, how long ago the cam belt was changed is worth bearing in mind (if 5 or more years ago, this needs doing -- the cost is not insignificant).

Also, may be worth factoring in the condition of the paint work. To maximise your enjoyment, you probably want to avoid being in the position of craving a respray that costs more than you could possibly sell the car for!

Presume you found the old buyers guide here, with various things to consider:

https://www.fiatcoupeclub.org/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1264181

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#1625710 - 04/10/2018 10:44 Re: 20v n/a [Re: respace]
neil_r Online   content
Enjoying the ride

Registered: 16/08/2007
Posts: 789
Loc: Germany
These cars are getting old and running them hard is less important than simply enjoying them. They are fast enough to not feel slow in traffic but to put that into perspective, our Mazda2 1.5 has very similar figures to the original 20V (0-100 km/h 8.7 vs. 8.9 Max km/h 200 vs. 212). Our Tucson is apparently a bit quicker up to 100 mph (22 secs vs. 25 secs). So yes, ordinary modern stuff has got quicker.

But the FIAT feels nice to drive. It has great steering and always feels alive - not something that can be said of a lot of modern stuff which are either dumb or have to be going so fast before they come alive that you would not keep your licence long.

As for chips, etc, one could but you are still going to be in the same performance ballpark.

The 20V seems to be pretty reliable and most parts are cheap. However, the cam belt, as mentioned above, is a fairly expensive regular expense, especially out here frown

Find one in good condition and you will enjoy owning a very nice looking car that almost always feels right and is fairly easy to maintain.

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#1625711 - 04/10/2018 11:11 Re: 20v n/a [Re: respace]
respace Offline
Making a profit

Registered: 23/06/2007
Posts: 273
Thanks guys i did test drive one years ago (about 1999), i recall it being very smooth but as it was a built up area i didn't get much sense of it's power. Although around 150hp in a fairly light car can't be bad. I bought a 16vt and used it as a daily commute for 8yrs until it became too uneconomic.
I've noticed some really good sounding deals on 20v n/a and wondered if they were just too good at a time when then 20vt seem to be going up ie was there something specific to be concerned about on the 20v n/a, seems not..

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#1625713 - 04/10/2018 12:30 Re: 20v n/a [Re: respace]
neil_r Online   content
Enjoying the ride

Registered: 16/08/2007
Posts: 789
Loc: Germany
The turbo was the popular choice as it was really quick in its day. It also sold much better - bit more money but a lot more performance smile

I went for the N.A. because it was to be a daily driver/only car at first, and I keep my cars a long time and I was worried about the reliability. Who knows what a turbo would have been like in my hands. Maybe also OK as I'm gentle with my machines.

A few years ago, I wanted a sunday car. Started looking at the simpler versions but this time ended up with the more powerful choice smile

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#1625714 - 04/10/2018 12:40 Re: 20v n/a [Re: respace]
Gripped Offline
Club member 1144
I need some sleep

Registered: 20/12/2005
Posts: 3041
Loc: S. Wales. Way beyond my means
Either of the 20v NAs will be fun. I suspect the 16v will be too rare now, but always worth a look.

The later VIS version is more refined and a few more BHP, and I might put my neck on the line and say it might be a bit more reliable than the earlier 20v as it had quite a few updated parts.

The good thing about the NA is that you can rev the nuts of them without going stupid fast, and get a great sound track. In the twisties, they are great fun if you keep it above 4,500 rpm.

Fuel economy is also good, particularly after a remap. My VIS is happily doing high 30's mpg.

I still want a turbo as a garage queen, but for everyday use, the NA is ideal.
_________________________

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#1625715 - 04/10/2018 12:41 Re: 20v n/a [Re: respace]
respace Offline
Making a profit

Registered: 23/06/2007
Posts: 273
Thanks Neil, I don't need the power the 16vt was followed by the GTV v6, it was just the difference in price that bothered me and made me wonder whether there was a problem with the n/a, eg there's a lovely looking n/a with 25k on sale for £2.5k, a similar turbo is £12-15k.

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#1625716 - 04/10/2018 12:42 Re: 20v n/a [Re: respace]
respace Offline
Making a profit

Registered: 23/06/2007
Posts: 273
Thanks Neil, I don't need the power the 16vt was followed by the GTV v6, it was just the difference in price that bothered me and made me wonder whether there was a problem with the n/a, eg there's a lovely looking n/a with 25k on sale for £2.5k, a similar turbo is £12-15k.

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#1625717 - 04/10/2018 12:45 Re: 20v n/a [Re: respace]
Tim16V Offline
Club member 1161
On a journey

Registered: 06/05/2013
Posts: 120
Loc: Berkshire
Prices of good N/A's are inexplicably and stubbornly low (definitely in the shadow of the turbo) but they are really good to drive. In addition they are less likely to have been thrashed than a turbo.

There's a yellow VIS on the market for circa £2k which I thought looked good value on the face of but it has been hanging around a while.

I think one of the issues is the N/A maintenance bills are high like any other modern classic yet without discernable scope to recover any of that cost on resale at the moment so it's a slightly vicious circle.

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#1625749 - 05/10/2018 19:37 Re: 20v n/a [Re: respace]
Cooperman Offline
Club member 215
Enjoying the ride

Registered: 08/06/2008
Posts: 870
Loc: Kent, South East
The NA is fast enough in everyday use and the engine note is brilliant, I love opening the window through tunnels smile
Servicing costs in my experience are not high particularly if you can find a local specialist nearby. Fuel economy is mixed but plenty of smiles per gallon.
_________________________

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#1625937 - 11/10/2018 13:32 Re: 20v n/a [Re: respace]
dante giacosa Offline
My life on the forum

Registered: 25/05/2012
Posts: 1912
Loc: Going North on the A9
Hey Rowl- (good to hear from you)

Well put; I'm totally with you there...

Tim16V-

yes; the N/As certainly will have attracted less 'test pilots' over the years.

I personally deliberately chose the N/A, (having owned the turbo before) as I fancy the chances of a normally aspirated engine outliving a turbo one (over time) any day (both with the same maintenance)
And I loved the usability of the N/A- you not going to get to 'simmer' in 70% of the engine power of the turbo for long- on any road!


Edited by dante giacosa (11/10/2018 20:37)

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#1625943 - 11/10/2018 16:36 Re: 20v n/a [Re: respace]
Tim16V Offline
Club member 1161
On a journey

Registered: 06/05/2013
Posts: 120
Loc: Berkshire
I went for a VIS after looking at eight turbos - all with issues. Some were very poor indeed, literally knackered, others just irritated my OCD - missing keys, part history, V5 doc 'in the post' etc.

I was just about to give up on the whole thing and go for a Golf VR6 but the VIS popped up locally so I thought it worth a look.

It performed better than expected and has been brilliant over the last 5 years and since the initial big expenditure. The first bill was more than the car cost!

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#1625951 - 11/10/2018 19:20 Re: 20v n/a [Re: Tim16V]
Ballypete Offline
Club Treasurer
Enjoying the ride

Registered: 02/02/2017
Posts: 578
Loc: Leics UK
Originally Posted By Tim16V
I went for a VIS after looking at eight turbos - all with issues. Some were very poor indeed, literally knackered, others just irritated my OCD - missing keys, part history, V5 doc 'in the post' etc.

I was just about to give up on the whole thing and go for a Golf VR6 but the VIS popped up locally so I thought it worth a look.

It performed better than expected and has been brilliant over the last 5 years and since the initial big expenditure. The first bill was more than the car cost!


I can relate to that- but then sorting the issues on my NA out has kept another one on the road for years to come and I haven’t had any hint of a reliability issue
_________________________
Doris the 1998 Portofino Blue 20V
Bog standard needn't be boring...

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#1625953 - 11/10/2018 20:34 Re: 20v n/a [Re: respace]
dante giacosa Offline
My life on the forum

Registered: 25/05/2012
Posts: 1912
Loc: Going North on the A9
Yeah-

Mine has always been very reliable too.

The first service and MOT is always the big one, Tim..!

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